Library Print Collections Contain $100 Billion in Scholarly Content Licenses
Isn’t it time your library unlock that value for your students and researchers?
Restoring per item usage rates to pre-digital age levels and higher may be easier than you think with DLSG’s best-of-breed digitization,
enhanced controlled digital lending, innovative study application, next generation discovery algorithms, and virtual reality stacks browsing.

Digital Library Systems Group


To create technologies that maximize utilization of scholarly content in libraries for study, research and scholarly productivity, with particular focus on print collections, while maintaining compliance with copyright law, by:

  • Developing multiple specialized systems, each with a different specialized method of access to match the frequency of access
    • Very High Frequency Access: Reserves (whole items) – high-demand items that are placed on reserve, limiting access to brief periods of time (e.g. a few hours).
    • High Frequency Access: Excerpt Capture - items that are occasionally checked out or accessed in the library for digitally copying of excerpts.
    • Moderate Frequency Access – whole book lending and excerpt capture for items that have been accessed in recent years or months and that can be borrowed in whole or captured in excerpts (e.g. items that have been accessed at least once in recent years (or months).
    • Low Frequency Access – items that may have value, but have not been accessed in recent years, and are best for off-site storage to retain content copyrights (e.g. for access via HotLinks).
  • providing tools that substantially outperform full text search engines in identifying the most relevant content for researchers and students
  • removing technological inefficiencies from the research process (e.g. by providing instant access to relevant content with minimal user actions)
  • interconnecting thousands of library collections with advanced new technology
  • And whatever else we may be called upon by libraries to enhance the value of their content and services to their patrons


In 2004, DLSG sold its first KIC, BSCAN ILL, and Opus systems. Ten years later, nearly 70% of students at US universities were served by DLSG digitization systems (90% by budget), and public libraries were beginning to investigate and learn the value of DLSG technologies. Then, in 2015, DLSG began developing the Digital Library Ecosystem. After six years and over a quarter of a million R&D professional hours invested, the Digital Library Ecosystem is ready, just in time to serve the study and research challenges caused by social distancing.

The Roles of the Librarian in the Digital Age

The role libraries and librarians play in helping their patrons find unbiased information is especially challenging in the digital age. The Web has become a powerful source of misinformation – the biggest advertising Web sites, both social and search, track each user with algorithms that maximize the time users spend viewing the advertising by identifying the content that aligns with the user’s pre-existing opinions, without regard for accuracy. Even without these algorithms, instant access to Web search results makes it all too easy for people to disregard more vetted sources of information. The $100+ billion libraries have invested in scholarly content over decades and centuries is highly factual and independent of political or social affiliation, and unlike the Web, essentially immutable. While highly innovative new research technologies are of great value to PhD researchers, they can also empower students and the general public to find vetted and unbiased information, which can help to create an anti-misinformation movement, helping to reduce disagreements in our society to just those topics that are actually arguable.

Urgent News

DLSG’s Directed Lending Solution Comes to the Rescue

Controlled Digital Lending with Digital Rights Management

Special Offer

In minutes, get Controlled Digital Lending (DRM) of course materials and digitized content from your print collections using DLSG’s highly transformative MyDocs free app for PCs, Tablets and phones, solutions with extended Digital Rights Management (DRM) features, including:

  • Digital Lending Controls:
    • One to one (1:1) lend to owned ratio
    • Checkout times from minutes to Months enforced even if Internet connection is lost
    • Innovative system for sharing limited resources with optimal use of checked out items
    • Blackout times and simulation of pre-digital age printed book lending
    • Digital fence technology allows libraries to ‘display’ a copy on patron-owned phones, tablets and PCs only while in the library
    • Users can switch easily between PC, tablet and phone while controls remain enforced
    • Controlled access via Single Sign-on (SSO), physical distribution of access keys & Digital Library Cards
  • Lendable content can be limited to education, research and scholarly activities
  • Extensive User Accessibility features, including PDF/UA, special handling of pictures, diagrams, tables and captions, ultra-large print reading on phones, ReadAlong Audio, touch to find, and more
  • Highly Transformative features such as ReadAlong Audio, computer-assisted SKIM, multiple ADA features, and HotLinks Study & Research Tools
  • Ample Support for Authors & Publishers
  • New options that allow your KIC systems to digitize whole books in minutes for Controlled Digital Lending

And it is Very Affordable

DLSG's transformative and extended Controlled Digital Lending solution costs less than $5,000 (special COVID pricing), can be installed in minutes and supports all your students and up to 10,000 copyrighted items. This solution's QR code distribution system can be used immediately, while Single Sign-on support (SSO) require a quick integration. And DLSG is offering free trials.

Unlike Other CDL Systems, DLSG’s Directed Lending is HIGHLY TRANSFORMATIVE

The greatest benefit of digitizing content from your highly valuable print collection is not that it facilitates distance learning during COVID, but rather the powerful study and research enhancing tools that require content to be digital. The four powerful study enhancing features of DLSG's Directed Lending Solution shown here allow students to recover lost time and study instantly anywhere, enhance retention, instantly access alternate treatments of their study material, and instantly access content through the most powerful new research tool in existence.

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In today’s challenging academic environments, students must be able to study anywhere, any time. Our SKIM feature provides easy reading anywhere with your phone, even for visually impaired.
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ReadAlong Audio for Better Retention
Students Increase focus and reinforce retention with ReadAlong Audio, effective on phone, tablet and PC, and move effortlessly between their devices without losing their place and with full Study Progress Monitoring a touch away.
CDL Animation |Serve More Students per Book with a Controlled Digital Lending Solution from DLSG

Use DLSG’s Directed Lending Solution to Maximize use of digital copies of your print collections in accordance with copyright law

This system emulates standard physical reserves systems in academic libraries, but with added support for distance learning (e.g. during COVID) – each student can access the same book a few minutes to several hours at a time, and when finished, the next student can access the book.

Part 1 – setting up a directed lending profile

Once a digital copy of the content is posted to a DSE Content Server, a library staff member can setup a directed lending profile by finding the item and entering the professor and class, the number of copies being set aside for this, the start and end date during which the content can be accessed, and the checkout and blackout durations.

Part 2 – One-to-one (1:1) Owned to Loaned Ratio

The first and second students checkout the two available copies of the content. Due to automatic enforcement of a one-to-one (1:1) owned to loaned ratio, attempts by the remaining students to checkout the content fail, whereupon they each request email notification when the content is again available for checkout.

Part 3 –Checkouts Times End, Blackout Times Begin and Automatic Emails are Sent

When the checkout time ends for students one and two, their blackout times begin and all other students are informed by email that the content is available for checkout.

Part 4 – Blackout times Allow Other Students Access

Because of blackout times, the third and fourth students are able to checkout the copies, but the fifth student is still unable to checkout the content

Part 5 – The Fifth Student Gets Access

In as little as four hours, the first four students can each have two hours of study time and the fifth student is able to checkout the book for two hours as well, while the first four students wait for their blackout times to end. Next two student’s checkout time ends and their blackout times begin; the last student is informed by email that the content is available, and he checks out the content

Part 6 – The First Student again has access

24 hours after the first student lost access to the content, he/she can again access the content for two hours.

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HotLinks Study & Research Tools

Instant Access
to Your Print Collections

Library print collections are substantially more valuable than their digital equivalent and you already own them. The extensive digital rights management features of DLSG's controlled digital lending solution allow digitized content from printed books to be shared more effectively than purely digital content, provided you retain the print copy. For example, your popular printed books can be left on the shelf near high speed digitize-on-demand kiosks and for easy copying of virtually unlimited numbers of excerpts.

In addition, HotLinks Research Tool's search-match algorithms instantly and easily find precious 'needle in the haystacks' research content from vast print collections - content that would not be found by searching digital card catalogs or full text searches of all content. HotLinks Research Tool runs on key terms and other content characterizing information that does not require purchase of digital licenses.

HotLinks Study Tool

Give Your Students Instant Access to 1,000 Open Educational Resource Titles

The most valuable of its transformative features for students is HotLinks Study Tool, which can take an entire textbook chapter as input and instantly provides access to the full text of the most relevant Open Educational Resources (OER) from 1,000 high quality titles, over half a million pages.

Some of the Instantly Accessible OER Titles

  • LibreTexts
  • An Introduction to Nutrition
  • Bio2 Introduction to Human Biology
  • Biochemistry Free and Easy
  • Biochemistry Free for All
  • Biochemistry Online
  • Biodiversity
  • Biofundamentals
  • BIOL3300 Genetics
  • Biology
  • Book Laboratory Exercises in Microbiology
  • Cascade Microbiology
  • Cells Molecules and Mechanisms
  • Entomology Lab Manual
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Biology
  • Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • Forest Measurements and Applied Approach
  • General Biology
  • General Microbiology Lab Manual
  • Introduction to Botany
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • L C C Introduction to Botany Hawaii Based
  • Microbiology
  • MKBN211 Introductory Microbiology
  • Phylogenetic Comparative Methods
  • Quantitative Ecology A New Unified Approach
  • Information Systems for Business and Beyond
  • International Finance Theory and Policy
  • Introduction to Business
  • Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • African American History
  • U S History
  • World History Cultures States and Societies to 1500
  • Psychology
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Sociology
  • International Relations Theory
  • Minority Studies
  • International Relations
  • Together The Science Of Social Psychology
  • Mind Body World Foundations Of Cognitive Science
  • A Short Introduction To World Politics
  • Principles Of Microeconomics
  • Biological Anthropology
  • A Primer On Politics
  • Introduction To Human Geography
  • World Regional Geography
  • Social Problems Continuity And Change
  • Language and Culture in Context
  • Discover Psychology a Brief Introductory Text
  • OpenStax
  • Algebra Trigonometry
  • American Government
  • Anatomy Physiology
  • A P Biology
  • A P College Physics
  • A P Macroeconomics
  • A P Microeconomics
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Law1
  • Calculus Volume1
  • Calculus Volume2
  • Calculus Volume3
  • Chemistry
  • Chemistry Atoms First
  • College Algebra
  • College Physics
  • College Success
  • Concepts Of Biology
  • Economics
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Accounting Volume1
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Introduction To Business
  • Introductory Business Statistics
  • Introductory Statistics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Managerial Accounting Volume2
  • Microbiology
  • Microeconomics
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Physics Volume1
  • Physics Volume2
  • Physics Volume3
  • Pre- Algebra
  • Pre- Calculus
  • Principles Of Management
  • Psychology
  • Psychology-2e
  • Sociology
  • Statistics High school
  • U S History
  • Bay College
  • English 101
  • English 102
  • History 211
  • History 212
  • FYE103 Career Exploration
  • StanfordUniversityPress
  • American Yawp Volume 1
  • American Yawp Volume 2

HotLinks Research Tool

Give Your Researchers Instant Access to Billions of pages of Relevant Content

For Scholars and Researchers, HotLinks Research Tool provides a revolutionary search-match system that takes up to 100 pages of personal research as input and instantly matches it with billions of pages of scholarly content in the print collections of your library and the libraries of other Digital Stacks Project members. HotLinks instantly finds 100 matches representing the most relevant content from billions of pages. Researchers are able to find valuable content that they would never find with standard search systems.

HotLinks Research Tool results can be viewed as ‘sample’ pages from the entire volume that promote copyrighted content that might otherwise remain unknown.

For better compliance with the Fair Use section of copyright law, the library can enable the ability for researchers to purchase the full content.

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It is the digital age and your students, faculty and researchers should be able to browse and search your print collections visually wherever they are, 24/7, using their phone, tablet or PC. Virtual reality technology is replacing traditional text-based systems everywhere and it’s time for libraries to join in.

KAT Stacks provides a virtuality reality browsing experience that matches the layout of your library’s print collections, aisle by aisle, shelf by shelf. It includes:

  • SIP2 integration with your ILS
  • Bulk import of MARC records and instant virtual stacks using on-line images of spines and covers, and computer generated graphical images
  • Digital Item checkout via DLSG’s controlled digital lending solution
  • Expanded shelf view that includes all books, including those in off-site storage, in reserves and in a high use section for digitizing excerpts
  • Integrated bibliographic search
  • Professors suggested reading lists
  • And more...
Most Scholarly Print Collections are Undervalued
The licenses for the content in printed books owned by libraries
are more valuable than digital licenses for the same content
Printed Book
Digital Rights
Print / Digital Lending
Current lending methods/practices
Unlimited Digitize-on-demand
of excerpts, using patron-operated self-serve kiosks
Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)
of digitized content, whole items or excerpts, for virtually any checkout time duration of digitized content, whole items or excerpts, for virtually any checkout and blackout time durations
ILL & Digital Document Delivery
with the same nominal restrictions that have long applied to print content (no additional restrictions imposed by the publisher’s DRM system)
Digital Access Not Outside The premises of the Library
of works that have been digitized that are unpublished or damaged, deteriorating, lost, stolen, or in an obsolete format using digital fence technology
Support for HotLinks & KSS
next generation research/discovery built into a research tool with fast navigation between hundreds of highly relevant hyperlinked items; and a portable advanced study system with ReadAlong Audio, computer-assisted skim, HotLinkable highlighting, custom flash cards, and graphical study progress
Supports Optimal Print-Digital Ratio
high use books can be concentrated in an area of the library with self-serve digitization kiosks; rarely accessed books can be moved off-site; KAT Stacks digital stacks browsing technology can make navigating and finding content easy
The Publishers’ Perspectives

Your publishers’ representatives are just doing their jobs when they extoll the merits of purchasing new digital licenses without any consideration for the value of your existing print collections. However, your publishers’ marketing departments have a different relationship with libraries.

While librarians rarely meet their publishers’ marketing teams, libraries have always helped them market new titles. One might think that Amazon promotes new titles effectively enough these days, but libraries continue to play an essential role in promoting new books. Libraries showcase new books that they lend for free to a large percentage of the population, and library patrons promote the books to friends and family members as well as fellow researchers and students, many of whom prefer the convenience of buying books.

This symbiotic relationship between publishers and libraries should not be forgotten, and HotLinks Research Tool provides a unique new win-win opportunity for libraries and publishers that work together. HotLinks Research Tool is a next generation discovery system for scholarly content that exposes students and researchers to a tremendous number of relevant copyrighted titles that are not found using current discovery systems. By supporting a BUY button on the HotLinks content excerpt screens, students and researchers are able to purchase the books, thus fulfilling a fair use requirement of copyright law (Section 107). This in turn compels publishers to support libraries’ controlled digital lending solutions for the huge investments in scholarly content in print form that they have made over the decades, and that in the digital age, libraries are compelled to loan digitally.

HotLinks Research Tool was developed with two goals in mind: 1) to greatly improve the discovery process; and 2) to significantly increase awareness of and demand for scholarly content worldwide.

Four Steps to Dramatically Increase
The Value of Your Scholarly Print Collections
  • 1. Digitize-On-Demand for Frequently Accessed Items

    A single print item can be copied (an excerpt at a time) an unlimited number of times, which, along with high quality and low prices explain why KIC digitization systems are on a thousand college campuses across the US and Canada. Promote digitize-on-demand to your study and research patrons by creating a centrally located section of the stacks with your frequently accessed books and materials, with multiple self-serve digitize-on-demand stations nearby. The concentration of highly used materials will also concentrate patrons and create a collective energy that will increase the apparent value of your print collections. Ideally, your reference and reserves materials should also be nearby.

  • 2. Optimized Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)

    Libraries need DRM specifically for lending the content in their print collections:

    • Copyright law for libraries has been updated for the digital age, but remains substantially underutilized
    • The digital rights management (DRM) systems used by publishers are NOT ideal for lending

    DLSG offers extended CDL that addresses each element of DMCA Sections 107 and 108 and the ‘first use’ clause of DMCA Section 109, and that works with the thousands of KIC, Opus & BSCAN ILL digitization systems that are in use across the US and Canada. These systems range in price from just a few thousand dollars for a small system with a face-down BookEdge scanner, to nearly forty thousand dollars for a very large system with the new Bookeye 5 scanner, the fastest high quality scanner available today, with Click Mini scanners occupying the mid-range.

  • 3. KAT Stacks – Instant 24/7 Virtual Reality Browsing & Search

    It doesn’t take much to convince most librarians that KAT Stacks is valuable. The big question is: “How expensive and difficult is it to get?” It is actually quite easy to setup a computer generated (CGI) version of KAT Stacks that matches your print collections – simply bulk load your collections into KAT Stacks by importing your MARC records. CGI versions of the spines and covers of your items are automatically created. Then walk through your library with a WiFi-connected tablet, identifying each aisle and the first book on each shelf. KAT Stacks can also be informed which books are in special sections such as reserves and your new digitize-on-demand section, and which books have been moved to storage. When users are viewing a single shelf in KAT Stacks, they can switch to a mode that includes the books in storage and in special sections of the library – digital shelves have no width limits.

    To stay current as your collection changes, and to show the checkout status of each item, KAT Stacks integrates with your ILS via SIP2.

    For a very realistic and immersive virtual reality experience for the most important sections of your stacks, use the KIC Covers & Spines option to digitize up to 100 spines and covers per hour.

  • 4. HotLinks Research Tool – Beyond Search

    While it is certainly useful, catalog search is woefully inadequate for research and study - the catalog contains too little information to be truly effective. Even full text search has limitations: 1) a full-text search system should be tightly connected with the holdings of your library and your library’s ILS; 2) while studying, your student patrons should be able to instantly and easily access content from your print collections that closely matches the textbook chapters they are currently studying; and 3) your researchers should be able to instantly and easily find the hundred or so closest matches in your entire print collections and perhaps beyond, to the dozens or hundreds of pages of text that they have created on a particular research topic.

    HotLinks Research Tool allows students and researchers to find valuable scholarly books that they would never otherwise encounter. When used as high-speed study & research input machines, KIC digitization systems allow students to capture full textbook chapters, and allow researchers to capture and combine large amounts of printed and digital text, in just a few minutes, then output the content to MyDocs(a free study/research app for phones, tablets & PCs), along with metadata that characterizes all pages of input for HotLinks Research Tool. While studying or researching, the user selects an anchor term (a search term), invokes HotLinks Research Tool, and is instantly able to swipe or scroll through the 100 or so best matches to the entire chapter or research text that also contains the anchor term.

    Together, DLSG’s Digitize-on-demand KIC systems, MyDocs with KIC Study System and optimized CDL, KAT Stacks and HotLinks Research Tool reinvent the library in the digital age. DLSG has a name for this entire integrated transformation: the Digital Stacks Ecosystem. Perhaps it’s time to reinvent and renew partnerships between publishers and libraries.

KIC Study System - Part of MyDocs with Controlled Digital Lending (DRM)

KIC Study System dramatically improves study efficiency and effectiveness

MyDocs is a free download from Microsoft, Apple and Android stores KSS is a part of MyDocs that provides free access to Open Educational Resources (OER) and scanned content from KIC systems, with the following features:

  • ReadAlong Audio
  • Computer-assisted skim/review
  • Custom flashcards
  • Highlighting (HotLinked Highlights coming soon)
  • Study progress monitoring
  • Instant search-match and access to scholarly content via HotLinks Research & Study Tools
  • Repeat Audio for memorization as well as better retention and to assist with understanding
  • And more

KIC Self-serve Digitization Kiosks (digitize for Controlled Digital Lending / DRM)

KIC Self-Serve Digitize-on-Demand Kiosks

With KIC, thousands of students and researchers can make copies of each item in your print collections, (an excerpt at a time). This and its high quality and low prices have explain why KIC digitization systems are on a thousand college campuses across the US and Canada.

In addition to supporting new high-speed whole book digitization options that allow the thousands of existing KIC systems in US and Canadian academic and research libraries to digitiz features, KIC systems provide powerful digital age services such as the ability to reorganize study and research materials, semi-automatically and automatically create and add citations, and order printed books.

Promote digitize-on-demand to your study and research patrons by creating a centrally located section of the stacks with your frequently accessed books and materials, with multiple selfe-serve digitize-on-demand stations nearby. The concentration of highly used materials will also concentrate patrons and create a collective energy that will increase the apparent value of your print collections. For even greater value, place your reference and reserves materials nearby.