On-Demand Circulation of Software Licenses

Checking Out Software on Patrons’ Own Devices





lending, Open Source Software, software as a service, APIs, licenses


The Miami University Libraries (MUL) developed an open-source Software Checkout system to allow patrons to make use of software licenses owned by the library. The system takes advantage of user-based licensing under the Software as a Service (SaaS) license model and vendor-created APIs to easily and legally assign access to users. The service currently supports Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, and Logic Pro software. MUL has successfully used this software for three years. This article describes the expansion of offerings and the increasing use of the service over that time. Built on a model developed by Pixar for managing employee software licenses, the Software Checkout system is believed to be the first of its kind for circulating licenses to library patrons. Both this lending model and the open-source software developed by MUL are available to other libraries. This paper is intended to prompt libraries to take advantage of the legal and technical environment to expand software license sharing to other libraries.


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How to Cite

Irwin, K., & Bomholt, M. (2024). On-Demand Circulation of Software Licenses: Checking Out Software on Patrons’ Own Devices. Information Technology and Libraries, 43(2). https://doi.org/10.5860/ital.v43i2.16977