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eBook, eMagazine & Streaming Media Solutions RFP: Home

On behalf of Commonwealth eBook Collections and other Interested Parties and Partners, Massachusetts Library System “MLS” seeks responses from a wide array of interested eBook, eMagazine and Streaming Media Solution Providers to serve its consortium.


August 14, 2017

  • RFP launched

August 31, 2017

  • Questions due

September 7, 2017

  • Answers to questions published

September 15, 2017

  • Responses due

October / November 2017

  • Presentations


  • Selection and negotiation

January - March 2018

  • Implementation planning

July 1, 2018

  • Launch


All communications regarding this RFP should be sent to

Questions and Answers

(All questions and answers will be posted here in final form by September 7.)

1. Are you looking for consortia or individual library pricing?

Either or both.  We are open to both possibilities in this process.

2. Where can I find statistical data on Massachusetts libraries to help inform my submission?

We use data from the following sources.  We expect these will also be useful for you:

3. Will MLS be the procurement body?

Yes, however, we are open to considering other options that vendors may propose including all-in, a la carte, etc.

4. Do you prefer large one-time purchases or incremental purchasing?

It is likely that both approaches will be necessary for us to fulfill our needs.  Respondents should suggest the approach(es) that best matches their products.

5. What are the MARC records that will be deleted and that should be sent in a spreadsheet in 7.4.2?

This applies when there a limited licenses to eBooks (e.g. metered access). When a title expires, some of our libraries/networks prefer to receive MARC deletes as a spreadsheet.

6. Is there a response template?

No, we want to be open to unique and creative responses.

7. Can you tell us more about your authentication requirements?

SIP2, Patron API and EZProxy are essential.  However, schools often don't have those capabilities.  We would like to see more options including Google Education/Office 365/LDAP, Clever, Barcode Recognition, etc., in order to better serve them.  Again, we are interested in the experiences and creative solutions of the respondents to this RFP.

8. What do you mean by support for self-publishing and author engagement?

Exactly that.  If you have tools or programs that will assist libraries to serve their self-published author communities, let us know in your response.

9. How long will the contracts be?

This will be part of negotiations.  However, we expect that we will seek contracts + renewals to last five years, and that we will go out to bid every five years.

10. What is your selection process?

We haven't formalized the process quite yet.  See 5.1 - 5.3 in the RFP.

11. The RFP mentions a desire for “frictionless, cross-platform discovery solutions that provide user-friendly access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and Streaming media.” Does this assume there will need to be some sort of discovery layer in this solution?

No, each proposal should address one or more of the broad interests.  It is not necessary to address all three.

12. Will there be one platform/portal statewide, or will each institution have its own?

There are strengths and weaknesses to both approaches.  There is also middle ground.  We are open to unique and creative solutions.

13. Are individual libraries solely responsible for paying their share or does the state of Massachusetts cover any and or all the purchase price?

See Section 2 for the current state.  Again, we are open to unique and creative solutions during this process.

14. Is there a projected budget?

No.  Currently, we spend a total of $650,000.  Spending will likely fluctuate  after the RFP depending on library interest in the solutions offered by respondents to this RFP.

15. Are there specific content priorities?

See the scope in Section 1.

16. The RFP states that Simply E as one of the priorities. Is there any expectation or desire for awarded vendors to be able to supply books or make books accessible through SimplyE? What role will that app take on for members?

MLS and Commonwealth eBook Collections are invested in the success of the SimplyE platform.  Cooperative with that initiative is strongly encouraged.  You can learn more about SimplyE on its website