|Target Users||Libraries, end-users|
|Nature of the initiative||Private|
MLOL Plus is a service based on a subscription model that connects libraries, publishers, distributors and bookstores. It’s a service developed to support Italian libraries and give readers the access to digital loans in addition to the free service MediaLibraryOnLine (or MLOL). MediaLibraryOnLine is the first Italian network of public libraries for digital loan, now present in over 4,500 libraries, 17 Italian regions and 6 foreign countries. Through MLOL libraries can provide their users ebooks of the Italian major publishers and distributors, over 4,000 newspapers from all over the world, streaming and download music services, audiobooks and many more digital contents.
MLOL Plus uses a “freemium” business model: users pay for a subscription, they get an advanced service and help support the basic free service for library users. Subscribers can borrow ebooks from Italian libraries or choose to buy them in the shop. Except for the management costs, the whole profit is used to increase the digital collections of Italian public libraries.
MLOL Plus is a partnership that include over 4.500 Italian libraries that joined MLOL network, but we also work with Mondadori, Edigita, Bookrepublic and StreetLib for the ebook selling retail. MLOL Plus is also distributed in bookstores thanks to a partnership with 185 “Giunti al punto” stores and with the best selling Italian newspaper, “Corriere della Sera”, through a white-label website.
MLOL Plus goal is to reach 9 out of 10 Italians who don't go to libraries, 3 out of 4 readers who don't use public library services and citizens who live in places – in Italy or abroad - where MLOL free digital loan service is still not available.
MLOL Plus is an unprecedented partnership between publishers, libraries and distributors in order to support digital loan in Italian public libraries and strengthen a service that in Italy – due to a structural lack of resources - can’t reach the high level of other countries like USA, Germany and some of the Scandinavian states, though library users appreciate it.
Here's a few numbers that show the situation in 2014:
MLOL Plus is a project to support libraries that join our platform in a time of crisis and recession that doesn't allow our country to finance libraries innovation process towards digital, causing serious delays in fulfilling the most advanced countries.
Our service offers to the users monthly or annual subscriptions that allow them to borrow e-books and a Shop where they can buy e-books and get even more “credits” for loans in proportion to their purchases.
There are several subscription levels, starting from 9,90 euro/month. 65% to 80% of the subscription price is donated to public libraries: in this way they will receive additional funds to invest in the development of digital services.
The catalog consists of over 70,000 e-books, 50,000 of which are on average immediately available to loan, and is constituted by the e-book collection available for the libraries that join MLOL, the first Italian network of public libraries for digital loan, now present in over 4,500 libraries, 17 Italian regions and 6 foreign countries.
The role of technology
MLOL Plus is a complex system that aggregates several technological and software components:
- MLOL Reader, a social reading app available for all iOS and Android mobile users, which reduces to one simple click the digital loan process;
- a platform that can handle B2B (towards libraries) and B2C (with MLOL Plus) transactions;
- complex metadata mashups from different providers that include publishers, distributors, dynamic profiling and SEO.
MLOL Plus was launched on 31.10.2015 and therefore can’t provide relevant data yet, but we have already implemented a promotional plan in cooperation with 1,500 libraries that will directly promote MLOL Plus. MLOL Plus boasts a partnership with the “Corriere della Sera” - the first Italian newspaper - through a “white-label” version of the website and a free trial. MLOL Plus is also distributed through physical bookstores in partnership with the 185 "Giunti al Punto" stores located throughout the whole country.