A screenshot of the MIT Press Direct interface showing book samples and subject collection headers.

With new clients and subject-specific collections, MIT Press Direct exceeds expectations in first six months

Launched in January 2019 as a cost-effective and accessible way for libraries to offer MIT Press ebooks to their patrons, MIT Press Direct is celebrating several milestones as we approach our six-month anniversary.

Our goal is to provide direct access to thousands of new and backlist MIT Press titles through a platform that is accessible, sustainable, and independent, under terms that are consistent with our values as a university-based publisher. MIT Press Direct will include nearly 3,000 ebooks by the end of 2019, and MARC records for the complete MIT ebook collection as well as subject collections in economics, philosophy, environmental studies, and science, technology, and society (STS) are now available for download via the MIT Press Direct website. 

Direct is now available through a number of consortia and institutions, including California Digital Library (CDL), Columbia University, Davidson College (NC), LYRASIS, University of Michigan, New York University, Northeast Research Libraries (NERL), and University of Ottawa.

“We are committed to creating the best possible discovery and reading experience for libraries and their patrons, and we are delighted that the quality of our content and the convenience and superior customer service that the Direct platform offers has been so well received by the library community,” says Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press.

Harold Colson, ebooks strategist at the University of California, San Diego, says, “Our institution is keen on ebook collections and platforms from top academic publishers, owing to content quality, attractive pricing, user experience advantages, and other factors. MIT Press Direct is a welcome arrival, and we became an early adopter locally as well as a purchase advocate within and for our broader consortium.”

“We are really excited to provide MIT Press Direct to our campus, particularly as it offers the functionality that our faculty and students need and expect, like unlimited simultaneous users and DRM-free downloads, and the scope and quality of the books included are a great fit for our curricular and research needs,” explains Alison Bradley, assistant director for collection strategies for the E. H. Little Library, Davidson College. “We’ve been happy customers for years of other university presses that offer their own ebook platforms, and are delighted to add MIT Press Direct to our collection.”

In addition to the benefits of working directly with a publisher to deliver e-content, libraries find the quality and accessibility of the Silverchair-designed platform make it easier for students and faculty to find and read MIT Press ebooks.

“Because we are offering DRM-free, chapter-level content, with unlimited simultaneous users, Direct is something of a one-stop shop for humanities, science, technology, and social sciences titles,” explains library sales executive Emily Farrell. “The full breadth and depth of the MIT Press backlist is available to librarians who want to tailor content to the needs of their campus by selecting either the full MIT Press ebook catalog or a subject-specific collection.”

Drawing on feedback from librarians, the MIT Press already has an eye on future improvements and new services, including additional subject-area collections and the inclusion of an open access ebook collection.

This reflects the customer-centric approach the Direct team promotes, notes Farrell. “We want MIT Press Direct to be an easy acquisition for libraries, so we are really listening to their needs so we can deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations.”

MIT Press Direct is now available to institutional subscribers and trials are available upon request. For more information, including pricing, please visit the MIT Press Direct website or contact our team: Emily Farrell (Library Sales Executive, North America, efarre@mit.edu) or Jessica Lawrence-Hurt (International and Institutional Sales and Marketing Manager, jclh@mit.edu).