RFP for Genealogy Resources

Proposals from online content providers for shared access for Ohio public libraries and registered users of these libraries to online products that provide significant resources in the subject area of genealogy.
This contract will become effective on 7/1/2018, or the date of the signature by the State of Ohio on this contract, whichever is later.  This contract shall remain in effect until the end of the budget biennium (6/30/2019) or until terminated as provided in this contract. The final contract should include a two-year extension, if both parties agree to terms.
Responses to this RFP are due by 5pm EST on 3/2/2018 to Mandy Knapp, Digital Resources Manager (mandy@oplin.ohio.gov). Questions must be submitted in writing and be received no later than 5pm 2/16/2018. Bidders will be notified of the final selection by 3/30/2018.
 A PDF of this RFP is available here.
The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) requests bids from vendors for making genealogy resources accessible to all 251 public library systems in Ohio, the State Library of Ohio, and 11 million Ohio residents. OPLIN will manage all aspects of delivering the information to the libraries and the public. The vendor will interact only with OPLIN staff.
To be considered, a bidder must:

  • Exercise strict quality control and inspection in every aspect of performance so that the end product conforms to the intent of the specifications.
  • Have staff with commensurate experience and supervision who will furnish the end product proposed.
  • Provide in its bid the names of at least three (3) institutions of the largest successfully completed projects of this same nature.  Preference will be given to reference from library consortia. All reference shall be for engagements received and completed within the last 5 years.
  • Provide proof of financial stability of the firm upon request.  Such proof may include bank references, Dunn & Bradstreet ratings, credit report, etc. as necessary to establish the financial stability of the firm.

The initial basis for evaluating proposals will be the ability to meet the relevant Economic Measures.  If a proposal is deemed to qualify based on the relevant Economic Measures then it will be evaluated based on Mandatory, Primary, and Secondary Service Elements.
Economic Measures

  • Price is advantageous to the collective prices being offered to individual Ohio public libraries.
  • Price is deemed advantageous relative to perceived need.

Mandatory Service Elements
The following requirements are mandatory for all services proposed in response to this request. Responses that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

  • Product must be a web-based service provided by online publisher, value-added reseller or third-party vendor.
  • Authentication access available via IP addresses.
  • Agrees to notify, cooperate and collaborate with OPLIN and/or other appropriate parties in the event of an information security or data privacy incident, including a security breach.
  • It is important that vendor maintain user confidentiality and privacy. The vendor shall not sell statistical information without permission. The vendor can only release statistical information to the State and/or specific member libraries.
  • License accommodates pro rata refunds to libraries or regional systems who are current subscribers.

Primary Service Elements
The degree to which each proposer’s database(s) appropriately meet these elements if relevant to the nature of the proposer’s database(s) will be considered during the selection process.
Content & Topic Areas

  • Content in the areas of genealogy including Census, church, court, military and immigration records from the United States and other countries; local and family history books, obituaries; and genealogical periodical indices.


  • User-friendly interface.
  • Search function is streamlined enabling quick navigation and reduced search times. Results are returned in ranked order.
  • Browser, platform, and resolution independent; no additional software download, including browser plugins required to access content.
  • Utilizes web standards for HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Complies with W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as found at http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/
  • Formatted for most mobile devices in common use. This may include a mobile application, responsive design, and/or web app.

Note: systems dependent on using Adobe Flash may be unable to comply with the last four bullet points, unless care is taken in writing the code.

  • Authentication access as described under mandatory service requirements.
  • Statewide remote access available via EZproxy.
  • Ability to meet delivery deadlines.

Secondary Service Elements
The following secondary service elements will also be considered during the selection process if relevant to the nature of the proposer’s database(s).

  • Provides help desk / user support in a timely manner.
  • High percentage of system availability; quick response time outlined in a sample Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Complete statistics reporting compatible with latest ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) Guidelines including capability of reporting at the institutional / library level as well as regional and statewide.
  • Provides training, including at least 4 onsite trainings in Ohio and user-support materials online at no extra cost.
  • Allows for library branding of web site and/or interface.
  • Vendor provides digital and printed copies of marketing materials directly to each participating library. Additional materials are available for download via website.
  • Capability of providing MARC records if requested.

Final decisions will be made based on:

  • Ability to successfully meet the Economic Measures criteria.
  • Input of the OPLIN Content Advisory Committee relative to Service Elements.
  • Product and service demonstrations and trials if needed.
  • Determination that one or more vendor proposals constitute viable selections and can be practically accommodated into the budget and funding mechanisms.

Please attach a detailed price schedule. 


Describe how your company will ensure that products will be in production and available to patrons beginning on July 1, 2018. Specify what your company will do and what OPLIN will have to do.
It is expected that the vendor will provide access via authentication currently in use including IP authentication and EZproxy. List and explain any authentication methods unsatisfactory to the vendor.
Describe any product changes and/or enhancements planned for the next twelve (12) months and indicate whether regular enhancements are provided with no additional charges. Outline the process and procedure used to initiate and implement enhancements.
Provide information regarding any systems, publishers and/or resources with which your direct linking technology has achieved demonstrated compatibility (e.g. Google, Elsevier Science Direct, etc.). Describe the capability of providing such direct reference linking and/or the indexing of your site in part or in whole by web crawlers.
Describe how you handle notification of content dropped from or added to your platform. For each product offered, briefly describe content lost or removed in the past three (3) years.
Please describe how often your product is updated with new content.

PDF icon genealogyBidRequestSummary.pdf28.21 KB