MLA Handbook Plus: Convenient Online Access to the MLA Handbook (9th edition)

MLA Handbook Plus (MHP) merits further attention because it provides convenient online access to the recent edition of the MLA Handbook (9th edition). To date, library access to an electronic version of the MLA Handbook (9th edition) is only available through a subscription to MHP. Libraries should consider a trial to optimally support online learning of MLA citation style.

What is it?

The Modern Language Association’s (MLA) primary MLA Handbook Plus selling point is electronic access to the MLA Handbook (9th edition) along with the MLA Guide to Digital Literacy (2nd edition) and the MLA Guide to Undergraduate Research in Literature (1st edition). MHP additionally includes access to 300+ citation examples, sample MLA-formatted student papers, and MLA Style 101, a self-paced video course featuring interactive quizzes and a final self-assessment. MHP provides unlimited user access at a moderate annual subscription price with discounts available through CCLC based on FTES. No other product provides online access to the MLA Handbook (9th edition) for institutional users.The MHP website states that MHP is “the only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the MLA Handbook.” Electronic copies of the MLA Handbook only appear available as Nook, Kindle, and Apple e-book purchases for individuals; library options to purchase ebook copies of the MLA Handbook (9th edition) are not currently available.

Quick Evaluation

The product provides convenient online access to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook with the same pagination as the print copy, plus the examples and additional texts noted above. Changes to the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook are reflected in the MHP platform. MHP is somewhat expensive if a library’s sole intent is to provide online access to the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook, making the cost of this product difficult to justify for many community college libraries. An included ‘MLA Style 101’ course appears somewhat advanced for community college students new to citation. Yet, the interface, with its clean and simple design, is easy to navigate and each section includes linked cross-references to related subjects and a unique section DOI that allows users to quickly return to sections of interest.

According to the MHP website, the product “meets WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards.” A VPAT is available upon request. MHP’s mobile access generally mirrors desktop content, and the video course includes captioned videos and transcripts. In terms of equity, MHP provides quizzes for users to self-assess their learning in the MLA Style 101 course, but overall, the course seems geared toward users with some familiarity with MLA citation. No LTI into a learning management system currently exists. Users can create personal accounts to save searches that are subject to MLA’s privacy policies.

Relevant Links

LSP Wednesday Webinar - May 11, 2022

September 2021 Choice360 Webinar: “Introducing MLA Handbook Plus: The Digital Subscription Platform”

MLA Handbook Plus Product Website

Silverchair Platform: MHP Platform Provider

Content Providers

If you have any experience with this product, please leave a comment and rate its appropriateness for use in a community college environment.

† The offers and trials information are password protected. Actual prices are confidential between the vendor and the consortium.

For access contact Amy Beadle, Library Consortium Director, 916.800.2175.

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