2016, A New Year for LYRASIS

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Dear LYRASIS Members,

Happy New Year! It is a brilliantly sunny day here as I sit in our West Coast Technology center in San Francisco. My mind is abuzz with ideas as I have been reflecting back on my first 6 months with LYRASIS and the plans my team and I have for 2016. I’d like to share with you some of the things that have been accomplished and some of the things you should keep your eyes open for in the coming months.

Looking back, to improve our service to you we have:

  1. Restructured our focus and repositioned staff: Our management team is now focused on 3 key areas – technology, strategy and value. We have also added several new staff members who are working to enhance our digital services, expand eContent offerings and introduce new options in our suite of end-to-end digital solutions. Click here to learn more about our program staff and organizational structure.
  2. Improved timeliness and accuracy of reporting: We re-worked our internal systems to improve how we engage with you and to deliver speedier and more accurate billing. We have updated and expanded our CRM systems to better match your needs with our services and our popular membership deposit account has been expanded (this is a great way to keep your budget dollars safe and secure).
  3. Expanded digital services: We are pleased to announce several improved Islandora services, and in our Community Supported Software (CSS) portfolio we have two great items: a) new hosting services and b) more than $100,000 in grant funding to assist with CollectionSpace implementations. The grants close at the end of June, so jump on this opportunity now. Contact Megan Forbes for more information.

Looking forward in 2016, we will increase our value to you with the following, so stay tuned:

  1. Keeping you abreast of trends and opportunities: Thanks to funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will be holding 12 regional Leadership Forums with thought leaders and ‘movers and shakers’ from our membership ranks. These sessions will focus on digital content platforms, digital services, Community Supported Software, eContent and open knowledge trends and some new national programs and grant opportunities that are coming. If you would like to be part of these discussions and learn about issues, trends and how they might impact your institution, please contact me.
  2. Helping you secure funding to digitize your content: There are two big grant funding opportunities coming up. The first is another $4 million in grants through the CLIR program to digitize media with a focus on print collections. LYRASIS can help members apply to CLIR; contact Laurie Arp for more information. The second opportunity builds on conversations that are ongoing with large funders to preserve film and video from the 20th century. There appears to be significant funding coming in this area in the near future, so let us know if this is of interest to you. We can help you with grant writing, technology support and discounted digitization services.
  3. Taking back control of your purchased software services (and potentially lowering your cost while improving service): Community Supported Software has been studied, explored and used successfully by hundreds of our archive, library and museum members. ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace offer two unique ways to organize, capture and discover cultural heritage and archival content. CollectionSpace, in fact, is just releasing 3 new ‘sandboxes’ for targeted community applications – anthropology, botanic gardens and herbaria. Stay tuned, as you will see some new announcements in this area in early 2016.
  4. More cost effective digital technology services: We have restructured our pricing so it is more flexible whether you have a small, medium or large budget. We can offer technical support if you lack in-house technical staff. Our quoting process is now more streamlined – you can get better, more accurate costing information to include in your grant requests and for budget planning.
  5. Helping you obtain better pricing: Are you worried about paying too much for eResources, digital services, for-profit software or other purchased supplies, equipment and services? Remember to check our list of vendors and partners before purchasing, and let us know if you have a new vendor to recommend. Click here to view our existing vendors.
  6. Keeping you current in your digitization program: If you are concerned that your institution’s digitization strategy doesn’t reflect current thinking, we have on staff several nationally recognized experts who have advised both individual organizations and collaborative statewide programs recently in Illinois and Florida, just to name two. Currently, LYRASIS staff are assisting on several IMLS grant projects on digitization including Ohio’s move into the DPLA hub arena.
  7. Bringing you fully vetted eResource products and licenses: We have more than 4,000 institutions that use us not only to obtain competitive pricing for eResources but also to free up valuable FTEs from administering, reviewing and negotiating contracts as they manage eResources. At the end of the day, our team offers a depth of experience not found anywhere to the best of my knowledge. You will continue to hear more about innovative open access initiatives such as Knowledge Unlatched and Open Library of Humanities that LYRASIS supports in North America, evidence-based acquisition offers for STEM, Humanities and Social Sciences eBook collections, and several strategic partnerships that we will be announcing in the coming months.

As this letter comes to an end and at the start of the New Year, it has been my pleasure to share with you some of the news that is coming to you, our valued members. Please contact me or any of my top caliber team with questions, suggestions or just to see what we are up to.

With warm regards for an outstanding year for our wonderful community,

Robert Miller

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As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly via email at robert.miller@lyrasis.org or phone at 1.800.999.8558.

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