A Letter From Robert Miller: Winter 2019

Dear LYRASIS Colleague, 

It is with great pleasure that I share with you my first CEO letter of 2019. For me, this is the time of year when we refine our LYRASIS north star opportunities. We set new challenges for ourselves, we dream a little about what the future holds for our community and what our role might become. We push ourselves to create opportunities that are relevant across all of our communities. In this letter, I want to share with you our plans for several key strategic decisions we made over the past 18 months and why I think you will be excited to continue working with LYRASIS this year. See the highlights and full roadmap below. 2019 Plans After distilling hundreds of hours of regional, national and international conversations, here are a few of the things that we will be working on for you: 

  • Scholarly communications – new ways to create, publish and access academic content.
  • Patron data – tools to allow for proactive, effective and secure use of patron data, so that your organization can not only protect privacy, but also listen, predict, react and deliver information, programs and services.
  • Digital reading experience – rethinking and improving the eBook reading experience for all patrons, including students, scholars and the general public.
  • Next generation cloud-based collection management systems.
  • Connecting silo-ed collections by linking community supported programs to allow unified and expanded access to millions of curated records for both public access and research.
  • Future-proofing techniques to ensure your institution isn’t stuck with systems that will be obsolete.
  • New programs to up-skill your entire team to empower them to tackle future technology challenges.
  • Increased innovation money to test and develop for member selected ideas for testing and further development, each with a community supported sustainability plan.

Key strategic resource investments over the past 18 months  We have historically served 4 key communities: Academic Libraries, Public Libraries, Archives and Museums. We have made investments and partnerships in all communities in addition to our core services. With respect to academics, we are now the U.S. community home for ORCID and its 110+ institutions. For our publics, we have partnered with DPLA for new models of e-reading. For archives, we, as the organizational home for ArchivesSpace, work with its 362+ members. Finally, our museums are benefiting from a revamped CollectionSpace collections management system that is reinvigorating the open source museum community. Coming down the pike, you will also hear more about our 5th community – publishing.   Why should you continue to engage and partner with LYRASIS? LYRASIS is unique as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.We are not a traditional consortia in our methods or models. Our organizational structure, our strategies and our sustainability models embody a value-driven, leadership focus on our membersas described in the following tenets:

  • Innovation – Lowering risk and cost of innovation – We use our Leaders Circle, Leaders Forums and seed funding from our Catalyst Fund to amplify the needs of a single institution to create solutions benefiting many through scaled technology, development and support. We want to provide end-to-end solutions, not just single point solutions or services.
     
  • Investment – We believe that without sustainable innovation, the future of our community is at risk. We also recognize that leaving innovation to commercial firms whose interests might not align with ours is a risk we may not want to carry. We must develop and promote community-based solutions to better control our future. To that end, over the past 4 years, LYRASIS has invested more than $1M back into our community to explore, test and seed fund potential ideas for non-profit services that benefit all with solutions that put libraries, archives and museums in control.
     
  • Key partnerships and alliances – While we have a world class team at LYRASIS, we recognize that progress often comes faster and easier when we are working with like-minded, mission-driven technology, service and financial partners. Since 2016 our fiscal partnerships included over $4.9M from our valued funding partners that include the Alfred P. Sloan and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations along with IMLS.
     
  • Predictability and fair pricing – This is the 4th consecutive year we have not raised fees for our membership dues or our core services. This is a result of the scale and leverage that can be created by coming together and a constant refinement of operational efficiencies.  

What else do we need in order to better serve you, our members? Quite frankly, we need your voice, your participation and your engagement. Join our Leaders Circle if you want to help drive change. Be part of our technology advisory boards. Offer to be a test site for a new release. Encourage your next generation of leaders to get involved in our conversations. Our moment is now. We can do this, together. Join us at LYRASIS as we dive into 2019!   

Sincerely,

Robert Miller
Chief Executive Officer
LYRASISrobert.miller@lyrasis.org