Dear LYRASIS members,

As I write this update, it is day 75 since joining the LYRASIS team. I am having a blast. What a wonderful community of archives, libraries and museums we are a part of. We serve more than 4,000 members, in 28 countries on 6 continents, all of whom are doing fascinating things.

I’d like to take this time to bring you up to speed on the exciting progress we are making and some of the new opportunities we are working on to serve you, our members.

Since my first “welcome aboard” letter, here is what has transpired:

LYRASIS Board Retreat – We had a successful Board retreat in early August. LYRASIS has 15 dedicated and passionate Board members. I would encourage you to think about running for one of the 5 spots we have coming open next year.

We discussed the following answers to questions raised during my first week:

What is the LYRASIS mission?

Our mission is very simple, but very important – it is to help you achieve your mission and serve your users.

What does membership in LYRASIS mean to our members?

My vision is that as a LYRASIS member, you will:

  1. Be able to participate in regional, state, national and international programs and projects
  2. Be part of larger initiatives, debates and discussions other than what you might be able to do on your own
  3. Have opportunities to showcase, discuss and share your successes and challenges, both at a local level as well as on a broader stage

What service areas and initiatives will LYRASIS be focusing on?

We see that there are 3 types of members, those focused on strategy, on technology and on value and savings. We will continue to support traditional services you have used in the past, but increasingly, we will be adding new services and products to help you achieve your respective missions. We will be increasingly providing a forum and community that fosters discussion and discourse on how to tackle problems and leverage opportunities across our almost 4,000 member community.

In addition to the traditional work we support for our members (training, licensing, consulting, hosting and outreach) here are some of the questions we are beginning to discuss with key members. If these are of interest to you, please join the discussion and contact me at

  1. How do we work together to create complete (digital) end-to-end solutions?
  2. How do we work together on ways to support, improve and develop better back-room solutions that offer better front-end results for both scholarly and citizen research?
  3. How do we improve the user experience in the areas of access and discovery?
  4. How do we best future-proof our digital content?
  5. What impact will the rapidly blurring of lines between archives, museums and libraries have on our members and the wider community?
  6. What are the risks and rewards of community supported software?
  7. What support services are required and where to find them to support these tools and technologies?

At retreat, the following luminaries joined us:

  • Arnold Hirshon, Associate Provost and University Librarian, Case Western Reserve
  • Dr. Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society, Wellcome Library
  • Larra Clark, Deputy Director Office of Information Technology, American Library Association

Top 3 take-aways and challenges from the Board Retreat:

What is the impact of the rapidly blurring lines between archives, libraries and museums that our members are or will be facing?

How can our members balance the needs of the “backroom” services with the new demands confronting our institutions?

How can our consortium better represent our members in discussion of National significance?

What’s in it for you?

LYRASIS is the organizational home for ArchivesSpace, a community driven, open source software application for managing and providing access to archives, manuscripts, and digital objects. With over 250 active Members who are helping fund, design, and support the software, the recent Board meeting and inaugural Member Forum reflected the energy and accomplishments of this program. There are over 600,000 lines of community-contributed code now on line. The ArchiveSpace solution is applicable for those who have used Archon, Archivists Toolkit or home grown excel spreadsheets to handle their collections management needs. Click here for more information about the ArchivesSpace Member Forum.

LYRASIS is also the organizational home for CollectionSpace, which is hosting a community design workshop in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday, September 16th. The workshop will focus on the local history and material culture profile in support of this community of practice. There are over 900,000 lines of community-contributed code now on line. The CollectionSpace solution is also community driven, open source software, and is applicable for all types of museums and collection-holding organizations charged with describing and managing objects, artifacts, and specimens, and publishing collections information online and in print. Click here for additional details and to RSVP for the workshop.

At SAA in Cleveland, Tom Clareson and Laurie Gemmill Arp facilitated the first of several forums focused on assessing continuing education and professional development needs across the archive, museum, and library domains as part of a Coalition to Advance Learning initiative. Click here for more details.

We are preparing to launch (in October) the new Knowledge Unlatched Open Access scholarly ebook collections in North America, following our support for their successful global Pilot Project last year.

We are beginning to work closely with FEDLINK, a federally legislated consortium that has over 2,000 federal archives, libraries and museums in their domain to leverage our mutual strengths to solve problems for our respective membership organizations. Stay tuned for more details!

ArchiveSpace members are being supported by LYRASIS’s technical services team with new services for hosting solutions and on-board training for new users who might not have the technical talent to go this road alone. We will be there with you! For more information, contact Lisa Larson with questions.

LYRASIS served nearly 900 member Partners over the course of July – Aug 2015, by offering discounted access to over 500 unique products and services, from over 70 different vendor partners, including LYRASIS.

For members thinking of using a purchased scanning solution, we have special pricing from Scannx. Contact Member Services for a quote.

A wonderful opportunity was presented for LYRASIS members to join Project COUNTER with lower rates to support an important global initiative regarding usage data. Contact Celeste Feather for more details.

We had 108 members respond to a survey within 24 hours, and we were able to use that interest to leverage a successful negotiation on an ebook Interlibrary Loan contract with a publisher.

LYRASIS can help you with fiscal services through bookkeeping, reporting and special project management. We have a long history of acting as fiscal agent for grants, special projects and other non-profit organizations, including IMLS grants, foundation grants, PLINKIT and more. Contact John McGarl for more information.

Conferences and key events that we have attended and will be posting notes and summaries on for our members. Check for summaries and updates.

  1. American Library Association – San Francisco, CA
  2. Society of American Archivists (SAA) – Cleveland, OH
  3. Pan Handle Library Access Network (PLAN) – Panama City, FL
  4. Open Repositories – Indianapolis, IN
  5. Islandora User Groups – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Internal Technology Services – We have reorganized our Technology services team to be more nimble, more cost effective and more responsive to our members. John Herbert, formerly of the University of Utah is heading up this team.

Quality Management – We are implementing a PPM (Parts Per Million) program to improve key areas where we engage our members. The first area will be improving our invoicing system to take a 40,000-PPM rate and drop it. This number includes errors by us, changes made by our members and everything in-between. To better serve you – Our CRM module is being upgraded so we can get the right information to the right person in your organization (amongst other things!).

We now have our West Coast Technology Center open in San Francisco –  415.640.1092.

We are growing – LYRASIS has several open positions, and we’d love to have you join our team.

Click here to view our open positions.

I will be hosting a series of regional “Talk with the Leaders” 1 day think tank sessions. If your institution is interested, please let me know. New training classes and a presence at the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) conference in Louisville, KY September 16-19.

During the past 75 days, I have been fortunate to have met literally hundreds of you through conferences, speeches, 1-on-1 meetings and email. I will be setting up a series of Regional Leadership round tables in Q4. Let me know if you are interested.

Our mission is to help you achieve your mission. Here is to the next 100 days!

As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly via email at or phone at 1.800.999.8558.



Robert Miller