Dear LYRASIS Members,
I’m writing you today to share some exciting news about our community and future. LYRASIS and DuraSpace are thrilled to announce our intention to merge. This merger will form a larger organization that is committed to advancing services, technologies and innovations for collections holding organizations worldwide, and consciously building communities to increase our collective impact and support programs that benefit the wider field.
With this merger, our impact will be richer and deeper. DuraSpace is a trusted partner known well in the academic library arena. They will be bringing their 3 Community Supported Programs (VIVO, Fedora, and DSpace), their hosting services, and broad international footprint to combine with the existing, trusted services and programs of LYRASIS. Philosophically, I firmly believe that with our shared missions and communities, a merger is a natural next step for both organizations.
You may be asking, why now and what is the expected gain for the memberships and the communities at large? Simply put, the time is now right. LYRASIS has made significant investments on behalf of all of our core communities over the past 3 years. To name just a few, these include programs for public libraries (SimplyE, an improved reading experience), museums (CollectionSpace, a contemporary, forward-looking content management system), archives (ArchivesSpace, a vibrant alternative solution for archival materials that replaces two older solutions and a myriad of home-made programs), and academic libraries (Open Access resources and ORCiD US).
Joe Lucia, Dean of Libraries at Temple University and Chair of the LYRASIS Board of Trustees, says “This merger of two mission-driven organizations supporting community-driven open technologies in support of education and cultural memory will strengthen our capacity and broaden our impact. There will be more partners at the table, new avenues for investment, an energized group of collaborators, and a broader pool of talent to support innovation in digital services and shared infrastructure among libraries, museums, and archives.”
Some of the synergies that make this merger a natural fit for our members and the community at this time include:
- Membership – There is more than 30% overlap of our members. This means we not only share a common user base for potential solutions, but we will now have a bigger opportunity to scale, increase our offerings, and lower costs across publics, academics, museums, archives, and even publishing.
- Convening and Creating Communities – Post merger, we will have multiple community supported programs under one roof. This means we have the opportunity to maximize impact by working in concert, partner with the community to set standards and increase adoption, and lower costs without sacrificing value.
- Scale – Together we will have a membership base of more than 1,200 members and 3,500 users, including many non-US member institutions. Imagine how this will promulgate the benefits of scale and leverage!
- Technologies – Both organizations are focused on disciplined deployment of technology platforms and rational end-to-end solutions that are built with community input and support.
- Fiscal Sustainability – Both membership organizations are fiscally sound and have resources that can be invested back into our memberships in the form of Leaders Circle, Leaders Forums, our Catalyst Fund for innovation and more.
In terms of process, we’re undertaking due diligence now and will have our Board of Directors vote on the decision by the end of February. We will have multiple town hall webinars to allow for comments and questions to be addressed which we will announce as soon as they are scheduled.
I want our members to be assured that as we investigate and pursue this merger, all purchases, subscriptions, partnerships, programs, and any other transactions will remain unimpeded. Governance structures for community programs will not be altered without constituent input and contribution. Contracts and agreements will be honored.
LYRASIS will remain the legal entity and Robert Miller will be the CEO. The respected brand of DuraSpace will be preserved by the creation of a new division, DuraSpace Community Supported Programs.This is a merger of opportunity, and we are happy to share that all DuraSpace team members are being offered positions in the newly, merged organizations, and no staff eliminations due to merger are planned.
We are eager and look forward to taking the next big step forward together. If you’d like more information, please do feel free to reach out to me directly, view the formal Press Release and FAQ, or stop by the LYRASIS booth #2300 if you’ll be attending ALA Midwinter in Seattle.
I am excited to move forward together, as a community, and I thank you for being a part of it.
Chief Executive Officer, LYRASIS