Dear LYRASIS Members,

This is the most enjoyable CEO update letter I have had the pleasure of writing since joining LYRASIS two short years ago. Why? I am excited to announce several new initiatives that are designed to serve you, our members, whether you are a library, museum, gallery, archive or any other collections-holding institution. Plus, we are just on the heels of a wonderful Member Summit, held in October in Philadelphia, and I want to be sure those of you who were not able to join us can share in the programs, presentations and discussions that were generated.

Be on the lookout for the following new programs.

Public Libraries

  1. eBooks – Library Simplified – We have partnered with DPLA to provide the back-end technical support and hosting for Library Simplified, which will connect with the DPLA Exchange and the user app SimplyE. This open source and scalable platform allows libraries to increase discoverability of open and local content while integrating with existing commercial ebook distribution services. Click here to learn more.
  2. Shared Operational Services (SoS) – A new program currently in development directed at freeing up fiscal resources so they can be redeployed to higher value opportunities in your library. If you are interested in saving up to 20% of your non-labor and building costs as a way to gain more dollars to put toward funding your mission driven objectives, please contact me.

Museums, Galleries and other Cultural Heritage Organizations

  1. Sustainable Software Solutions – LYRASIS recently hosted an IMLS-funded “It Takes a Village” Open Source Sustainability forum with representatives participating from 24 top community-supported software programs. The next step will be a white paper that will highlight sustainability strategies and tactics.
  2. Increased ROI from Technology – Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, LYRASIS is undertaking an investigation into current technologies in museums, especially in relationship to collections information management. Our analysis will identify gaps and opportunities where technology can advance a museum’s goals and priorities, enhance sustainability and increase visibility to patrons and donors. It also will support LYRASIS as we continue to expand and enhance services for museums.

Academic Libraries and Archives

  1. Exploring ways to future-proof – As the Organizational Home for ArchivesSpace, LYRASIS, along with the 300+ strong member community, is investigating new ways to ensure an ever-evolving application and program that is responsive to the needs of archives and libraries years into the future, not just in the present.
  2. Cloud-based Hosting – LYRASIS has just added our 100th hosting services client and our expertise in open source technologies continues to grow and be recognized. Our developers actively engage and contribute to the open source communities and we’ve begun to test extensions between ArchivesSpace and Islandora that will allow for bisynchronous updating of each system. When you choose LYRASIS Hosting Services, you are able to put your staff resources toward other mission-critical work while gaining access to our expertise in migrating, managing and developing services in ways that you might not be able to on your own. LYRASIS is engaged and directly investing in the open source software communities for ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace and Islandora in ways that no other hosted service provider currently is, on behalf of our communities.

Innovation and IMPACT at the LYRASIS Member Summit

At our Member Summit in Philadelphia in October, it was thrilling to watch our six Catalyst Fund recipients showcase how their LYRASIS-funded ideas can be turned into actionable programs that might benefit any library, museum or archive. Click here to see the videos and presentations, and learn how an academic library turned itself from a cost center into a profit center; how rethinking collection aggregation strategies can lead to innovative, scalable ways to preserve and share content from communities at risk of disappearing; and how existing technologies like Amazon’s Alexa can be adapted to create solutions for public and academic libraries, museums and archives.

Our Leaders Circle, which is now home to more than 75 academic and public libraries, archives, museums and galleries, also came together at the Member Summit for their annual in-person meeting. The common characteristic of our Leaders Circle members is that they see the benefit of shared knowledge, across digital and non-digital content, and ideation that cuts across all communities. They are, to a person, creative, driven and yes, (constructively) impatient when it comes to change – they don’t want to wait for it, they want to be part of creating it. We want you to be a part of this innovative group. Click here to join the Leaders Circle today.

Finally, our Member Summit featured an inspiring keynote from Dr. Deanna Marcum, senior advisor to Ithaka S+R’s program areas in Educational Transformation and Libraries & Scholarly Communication. She kicked off the Annual Summit by highlighting the importance of community, by talking about big ideas, big successes and important misses that can and do inform our efforts to enact change and progress.

At the end of the day, we are here to help you fly. To innovate. To allow you to take risks that you might not be able to on your own. We do this by creating an environment of test, try and learn, so that we might succeed together. We hope to create space for your organization to participate in innovation and new ways of thinking and doing. We are continuing to lower the costs and risks you incur when exploring incremental and disruptive innovation through strategic partnerships and community building. We have lots going on.

We’d love to have you participate more. You can do this by signing on for one of our pilot projects, or join the next steps coming from one of the six Catalyst Fund projects or even becoming part of the Leader’s Circle. Bring your voice to the table, because our mission is to embrace your needs and innovate.

Briskly forward,
Robert Miller




Chief Executive Officer, LYRASIS