Meg Blum
Associate Director of Marketing & Communications800.999.8558, ext. 2951

ATLANTA, GA – January 10, 2017 – LYRASIS, the longest serving non-profit for archives, libraries and museums in the United States, announces the opening of its new Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst fund will award up to $100k to fund innovative ideas and kick start new programs of interest to LYRASIS member institutions. The Catalyst Fund offers LYRASIS members the opportunity to fund a new project, idea or program by applying for a financial award. Applications will be reviewed by the LYRASIS Leaders Circle, a new tier of LYRASIS membership open to all libraries, archives and museums. Recipients will present the results of their projects at the LYRASIS Member Summit in October.

The application period for the fund opens Monday, January 9 and will be open through February 28, 2017. The fund for award distribution this year is $100,000. Applications can be submitted online via the LYRASIS website.

“The Catalyst Fund is the real engine behind the LYRASIS Leaders Circle, our new membership program. With funds from the recently created LYRASIS endowment, we want to directly support innovation by members and foster ideas that can benefit the entire community,” says Robert Miller, LYRASIS’s CEO. “Our Leaders Circle members will have the chance to vote on member submitted ideas for seed funding support and then engage as those projects take shape. It’s a great way for libraries, archives and museums who are interested in supporting the profession to provide leadership, as well as investing in the future and sustainability for their own institution.”

This new program grew out of a series of 13 regional Leaders Forums, hosted by LYRASIS and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2016. These forums reached more than 200 professionals in discussions about new and evolving trends, opportunities and challenges facing archives, libraries and museums. During those forums, members and LYRASIS alike identified the need for increased collaboration, leadership and innovation.

Each Catalyst Fund award is intended to cover the costs of a new project within the library, archives and museum field that can be scaled or adopted to benefit the wider community. These costs can include direct staff cost, testing, software and development, as needed. Additionally, LYRASIS is also seeking Catalyst Fund applications from member institutions who have ideas they think would benefit the community but would like to see executed by LYRASIS or another institution. Award size will vary based on the project scope and needs. The Catalyst Fund application period opens Monday, January 9 online via the LYRASIS website and this year the fund for award distribution is $100,000. The application period will remain open through February 28, 2017.

Joe Lucia, Dean of Temple University Libraries and LYRASIS Board Members says, “We are pleased that the Catalyst Fund reinforces the new direction at LYRASIS. Building off of the superior skills developed by the world class LYRASIS transactional services and team, the Catalyst Fund will supercharge ideas from members by linking them with LYRASIS staff. This linkage will provide program support and will connect them with a receptive, pre-vetted membership community.”
Catalyst Fund recipients will be selected by the LYRASIS Leaders Circle, based on scalability, benefit and merit of the application. Applicants must be LYRASIS members in good standing and willing to share their results and projects with the entire LYRASIS community.

LYRASIS has been serving libraries since 1936, with an expanded mission in 2011 to include museums and archives. This is the charter year for both the LYRASIS Leaders Circle and the Catalyst Fund.