May 4, 2017, Atlanta, GA – The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded LYRASIS a $100,000 National Leadership Grant for Libraries award for the project “It Takes a Village: Open Source Software Models of Collaboration and Sustainability.”

In the last several years, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of open source solutions for archives, libraries, museums and other cultural heritage organizations. LYRASIS is currently the organizational home for two open source communities, ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace, and there are also a plethora of other open source solutions thriving in the field. These solutions help with the collection, organization, description, preservation, dissemination, and management of content and information in its many analog and digital formats. However, the issue of sustainability has remained a major topic for those using and considering open source solutions.

The one year grant will allow for a convening of stakeholders from open source software initiatives that serve cultural heritage organizations to elucidate characteristics and forms of sustainability models as well as factors affecting sustainability. The forum will contribute to the creation of a roadmap and resource allocation guidelines for new and existing open source initiatives to strengthen planning for and promote ongoing assessment of sustainability. The forum will have lasting impact by raising awareness of the requirements for open source sustainability, the variety of potential models, and factors that influence sustainability at different stages of a software’s lifecycle.

This sustainability forum will be held in the fall of 2017. Event location and details to follow.

Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS, says of the project, “LYRASIS has had a deep commitment to open source programs for several years now, including a sustainability conference in 2014, our support for ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace, the FOSS4LIB open source selection tool and 12 regional meetings across the country in 2016. These meetings helped us identify the need for a broad and inclusive convening of open source program leadership to discuss the topic of sustainability, specifically as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums and knowledge communities.”

Advisory Group members for the program include:

  • Rob Cartolano, Associate Vice President for Digital Programs and Technology Services for Columbia University Libraries
  • Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist and Assistant University Librarian at Stanford University
  • Michele Kimpton, Director of Business Development, DPLA
  • Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Educopia Institute
  • Ann Baird Whiteside, Librarian and Assistant Dean for Information Resources, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Outcomes of the forum will include:

  • A roadmap for implementing open source sustainability solutions;
  • A resource allocation guide for open source sustainability;
  • And, deeper insight throughout the community about the variety of open source models.

After the forum is complete, LYRASIS will author a report covering best practices and forum conversations that will be publicly available on the LYRASIS website.


LYRASIS is a non-profit membership organization that supports enduring access to shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide.

About The Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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