LYRASIS Receives Grant to Support Open Source Systems for Members

LYRASIS, the nation’s largest regional non-profit membership organization for libraries, was recently awarded a $486,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the startup of LYRASIS Technology Services (LTS), a new program option that supports the adoption and use of open source software and systems in libraries.

“Open source technology has the potential to empower libraries by giving them direct control over the systems they use to manage, preserve, and enable access to information and collections. LYRASIS has invested significant time and resources investigating technology needs within the library community and open source options that could address those needs. We learned that libraries need access to expertise and increased capacity to effectively adopt and manage open source systems on a larger scale. LYRASIS Technology Services will provide that expertise and capacity within a viable and sustainable business model,” stated Kate Nevins, CEO at LYRASIS.

With the support of the Mellon grant, LYRASIS Technology Services will provide:

  • Decision-support services, consulting and education focused on
    • improving understanding and knowledge of open source systems
    • helping libraries assess needs
    • evaluating open source products
    • reviewing readiness and capacity for supporting open source systems, and
    • planning for implementation and migration from other systems.
  • Hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) implementation and support, focused on
    • providing cloud-based library technology, and
    • using existing, proven open source software that can evolve to support a full range of services for integrated library system(s), for collaborative storage, management, for preservation of digital collections, and for website content management, including templates for common library pages.

An expert advisory panel has been established to provide guidance in the development of the LYRASIS program and direction for open source community development. Composed of members and leaders in the open source technology field, the advisory panel members are:

  • Helene Blowers, Digital Strategy Director at Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technology and Research at Vanderbilt University
  • Jeanne Buckley, Director of Library Services and Instructional Technology at Arcadia University
  • Michele Kimpton, Chief Executive Officer of DuraSpace
  • Tim McGeary, Library Technology Team Leader, Lehigh University
  • Molly Tamarkin, Associate University Librarian for Information Technology at Duke University
  • Julie Walker, Deputy State Librarian at Georgia Public Library Service

“Our advisory panel has significant experience in the implementation and management of open source systems and/or a strategic vision of how technology can work better for libraries. We are pleased to work with these technology experts toward this effort,” said Peter Murray, Assistant Director of Technology Services Development at LYRASIS.

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