Atlanta, GA, and Southborough, MA, April 16, 2009 â€“ The Boards of Directors of NELINET and Lyrasis approved a resolution to recommend NELINET join Lyrasis. Together, Lyrasis and NELINET will comprise the largest membership collaborative of its kind serving more than 4,500 libraries and cultural heritage institutions in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southeastern United States. The leadership of both organizations recognize this is an exciting opportunity for these successful, membership-driven organizations to join together to serve their diverse library communities.
â€œIt is the right time in our profession to take this step. Together, we have one of those rare and special opportunities to affect the changes needed to face our challenges today and into the future,â€ said Joseph Lucia, Chair of the Lyrasis Board of Directors, and University Librarian at Villanova University.
W. Lee Hisle, Chair of the NELINET Board of Directors, and Vice President for Information Services and Librarian of the College at Connecticut College agreed. â€œThe timing is right. This is important strategically and from a fiscal standpoint. Both organizations are committed to their members and to the quality of their services. We want to bring Lyrasis to New England because we share the vision of balancing â€˜local touchâ€™ and â€˜national reach and strength,â€™ particularly in the difficult economic times our members are facing.â€
Lyrasis was created from the merger of two well-established regional library networks, PALINET and SOLINET. Members voted to approve the merger in February 2009 with the effective date for the new organization of April 1, 2009. The new organization expands collaboration, education, leadership development, technology, and savings opportunities available to members, while adding critical new initiatives for the future.
Kate Nevins, Chief Executive Officer of Lyrasis, said â€œThis integration will allow both organizations to continue to provide our current broad range of services as well as implement new and innovative ones to meet the evolving needs of our members.â€ Arnold Hirshon, Executive Director of NELINET, added that, â€œWith Lyrasis in New England we can vastly accelerate expanded programmatic opportunities for our members and achieve greater operating efficiencies.â€
The Boards have already completed due diligence. Final action for the organizations to combine must be approved by an affirmative vote from both organizations. The member vote will take place in early June. If approved, NELINET would become part of Lyrasis by the Fall of 2009.
Members of both organizations will have the opportunity to participate in open discussions prior to the vote. A series of live and virtual town meetings are scheduled for May and information will also be provided at NELINETâ€™s Annual Conference on June 1, 2009, and at SAMM â€™09 on May 14 & 15, 2009. Information will also be available at www.nelinet.net and www.lyrasis.org.
A regional membership organization for libraries and information professionals, Lyrasis helps ensure their success today and tomorrow by providing access to more of the shared knowledge and expertise, innovative products and services, and customized solutions to serve their communities most effectively and, by working together, advance the profession. Lyrasis is the new organization resulting from the merger of PALINET and SOLINET, and currently serves nearly a third of the U.S., including 16 states east of the Mississippi, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, please visit www.lyrasis.org.
NELINET, a member-owned and governed regional library network, founded in 1966 and incorporated in 1979, is one of the largest U.S. networks, serving 500 member libraries and cultural heritage organizations throughout the six New England states and internationally. NELINET provides innovative educational programs, support and services for emerging technologies (including open source software), expert library leadership and consultation services, and a regional depository. For additional information visit www.nelinet.net.