In a significant development in the Library e-book world, LYRASIS this week announced that it has acquired BiblioLabs, the innovative Charleston, S.C.-based library technology firm, and creator of the pioneering BiblioBoard e-book platform. The deal, will be funded through a cash purchase and a “charitable contribution” from the owners of BiblioLabs, and will see BiblioLabs transition from “a mission-aligned for-profit firm” to LYRASIS’s nonprofit model.
Under terms of the deal, BiblioLabs will continue to operate with the same staff, programs, and name, but as a division of the LYRASIS organization. BiblioLabs’ Mitchell Davis will continue to co-lead the BiblioLabs team as Senior Director, while director of engineering Michael Atwood and director of operations Jessica Duggan will also continue in leadership roles, working alongside Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS.
Executives say there will be no interruption of service for BiblioLabs or LYRASIS, no action needs to be taken by current clients, subscribers, members or partners, and all services will continue as-is with “the BiblioLabs team continuing to support all library partners in much the same way they do today.”
The deal combines two leading players on the bleeding edge of library-centric technology, and both organizations share a similar vision for digital content in libraries. LYRASIS has been a player in library software and technologies for over a decade, and among its ventures has worked to support the development and adoption of the New York Public Library’s SimplyE/Library Simplified e-book platform. BiblioLabs launched the BiblioBoard platform in 2011 to provide community engagement and content distribution services to public, academic and K-12 libraries. and in recent years has leveraged its BiblioBoard discovery platform and initiatives like the popular Indie Author Project and its community publishing tool, Creator, to power digital content initiatives for a range of cultural institutions and their communities.
In a statement, Lyrasis CEO Robert Miller said the deal highlights the personalized, local nature of library communities, and the benefits of “large scale, community-driven” technologies.
“With BiblioLabs, we saw an opportunity to strengthen our existing e-book services and offer more value to our members and other public, academic and K-12 libraries,” Miller said in a statement. “By adding community engagement and local content creation tools on top of the library-focused technology provided by our SimplyE/Library Simplified offerings, we can give users a seamless e-book management experience.”
BiblioLabs founder and CEO Mitchell Davis said joining forces with LYRASIS will help the company take the next step.
“We have made a lot of progress over the past 10 years but feel like we are just getting started,” Davis said in a statement, adding that libraries are in the midst of a critical transformation. “Our priority is helping libraries compete for digital attention and building cooperative business models that provide sustainable impact for the work bringing about this transformation. The intersection of missions between ourselves and LYRASIS in these areas is undeniable. To continue our work as a non-profit is the perfect way to ensure the library community reaps the benefits of the work we have done over the past decade and that we will continue to do into the future.”