In a move that further strengthens its role as a provider of digital content and technologies, LYRASIS acquired BiblioLabs, which offers the popular BiblioBoard platform. BiblioBoard provides technologies to help libraries publish or digitize local materials and offers a variety of curated collections for distribution through libraries. Acquisition of BiblioLabs fits within the strategy LYRASIS has been developing that culminated in the launch of the Palace Project, featured in the August 2021 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter.
This acquisition brings BiblioLabs, which previously operated as a for-profit company, into a nonprofit business model. LYRASIS had existing partnerships and business relationships with BiblioLabs, as did DPLA.
The specific details of the acquisition were not publicly released, though the announcement mentioned that the deal included a cash payment and a philanthropic contribution by the BiblioLabs owners. BiblioBoard leadership and personnel will become employees of LYRASIS. Nine individuals transferred, forming the BiblioLabs team for LYRASIS.
BiblioLabs products and services provide access to open access, library-created, and self-published content without many of the restrictions associated with licensed content from commercial publishers. BiblioLabs also provides tools for libraries to create local digital collections.
The BiblioBoard platform will be fully integrated into Palace Project, providing additional options for digital content, including perpetual ownership and multi-user simultaneous access.
Robert Holt, Mitchell Davis, and Andrew Roskill were involved in establishing BiblioLabs in 2006. Robert Holt served as the company's initial chief executive officer. Mitchell Davis served as its chief business officer and now leads this division of LYRASIS as senior director. Andrew Roskill served as its chief business officer through the acquisition in June 2021. In 2000, Roskill, Davis, and Holt co-founded BookSurge, a printon- demand company that was acquired by Amazon in 2005. BiblioLabs' initial technology platform, the Global Book Manager Application Suite, provided a comprehensive solution for the creation, distribution, and promotion of content for both print-on-demand and digital distribution. The BiblioBoard product was initially launched in 2013 as an app for the Apple iPad. BiblioBoard has since become the primary brand for BiblioLabs. This platform has evolved to its current BiblioBoard product suite, which includes the Creator and Pressbooks Public.
BiblioLabs, in partnership with Library Journal, launched the SELF-e initiative in 2014 to provide distribution for works by independent or self-published authors, which was rebranded as the Indie Author Project in September 2018. IAP Select organizes content into individual curated collections that can be licensed to distributors. Content from the Indie Author Project is available through multiple library lending services, including the DPLA Exchange, Overdrive, bibliotheca cloudLibrary, and Axis 360.