Laurie Gemmill Arp
Director, Collections Services and Community Supported Software
Director of Business Development and Senior Strategist
Digital Public Library of America
Director, Technology Services
Why do some programs seem more successful than others? Why do some live on grants while some achieve community sustainability? What can we learn from other programs? In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided grant funding to enable LYRASIS to assess how open-source software programs serving cultural and scientific heritage organizations attain long-term sustainability. The project assumed that while there is no single approach to sustainability, there may be common threads among programs that would lead to common needs and strategies for meeting those needs. We developed a survey and conducted a two-day forum in Baltimore in the fall of 2017, during which representatives of over 25 OSS programs discussed project lifecycles, governance, financing, resources, community building, outreach and communications, and bumps in the road. The findings have been condensed into a guidebook to be shared with the larger community. This panel will provide an overview of the survey and forum, the overall themes that emerged, and gather feedback on potential next steps the community can take to further sustainability across open source programs.