Criteria for Consideration

All proposals and ideas should be concepts that respond to a need and serve the broad interests of the Lyrasis membership and the field at large. Successful applications embody the values of the Lyrasis community, including equitable access and sustainability, collaborative business models, and development of tools to support our members.

Lyrasis is interested in projects that cross boundaries and engage diverse organizations in partnerships, cooperation and ultimately collaboration. It’s our belief that libraries, archives, museums and complementary research communities will grow increasingly interdependent in the coming years to manage the challenges facing our communities.

Evaluation Criteria for Traditional Innovation Theme Proposals:

What is the potential for the proposal to impact and serve the broader Lyrasis community?

  • Is it a common and/or shared issue for members of the Lyrasis community?

  • Are the outputs scalable beyond a single institution?

  • Is the proposal of interest to others outside of your organization?

Does the proposal advance an important objective of the library, archives, museum and/or complementary research communities?

Is the plan of work appropriate to the proposal's goal(s), and the budget reasonable and justified?

Evaluation Criteria for Public Library Theme Proposals:

What is the potential or ongoing impact for the proposal to serve the public library community?

  • Is it a common and/or shared issue for members of the Lyrasis public library community?

  • Is this a model other public libraries could follow?

  • Is the proposal of interest to others outside of your organization?

Does the proposal advance an important objective of the public library community?

Is the plan of work appropriate to the proposal's goal(s), and the budget reasonable and justified?

Evaluation Criteria for Ideas:

What is the potential for the idea to serve the broader Lyrasis community?

  • Is the idea of interest to others outside of your organization?

  • Could a sustainable solution or business model evolve to support the idea long-term?

Does the idea innovatively advance an important objective of the library, archives, museum and/or the complementary research communities at large?

Reviewing and Selecting Proposals and Ideas

Each proposal and idea will be reviewed and rated by multiple experts to identify those of greatest interest to the field. This review happens after the application period closes, typically during March and April. Reviewers rate applications according to the relevant (proposal or idea) criteria listed above.

Proposal reviewers include field experts, Leaders Circle members, and Lyrasis staff. 

Each volunteer reviewer receives a subset of all submissions aligned to their expertise. To volunteer to review proposals, complete this short form to register. Lyrasis will contact reviewers following the Catalyst Fund application period to confirm availability. See Become a Reviewer for more information. Note, if a reviewer's institution submits a proposal, they will not be eligible to review in that cycle.

  • Reviewers' rankings are used to identify the proposals of greatest interest to the field. The top ranked proposals are voted upon by the general Lyrasis membership, which determines what projects will be funded. Each member institution has a designated representative who will be responsible for casting an institutional vote, one vote per institution. Institutions who have submitted an application may vote for their own project, but still only have one vote each year.
  • Idea reviewers include Lyrasis staff, Trustees, and Leaders Circle members. Reviewers are selected to provide different perspectives on ideas, such as from potential users, related work in the field, and business planning. Individuals submitting an 'Idea' will not be eligible to review other ideas, or proposals.
  • Reviewers' feedback on 'Idea' applications' is presented to the Lyrasis Leadership team, who will determine which ideas to include in the Lyrasis Research and Innovation agenda for the upcoming fiscal year.