Scaling Up a Collaborative Consortial Institutional Repository

Together, we are developing an affordable, open-source, and collaborative institutional repository solution based on the Hyku software.


  • Seeking UX Consultant

    User Experience (UX) Consultant 

    10-20 hours per week, Short-term contract-based role 

    Hyku for Consortia seeks a UX Consultant to work with project staff to develop and implement a series of user research activities determining the most useful updates for the Samvera-based Hyku digital repository software. 

    The UX Consultant will determine the best activities for the project goals, develop resources and plans for activities, carry them out with selected candidates, and assist in the analysis of results. Research activities may include surveys, interviews, focus groups, usability tests or other related feedback mechanisms. The Consultant will work closely with and have the support of the project team to accomplish their goals. Prior experience with user research, excellent communication skills, and attention to detail will be essential in this role. 

    This is a grant-funded part-time remote-working independent contractor role, with an estimated average of 10-15 hours per week needed to complete contracted deliverables between November 2021 and June 2022 subject to limitations described below. The position will report to the PALNI Executive Director. Flexible scheduling is available for many tasks, but the Consultant must have some availability to attend meetings during Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm EST.

    Hyku for Consortia (see https://www.hykuforconsortia.org/) is a partnership of the PALNI and PALCI consortia to increase the flexibility, accessibility, and usability of the multi-tenant repository platform system, Hyku. This project will extend our previous work and improve the national digital repository infrastructure by enhancing Hyku, an open-source platform suitable for access to a broad range of types of materials, addressing needs articulated by diverse stakeholders and consortia and reducing barriers to adoption.  

    Responsibility and Requirements:

    • Demonstrated experience with gathering and analysing user research
    • Understanding of user experience and accessibility best practices
    • Familiarity with library/archives environments and digital repositories
    • Knowledge of the academic library and scholarly research landscape
    • Experience leading and facilitating group projects and meetings
    • Experience with Samvera repository software a plus
    • Detail-oriented, with demonstrated organizational and project management skills
    • Demonstrated strength in writing, editing, and other communication skills
    • Evidence of ability to work independently and as part of a team in remote work settings
    • Proficiency and comfort with using modern collaboration technologies and productivity tools necessary for distributed, remote-work teams, including but not limited to Google’s suite of business tools (Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms), project management software, such as Trello, online survey software, and web conferencing technologies, such as Zoom
    • Commitment to a high level of productivity, and excellent communication

    Compensation 

    Compensation will be based upon delivery of contracted services. Hyku for Consortia anticipates an average of 10-20 hours per week required across the term of the contract, with payment delivered on a monthly schedule based upon successful completion of contracted deliverables. We anticipate a total of 200-245 hours for the set of deliverables we need, and we expect to pay an hourly rate of $45-$55, depending on demonstrated level of experience and expertise.  Candidates will be selected based on availability and listed qualifications.

    This is an independent contractor position. The contracted party will be responsible for all insurance or other business/employment related expenses, including taxes, benefits, licenses, and other expenses. Alternatively, this role may be filled by an individual employed at a PALNI or PALCI member institution, through an agreement with that institution that contracts to supply services on a time-release basis. 

    To Apply 

    Please send your resume and cover letter to consortial-ir@palci.org. Contact information for three professional references will be required from all applicants invited to interview.

    The position is open until filled, with first consideration given to applications received by November 5th. 

    Equal Opportunity Employer/Diversity and Culture

    The most productive and satisfying work environment is one in which work is accomplished in a spirit of mutual trust and respect. That trust and respect should be shown by the manner of interaction between our employees, contractors, participants (those participating in PALNI activities), and people with whom we collaborate. We value positive communication and conversations. We expect people to have different opinions – we all come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. Those differences allow us to see things from different angles so that our organization can grow and thrive in a constantly changing culture. We do not and will not treat someone differently on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of our activities or operations. See our Respect in the Workplace policy.

  • Removing Barriers Project – Development Kickstart

    (Feature photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

    The next phase of the Hyku for Consortia project is off and running, with a small work sprint based on a backlog of known issues uncovered during our previous grant-funded project.  This work allows us to maintain the momentum we have built in our previous pilot phase, while we start our user research and accessibility review to define the requirements and scope of work for future, more in depth, development phases. Wherever possible we will contribute development back to the Hyku base code, giving others the opportunity to use these features/configuration options in their Hyku repositories.  This sprint is expected to be completed by the end of October, 2021.

    Below is a list of items we have in development with Notch8, in what we’re calling “Sprint 0.” These proposed developments will address some metadata and worktype updates and user interface enhancements stemming from issues project staff and pilot participants have reported.  In particular, we are focusing on improving functionality to our Open Educational Resource (OER) worktype (created under our previous grant, specs here) and overall enhancements to functionality that better equip Hyku for use as an OER Repository.  Both PALCI and PALNI have work in progress on respective OER repositories.  

    The PALCI OER Repository pilot, funded in part by LSTA and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries,  is envisioned as an opportunity for PALCI and the Affordable Learning PA community to evaluate the costs and value of running a repository for OER materials created by authors from PA institutions. Materials created as part of the new PA GOAL (Grants for Open and Affordable Learning) program will be deposited and made available publicly. In previous grant years, ALPA funds were allocated to support the initial development of Hyku’s OER worktype, so this is a practical continuation of that investment.

    PALNI’s PALSave Course Material Repository is currently available in its beta release and will be improved by the developments in sprint 0.  The repository is an online resource to help faculty identify open educational resources (OER) and other zero-cost course materials.  It includes materials selected for use in the PALSave Course Redesign Grants Program, including some new OER created by faculty at PALNI institutions. 

    Hyku for Consortia: Reducing Barriers to Adoption Sprint 0

    Metadata and Work Type Updates 

    Creative Commons (CC) Licence Updates 

    • We will update the selectable CC licences to the most recent versions. 

    OER Relation Field 

    • We will implement the relation field for the OER worktype. These will display as hyper-links to related content. 

    Updates to Work Types 

    • OER vocabularies will be updated to implement “discipline” correctly, as in the ETD work type. We will also update all work types to make metadata field mappings conformant across them.

    User Interface Enhancements 

    In-App PDF Viewer 

    • PDFs will be viewable in-app utilizing the Universal Viewer. This feature will be behind a feature flipper so that it can be turned on or off. 

    Citation Functionality 

    • We will improve functionality of the Citations feature by discarding the nonfunctional EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley options and implementing the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation generator.

    Improvement to Alphabetical Sort Ability 

    • We will update Solr to push work, collection, and subcollection lists to alphabetical ordering and search options. Any page that lists or browses content should be alphabetical by default, except search results, which should default to Relevance, but include an alphabetical sort option. 

    Remove Social Media Buttons 

    • We will remove social media link-out buttons

    Hide Related Versions and Items 

    • We will prevent the “Related Versions and Items” section from displaying if there is no related content to display. This includes related adjustment work to all theme templates. 

    Remove Depositor’s Name from Homepage Features 

    • We will remove the Depositor name from display across the user facing site. 

    Remove Size Field from Collection Pages 

    • Collection pages currently show size in KB, but it is broken and isn’t helpful. We will remove this from the application. 

    Improve Cultural Show Page UI 

    • The Cultural show page is configured primarily for image works, which use the IIIF viewer. When works that do not use the image viewer display, some of the elements, especially the Collection metadata table, populate in constrained dimensions that need to be optimized. 

    Adjust Justification Display 

    • When Featured Works and Recent Uploads are flipped off, but Featured Researcher is on, collections are justified to the far left of the screen, but featured researcher resets the justification to an odd spacing. Ideally, Browse Collections and Featured Researcher will toggle smoothly. This will require testing and implementation of many conditional situations.
  • PALNI and PALCI Partner to Remove Barriers to Hyku Adoption with IMLS Grant Award

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded $248,050 to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) in partnership with The Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI) for Hyku for Consortia: Removing Barriers to Adoption as part of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. IMLS received 172 applications requesting more than $47 million in funding and selected 39 applicants to receive awards during this grant cycle. With this award, the partners will increase the flexibility, accessibility, and usability of Hyku, the multi-tenant repository platform system.  

    Repositories are a critical piece of library infrastructure, enabling access to many types of digital materials created by an institution’s students, faculty, staff, and researchers. Libraries, cultural heritage institutions, and other organizations also use repositories to provide access to digitized special collections.

    In the face of continued budgetary pressures, libraries are seeking cost-saving approaches to their work. Those unable to deploy Institutional Repository (IR) services on their own due to costs or other constraints are increasingly looking to consortia to serve this role. This project specifically seeks to develop Hyku to support the repository needs of library groups by increasing affordability and flexibility. 

    PALNI Executive Director Kirsten Leonard notes, “This grant will provide the foundational support for PALNI and PALCI to remove remaining barriers to more widespread deployment of the repository software. Together with input from our new consortia project participants from VIVA and LOUIS, we will create business modeling and a toolkit to support other consortia to provide this service for their members, potentially reaching thousands of libraries.” 

    This project will extend work completed under the previous PALNI/PALCI IMLS grant, which resulted in the establishment of Hyku Commons, a production-level, low-cost, multi-tenant repository service shared by the supported institutions of PALNI and PALCI.  This new round of funding will further improve Hyku by directly addressing needs articulated by stakeholders in a scalable, multi-tenant environment.

    The project will kick off with a user study and gap assessment to further define existing barriers and software requirements needed to support the adoption of the service. PALNI and PALCI will employ Notch8, an open-source software development firm and long-time contributor to the Hyku project, to deliver enhancements and changes prioritized in the early phases. Rob Kaufman, Notch8’s Founding Partner and current Product Owner for Hyku, sees this as an extraordinary opportunity to increase visibility and adoption of Hyku. “Hyku for Consortia has been one of the key projects in the community, expanding the functionality of Hyku in ways that really matter to the users. Notch8 is excited to continue this partnership into this game-changing new phase.”  

    The project will also expand its partnership to include consortial partners LOUIS and VIVA, who will pilot the service and offer feedback critical to ensuring widespread adoption. A Consortial Institutional Repository Toolkit will provide guidelines, documentation, and other materials to support the development of similar collaborative repository services in other consortia.

    Jill Morris, Executive Director of PALCI, is excited at the opportunity to drive strategic innovation of community-owned infrastructure. “This project builds on the strengths of consortia and stretches our relationships to leverage our respective strengths. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with PALNI to explore new solutions, business models, and collaborative approaches to building and sustaining our library infrastructure.

    Anne Osterman, Director of VIVA, said, “We are delighted to be piloting and supporting this important project as it develops scalable options for groups of libraries.The creation of a truly community-led, open, sustainable, and multi-tenant repository service meets needs long articulated by academic libraries and the consortia that serve them.” 

    Teri Oaks Gallaway, Executive Director of LOUIS, expressed her interest in the grant, “One of our strategic goals as a consortium is to explore opportunities with other libraries, consortia, and vendors for the development of an open-source library services platform. This project is a perfect example of how we can pool our collective knowledge and resources to improve upon and expand the reach of a needed tool like Hyku. We are excited to be a part of this opportunity with our partners and colleagues and look forward to supporting the development of this project.”

    “As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

    Updates for the project will be made available at https://www.hykuforconsortia.org/.


    About the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    About the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, Inc. (PALNI): 

    PALNI is a non-profit organization supporting collaboration for library and information services to the libraries of its twenty-three supported institutions. Over time, the library deans and directors who sit on the PALNI board have adjusted the organization’s strategic direction as the internet and information services landscape has changed. PALNI has expanded beyond providing a resource management system to sharing expertise in many areas, including strategic planning, reference, information fluency, outreach, data management, and configuration, and has identified greater collaboration in acquisitions as a key goal. www.palni.edu

    About The Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI):

    The PALCI organization was originally founded as the ‘Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.,” and was formed in 1996 as a grassroots federation of 35 academic libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today, PALCI is known as Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation, with membership consisting of 74 academic and research libraries, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and New York. PALCI’s mission is to enable cost-effective and sustainable access to information resources and services for academic libraries in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. PALCI Members serve over 800,000 students, faculty, and staff at member institutions, through a variety of programs, including the highly-regarded EZBorrow resource sharing service. PALCI also serves as the home for the Affordable Learning PA program, creating a community of practice for open textbooks and related educational resources. http://palci.org

    About LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network

    LOUIS is a consortium of public and private college and university libraries in the state of Louisiana. This partnership was formed in 1992 by the library deans and directors at these institutions, in order to create a cost-effective collaboration among the institutions for the procurement of library technology and resources. We are currently forty-seven members strong.

    About VIVA

    VIVA is the academic library consortium serving 71 nonprofit higher education institutions in Virginia, including 39 state assisted colleges and universities, 31 independent private, nonprofit institutions, and The Library of Virginia. VIVA’s mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative, and cost‐effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for Virginia’s academic libraries serving the nonprofit higher education community. 

    About Notch8:

    Founded in San Diego, CA in 2007 by Rob Kaufman, Notch8 is a Ruby on Rails-based web consultancy with additional expertise in React and React Native mobile applications. Today we are a team of 18 developers and technical experts located across three time zones. Since 2016, we have been active with digital repository solutions, primarily through our involvement with the Samvera Community. We are Samvera Partners and both in and out of the Samvera framework, we have contributed to more than 20 projects in the digital repository space. 

  • Happy 2021! Hyku for Consortia Project Update for the New Year

    (Feature photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels)

    We thought we’d kick off the new year with a project update. 

    At the end of 2020, as we looked to the end of “Phase 2” of our work (improving features for multi-tenant administration), we took some time to review our project goals with Notch8.  In this review, we laid out the deliverables promised in our IMLS grant and determined a deliberately scoped path to complete these goals by Spring 2021.  We both took stock of our progress to date and identified areas to further define our goals for the sake of efficient progress.  This was done with hopeful anticipation of an additional round of grant funding for Phase 3, in which we plan to remove identified barriers to adopting Hyku, both in and outside the consortial community.  

    As a refresher, here’s an overview of our grant goals and deliverables:

    Collaborative Workflow Support

    Development is currently underway for collaborative workflow support.  Updated scoping for this work now includes:

    • An admin can create a new group in a tenant
    • An admin can then assign roles to that group 
    • Users who are added to a group will receive the permissions from that group. 
    • On the user management tab user’s groups as well as any individual permissions granted to the user will be displayed
    • Tenant level roles on the User Matrix will be created 

    In a future project phase, we hope to add the Multi-tenant Manager and Multi-tenant Editor roles.  We also want to create a groups and permissions area on the consortia admin page that will create one workflow for adding groups permissions across multiple tenants.

    Worktypes

    Development is also underway for worktype development.  The OER worktype is completed (specs here), with specifications for the ETD worktype are complete and the “shell” worktype (a copy of the generic workype) already created.  Work now underway and now nearly completed includes:

    • Metadata customization for the ETD worktype
    • Fields will be configured according to the ETD worktype specifications
    • Once the fields are configured Bulkrax mappings will be set up for importing and exporting the ETD worktype.

    We’d love to further explore easy creation of worktypes in the future, as well as greater flexibility for controlled vocabularies.

    Themed Templates

    We’ve done a lot of work gathering specifications and mocking up wireframes representing the themes (IR, cultural heritage, and neutral) we’d like to implement as part of Hyku.  Scoped work in this area for the remainder of this project phase are as follows:

    • A Theme tab will be added under the Appearance page. 
    • On this tab, a user will be able to select a home page theme, a search results page theme, and a work display page theme. This will allow for greater flexibility for repository managers and extend the core offering to a wider range of use cases. 
    • The theme pages will respond to the colors, logos, and feature flippers set in the app.
    • The following Pages will be built as themes (referencing preliminary mockups):
      • 3 Home Page options (Cultural Repository, Institutional Repository, Neutral )
      • Search Pages with Gallery, Masonry, and Slideshow
      • Images Based and Text Based show Pages.

    This is an exciting new development path, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out!  In the future we may make some changes to how the template elements function, and possibly additional options to make the theming as flexible and customizable as possible.

    For the remaining deliverables (DOI minting, cross tenant searching, and multi-tenant shared works), we’ll continue to gather requirements from our user communities and explore work being completed in complementary projects. As always, we look to integrate our work with the larger Hyku Roadmap, contributing our improvements back to the Hyku base code and avoiding duplicative development efforts whenever possible.  

    We’ll continue to post updates on our project here, and please feel free to contact us with any questions.

  • Hyku for Consortia Roadshow

    We’ve been on the virtual road the last two months talking about Hyku for Consortia at two conferences: the USETDA 2020 Conference and the annual Samvera Connect conference.

    While Covid-19 has made travel impossible, the bright side is that we have recordings of presentations that can be shared for all. Below is the video from our presentation at the USETDA 2020 conference held September 23-24: Providing Flexibility and Affordability for ETD with HYKU

    https://vimeo.com/460283980

    In October we participated in three events in the annual Samvera Connect Conference, a poster, a panel, and a presentation:

    Both the panel and presentation were given on the same day (10/28/2020) and you can find video from both at on Samvera’s YouTube channel.