Together, we are developing an affordable, open-source, and collaborative institutional repository solution based on the Hyku software.
- What Do Hyku Users Think? Hyku Commons Satisfaction Survey Results
You can download this report here.
In the fall of 2021, as part of our 2021-2023 IMLS grant, the Hyku for Consortia team surveyed users of the collaborative Hyku Commons Repository. The survey gathered baseline data about satisfaction with the Hyku Commons platform and service overall, administrative functions, front end user interface, and support/training provided.
We provided a PDF preview of the questions, and used Google Forms as our data collection instrument. The survey had 16 questions, which were a combination of Likert scale and open ended response. A total of 15 responses from PALNI, PALCI, LOUIS, and VIVA users were recorded, and the anonymous survey results are provided below. We very much appreciated this feedback to help us determine future directions for Hyku. We plan to check back periodically with users to gauge improvement. Hopefully, we’ll be able to report an increase in satisfaction as a result of the developments made throughout the IMLS-supported grant project.
The vast majority of users reported that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (80% combined) with Hyku Commons overall.
Hyku Administrative Functions
Most users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (48% combined) with Hyku’s administrative functions.
There are many Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure responses (42% combined), likely due to the fact that several of our users are new to piloting Hyku and/or haven’t taken a deep dive into all the administrative functions.
Users were most satisfied with Uploading/creating single works, Uploading/creating works in batches, and Adding works to collections, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
When looking at Very Unsatisfied, Unsatisfied, and open-ended responses together, we find that users are least satisfied with Existing metadata templates (worktypes), Uploading/creating works in batches, and Repository statistics.
The three Very Unsatisfied responses recorded were for Describing/editing works in batches, Availability of repository activity statistics, and Availability of other repository statistics. The number of Unsatisfied responses are presented below.
The bulk of the open-ended responses called for improvement to administrative functions, and specifically called out the need to customize both metadata and administrative tools.
Open-ended response category Number of responses Metadata customization 8 Repository statistics 6 Uploading/creating works in batches 3 Admin customization 3
Most users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (63% combined) with Hyku’s end-user interface.
There were also several Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure (23% combined) responses in this category.
Users were most satisfied with Usability, Digital object presentation, and Customization options for site design, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
When looking at the Very Unsatisfied, Unsatisfied, and open-ended responses together, users were least satisfied with Searching and search results, Metadata display, and Customization options for site design.
The two Very Unsatisfied responses recorded were for Metadata display and Customization options for site design. The number of Unsatisfied responses are presented below.
Some open-ended responses called for improvement to the user interface, especially Customization options for site design.
Open-ended response category Number of responses Customization options for site design 3 Digital object presentation 1 Searching and search results 1 Metadata display 1 Usability 1
Support and Training
Slightly more than half of users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (51% combined) with Hyku Commons support and training. A little less than half reported Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure (49% combined) responses in this category.
Users were most satisfied with Documentation and Help with troubleshooting, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
There were no Unsatisfied responses in this category, although there was one open-ended response requesting screenshots/visuals to be added to the documentation.
It’s interesting to note that users expressed both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with some features, for example: Uploading/creating works in batches and Customization options for site design. This will require more investigation to understand fully, but we suspect that users may be happy that a feature exists, but unsatisfied with quirks with its workflow; and/or users might be satisfied with the usability of a feature, but wish it were more customizable.
The data provided by this survey has directly influenced our plans for the next phase of development. We are currently in discussion with developers at Notch8 to implement the following:
- Allinson Flex (a gem providing the building blocks for customizable metadata in Hyku)
- Analytics work from the Oregon Digital project
- Improvements to the Bulkrax bulk import tool. We are also planning to add export functionality.
The Hyku for Consortia team will continue to collect and evaluate both informal and formal feedback on Hyku, and we’ll prioritize future development cycles based on user priorities. We have also started working with Samhaeng, a UX firm out of Denmark, to start our first official phase of user research. This phase will focus on Hyku administrative functions and will produce a report of recommendations for improvements in this area. Stay tuned for more updates!
- Hyku Accessibility audit published on the Hyku for Consortia Shared Repository
The completed accessibility audit for Hyku that Notch8 undertook in preparation for work with The University of Tennessee Knoxville has been released. The audit was conducted on Hyku 3.0 via the PALNI and PALCI Hyku for Consortia application.
For more information and a link to the full report, visit the full write-up at the Hyku blog.
- 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 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.
Please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.