Scaling Up a Collaborative Consortial Institutional Repository

Category: News


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.


(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.