WL S18 cIRcle Digital Repository Research Assistant

Position Type:
UBC Vancouver Work Learn Program UBC Department Name: Library, Digital Initiatives – cIRcle
Job Title:
WL S18 cIRcle Digital Repository Research Assistant ID: 848302
Position Classification:
Researcher/Professional ($20.60/hr) Hours Per Week: 5
Work Period:
May 1 2018 – August 31 2018 Work Learn Supervisor: Amber Saundry (amber.saundry@ubc.ca)

This position will be posted on CareersOnline from 2018-03-12 to 2018-03-25, but application review will begin before the closing date, so we encourage you to apply early.

Please apply via CareersOnline; do not send your application via e-mail.

Job Description
The Digital Initiatives Unit is a key part of the Library’s effort to adapt to the evolving needs of faculty and students and to support teaching, research and learning at UBC. Our goal is to create sustainable, world-class programs and processes to make the collections and research at UBC available to the world.

cIRcle is an open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners. A key contributor to the University’s Research Excellence strategic direction, cIRcle’s aim is to showcase and preserve UBC’s unique intellectual output by making content freely available to anyone, anywhere via the web.

The cIRcle Digital Repository Research Assistant supports the unit’s goals of making UBC’s intellectual output freely available by creating, managing, enhancing, and assessing digital research collections and repository services in cIRcle. This a unique opportunity for a future information professional to develop invaluable, practical work experience in a diverse range of digital curation and outreach activities with cIRcle. In supporting cIRcle as a campus-wide service provided by UBC Library, this position offers the student a diverse range of development opportunities. Working to create digital content that will be widely accessed for research and learning purposes, the student will make valuable connections with partners across various library and academic units & community stakeholders. The student will have daily supervision from the Digital Repository Librarians and Digital Library Specialist, as necessary for the projects at-hand.

Duties & Responsibilities
The Digital Repository Research Assistant will work on several different service development projects. Depending on priorities and the student’s area(s) of interest, duties of medium to medium-high complexity may include:

  • Researching ground-breaking trends and best practices in digital repository development
  • Performing quality control checks and enhancements on digital records (files and metadata)
  • Working to standardize content and metadata in order to integrate cIRcle’s content with Open Collections (UBC Library’s multi-repository discovery platform)
  • Developing and implementing assessment strategies and analytics tools, and generating reports using data visualization tools such as Tableau Public
  • Assisting with testing and implementation of DSpace software upgrades and modules
  • Creating and enhancing training and support documentation using popular content management systems, for use by internal & external partners
  • Creating and maintaining records and documentation related to the position
  • Other duties as assigned.

To be a great fit for this position, the student will have a strong desire to learn, a willingness to continually improve, and the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team environment.

The student will have the:

  • Working knowledge of, and experience with, computers, word processing, and spreadsheet software (MS Office preferred).
  • Knowledge of, or experience with, open access scholarly communication and digital repositories (DSpace preferred).
  • Excellent oral and written communication and organizational skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to follow and carry out instructions
  • Ability to prioritize work and to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and within a team environment
  • Familiarity with MediaWiki and WordPress content management systems is an asset
  • Public service experience is an asset
  • Project management skills are an asset
  • Current student in a Graduate Program. MLIS graduate student is preferred.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Orientation & Training
Orientation & training is normally conducted over one to two weeks with extensive training documentation, learning resources, and on-going feedback and support. Training topics include but are not limited to: an introduction to repository license workflows and copyright/permissions; deposit workflows in DSpace, cIRcle’s open source repository software; project and task management tracking in Redbooth; metadata standards, creation workflows, and quality control; file conversion tools and best practices; unit policies and procedures; editing in MediaWiki; statistics and web analytics reporting; and health & safety standards in a library environment. During orientation, the student is given a tour of the cIRcle Office & Koerner Library, and is introduced to repository staff and select project partners.

Mentorship Opportunities
The Digital Repository Research Assistant works closely with the Digital Repository Librarians, Metadata and Cataloguing Librarian, Digital Library Specialist, and the Digital Repository Operations Assistant in a collaborative environment. The student receives direction and mentorship from the cIRcle Staff in a collaborative work environment with ongoing training and support as needed.

Feedback, Support, and Reflection:
The Research Assistant will report directly to the Digital Repository Librarian. The student receives regular verbal and written feedback on job performance, and attends one-on-one meetings with the Digital Repository Librarian to review projects and identify areas of interest. After tasks are assigned, project materials on shared drives can be shared with various partners across units. Project goals & tasks are discussed and refined regularly with the Digital Repository Librarian via ongoing written feedback and regular verbal check-ins. The student is encouraged to take opportunities for reflection and ask questions as they gain project knowledge and skills.

Personal & Professional Development
To contribute to and enhance the student’s personal and professional development, the student receives project and task briefs that contextualize their role in terms of the broader goals and scope of library initiatives. The student is encouraged to ask questions and suggest ways in which their learning experience can be enhanced. The student works independently within broad guidelines as part of the cIRcle team and has the opportunity to contribute their own ideas and recommendations to projects. Ongoing communication between the student and cIRcle Staff will ensure the student understands how their work supports unit goals, and that the student gains transferable, long-term knowledge and skills.

The student will have insight into digital initiatives strategies and practices in libraries, which is invaluable and marketable experience for a future information professional that greatly enhances and complements classroom learning.
Skills, Competencies, and Networking:

At the end of the job term, the student will have had the opportunity to develop the following workplace skills & competencies:

  • Hands-on experience with a variety of content and project management software platforms (DSpace, MediaWiki, etc.)
  • Knowledge in the area of scholarly publishing, permissions, and license agreements
  • Knowledge of open access & digital repository trends, challenges, and basic workflows
  • Knowledge of and experience with metadata creation and standards
  • Retrieving and analyzing assessment data
  • Understanding of best practices in management of digital data for future use
  • Understanding of contextual applications of content management systems for diverse information needs
  • Opportunity for involvement in future research projects if the successful candidate is interested
  • Practical experience in service development and emerging best practices for repositories and assessment tools
  • Ability to work within an environment of established project deliverables and expectations.
  • Communication and marketing skills
  • Independent project management skills
  • Critical, analytical and decision making skills

The range and variety of projects undertaken in the cIRcle office offers the student with access to a network of diverse professionals for collaborative service enhancement and problem solving activities, as well as career mentorship opportunities.


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