Samvera Community News for February 2024

Save the date for Samvera Virtual Connect 2024, May 7th and 8th -- the call for proposals is open now! The Community is also calling for host locations for an in person event, our next volunteer leaders for Hyrax, and nominees for a vacancy on the Samvera Board. Read on for all the details on those calls, plus the release of Avalon 7.7 and the final release candidate for Hyrax 5.

In this issue:

  1. Call for Proposals for Samvera Virtual Connect 2024, May 7-8, 2024

  2. Nomination period extended for the 2024 Samvera Board Special Election

  3. Call for volunteer leaders: Hyrax Technical Lead and Hyrax Product Owner

  4. Call for host locations extended for Samvera Connect, Autumn 2024 or January 2025

  5. Avalon Media System 7.7 Now Available

  6. Announcing Hyrax 5.0.0.rc3

  7. In case you missed it - job posting and news round-up

1 – Call for Proposals for Samvera Virtual Connect 2024, May 7-8, 2024

We are pleased to open the call for presentation and breakout session proposals for Samvera Virtual Connect 2024!

Samvera Virtual Connect will be held Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th, 2024, from 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT/11:00 AM - 2:00 PM EDT/15:00 - 18:00 UTC.

Samvera Virtual Connect is a free, informal opportunity to present on topics of interest to current and potential Samvera adopters. Virtual Connect occurs entirely online via Zoom webinar to a live audience across the globe, with presentations recorded for asynchronous viewing.

This year, you have the opportunity to propose 5, 10, or 20 minute presentations, or to propose a breakout session. The breakout sessions are virtual roundtables and a great way to discuss issues and topics of interest with others from across the Samvera Community.

We’re looking for submissions from across the entire Samvera landscape, including both local development and community work. Consider the following themes for ideas about submissions that would be welcomed, but also feel free to submit other types of proposals.

  • “New to Samvera” experiences: If you or your institution started adopting Samvera technologies recently, how has the journey been so far?

  • Challenges: We can all from each other’s failures, pilot projects, performance tuning, and integration challenges

  • Adaptation: Have you implemented or are you working on implementing something adapted from another organization in the community?

  • Integration: How are you integrating the digital repository into your wider institutional community? How have you integrated Samvera technology with other software and services?

  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, or Anti-Racist initiatives and challenges in digital repositories

  • Ways we work together: Ideas about processes, staffing, and other strategies that help teams work together better

  • Propose new ideas and pilot projects: “Hear me out, I think we should try this and here’s why…”

This year’s Virtual Connect will have two days of programming, during which we’ll be coordinating presentations into thematic blocks based on topic, audience, and time.

Submit your proposal Proposals are due Friday, March 22nd, 2024.

2 – Nomination period extended for the 2024 Samvera Board Special Election

The nomination period has been extended for the Samvera Board special election. This seat term is two years, running through December 31, 2025.

If you have any questions about the Samvera Board or Board service please don't hesitate to reach out and I'm happy to answer questions or to connect you with a current Board member to give their perspective on the role.

The list of current Samvera Board members and their terms of office can be found here.

Please nominate yourself or a colleague for this Board seat by March 6, 2024.

Term of Office

The elected party will serve for the seat’s remaining two year period, ending December 31st, 2025, and will be eligible for re-election.

Responsibilities of the Samvera Board

Those considering running for the Board should review, and have the support of their institution for, fiscal and time commitments related to the role. See Samvera Elections for full details of the responsibilities of the Board.

Requirements for Nomination

Nominees must be employed with a Samvera Partner organization in good standing. Following nomination, nominees must provide a Statement of Purpose describing:

  • Relevant Experience

  • Reason they wish to serve on the Board

Organizations may not have more than one representative on the Board so nominations will not be accepted for individuals at institutions which will already have a Board member.

3 – Call for volunteer leaders: Hyrax Technical Lead and Hyrax Product Owner

The Samvera Board is seeking volunteers for the following leadership roles:

Hyrax Product Owner

The Hyrax Product owner works with the Hyrax Technical Lead to plan Hyrax strategy and represents Hyrax on the Roadmaps Alignment Group. The Product Owner refines backlog, prioritizes stories and creates milestones for the Hyrax Maintenance Working Group, and facilitates the Hyrax Interest Group.

  • Minimum commitment of 25% FTE for 1 year; institutional reimbursement may be available for a time commitment over 25% (pending funding)

  • Starting November 1, 2024

  • See full role description for details

  • Rebekah Kati is currently the Product Owner for Hyrax, and would be happy to overlap with a new volunteer for a few months before her position in the role ends at the end of October 2024.

Hyrax Technical Lead

The Hyrax Technical Lead leads the technical architecture and vision for Hyrax, serving as a key resource for the Hyrax Maintenance Working Group on issues of technical design and architecture for issue fixes and code integrations.

  • Minimum commitment of 25% FTE for 1 year; institutional reimbursement may be available for a time commitment over 25% (pending funding)

  • Starting July 1, 2024

  • See full role description for details

  • Daniel Pierce is currently the Technical Lead for Hyrax, and would be happy to overlap with a new volunteer for a few months before his position in the role ends at the end of June 2024.

These roles are open until filled. If you are interested in either of these roles or would like to discuss them with the Samvera Board, please fill out this short form.

4 – Call for host locations for Samvera Connect 2024

We are still seeking a host for an in-person gathering for this year, to be held in either September or early October 2024, or in January 2025.

Thank you to the organizations who put forth proposals to host Samvera Connect in Autumn 2025!

Please consider if your organization could offer hosting facilities for this event and help sustain in person opportunities for our open source community. Hosting comes with no financial risk to your institution and the event is in-person and capped to 75 attendees, making accommodations easier to arrange for many organizations.

Please consider if your institution could accommodate the following:

  • Dates and Timing: 

  • The date is somewhat flexible based on your institution's availability and weather/climate:

    • September or October 2024 with a preference to avoid late October in 2024

    • January 2025  

  • The event is proposed to span over 4 days, with the following agenda:

    • Day 1: Workshops

    • Day 2: Plenary Day

    • Day 3: Unconference Day

    • Day 4: Developers Congress and Partners Meeting

  • Location requirements: 

  • We want to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all, particularly for LGBTQ+ community members and individuals from marginalized communities. The safety of particular locations will be discussed with potential hosts and others in the community as we determine potential conference locations.

  • The selected location should offer easy access to hotels/accommodations and restaurants for dinner, either within walking distance or a short car ride away.

  • Facilities needed:

  • A plenary room capable of accommodating up to 75 attendees on Day 2 and 3

  • 4-5 smaller rooms for unconference breakouts, workshops, and meetings

  • A/V equipment for all rooms (projector, sound system, microphones for speakers and to take questions)

  • Ability to record the plenary day (livestream is not required)

  • Sufficient Wi-Fi access for attendees

  • Power strips in meeting and breakout rooms

  • A designated "quiet" room for the duration of the conference

  • The ability to contract catering for breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks on Day 2 and 3, as well as a reception on the evening of Day 2.

  • Finances: Hosting the conference carries no financial risk for your institution. We will work with you to prepare a cost estimate for venue use, catering, staff, A/V needs, insurance (if required), and any other necessary costs so these can be covered by registration fees. Any financial risk will be carried by the Samvera organization.

  • Local Host participation: To ensure the success of the event, we require at least two members from the local host to join the conference planning committee. They will assist in planning and promoting the conference and provide valuable local information and recommendations.

Samvera Connect conferences have been instrumental in fostering collaboration and innovation within our community. Your institution's support as a host location will be greatly appreciated.

If your institution or organization is interested in hosting the Samvera Connect conference, please fill out the expression of interest form by March 15, 2024.

5 – Avalon Media System 7.7 Now Available

The Avalon Media System team is proud to announce Avalon 7.7, a new release which includes significant changes to the media player and a wide variety of improvements and bug fixes.

Ramp, a media playback and presentation component library designed for use with IIIF Presentation 3 manifests, replaces the existing MediaElement.js-based player. Also developed by the Avalon team, Ramp's components are now responsible for rendering almost all aspects of the item and playlist pages, and Avalon's IIIF manifest generation has also been enhanced in turn.

Upgrading will require a full reindex of your Avalon instance due to performance improvements introduced in 7.7. This release also includes Solr 9 support, and we recommended upgrading your version of Solr to 9.x along with 7.7 if possible. See the Upgrading Avalon 7.6 to Avalon 7.7 page for upgrade instructions and notes.

Notable Changes and Updates

  • Ramp replaces the previous media player and most presentational elements on the Playlist and Item pages

  • Application speed has been greatly improved on the Playlist and Item pages

  • Multiple caption files can now be associated per media file, with language value assigned for each caption file

  • New "Add to Playlist" form provides greater flexibility when adding media to playlists

  • "Series" added as a new descriptive metadata field and is also indexed for faceting

  • Improvements to accessibility that bring user-facing Avalon pages up to WCAG 2 Level AA conformance

  • Transcripts can be marked as "machine-generated" to appear differently in the UI

  • Previous and Next buttons added to the media player for easier navigation between sections

  • Added checkbox to set auto-scroll property for transcript viewer

  • Structural Metadata Editor now displays video when available

  • Searching in the Timeline listing has been changed to allow for friendlier, fuzzier matching

  • Changes to collection admin page forms for updating access control

  • A new administrative facet allows filtering by item access level

  • Many updates and additions to IIIF manifest generation

  • IIIF Authentication removed from publicly accessible items

  • Support for reCaptcha v3

  • Support for Solr 9

  • A new system script has been added to improve reindexing from Fedora

Full release notes including bug fixes and changelog are available at avalonmediasystem/avalon/ releases/tag/v7.7.

6 – Announcing Hyrax 5.0.0.rc3

We are pleased to announce the release of Hyrax 5.0.0.rc3. This release includes the following significant changes and features:

  • Improve the Hyrax form API

  • Refactor Valkyrie indexer API (to match forms)

  • Set valkyrie models as default in Hyrax.config

  • Make generated app use Valkyrie

  • Bug fixes

  • Update specs for Valkyrie

Full release notes are available at: hyrax/releases/tag/hyrax-v5.0. 0.rc3

The RC will undergo user testing during the current Hyrax Maintenance Working Group sprint and a stable release of Hyrax 5.0.0 will be released after testing is completed. We are implementing a feature freeze until a stable release of Hyrax 5.0.0 is released.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this release:

  • Daniel Pierce 

  • Ayoub Belemlih

  • Alexandra Dunn

  • Randall Floyd

  • Jeremy Friesen

  • Julie Hardesty

  • Rob Kaufman

  • Margaret Kibi

  • Heather Greer Klein

  • Shana Moore

  • Ryan Orlando

  • Ben Pennell

  • Emily Porter

  • Paul Walk

  • Kirk Wang

  • Brad Watson

  • Tamsin Woo

7 – In case you missed it - job postings and news round-up



Growing open technologies, together.

Samvera Partners

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