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This section covers the basic Job Outline and Expectations for Production Assistants.
As per contract, a Production Assistant is to work 15 hours a week.
The main duty of this position is to produce books that are in accessible formats. The Production Assistant will reformat converted ebooks in Microsoft Word as outlined in this eText Wiki, and with the direct guidance and support of the Production Coordinator.
Titles for production are found in the RT system in the Production queue. There are various levels of priority to these titles:
When a Production Assistant is choosing a title to work on it is expected for them to take the Urgent tickets first. These are titles that have been directly requested by our patrons. It is also expected for the Production Assistants to regularly check the queue to see if any new Urgent tickets have been added. Sometimes a ticket will be assigned to you by the Supervisor.
The Production Assistant will use their own laptop along with a current and updated version of Microsoft Word. UAlberta Hub offers free 365 to students that can be downloaded directly to their computer. It is the Production Assistant's responsibility to ensure they are using the latest software on a reliable computer.
If there is ever any downtime in production, the Production Assistant is expected to do metadata work as outlined on this wiki page.
Other projects may be assigned to the Production Assistant at the discretion of the Production Coordinator. If this occurs, the Production Coordinator will communicate the project outcome and expectations within the Production Assistant's current workflow. These projects will be part of their contracted 15 hours, and the Production Assistant will not be paid any additional amount for these projects. If assigned, these projects will take a lower priority to regular book production.
Additional contracts may be offered to the Production Assistant based on skill set and availability. These contracts will be for projects that utilized the Production Assistants skill set, and will be separate from the Production Assistant job and expectations.
All Productions Assistants are expected to work the full 15 hours per week. The Production Assistant can divide these hours within a week in anyway that fits their current schedule, as long as they are finishing all assigned hours per week.
All new hires will go through a training and probationary period of 2 months. During this time you will be given hands on training and support from the Production Coordinator. This can include, but is not limited to: zoom meetings, emails, the wiki, comments through RT.
During this training and probationary period the Production Coordinator will assign you titles to aid with your development. This is to help avoid you getting stuck with a complex title before you have built up your skill set. After training, you will be expected to select and choose tickets as per your job outline.
It is expected that after the training and probationary period you will be able to work independently, with little supervision. The Production Coordinator will still be available as your direct supervisor to help you with any questions or issues that arise during the course of your work. All production questions can be posts on the Production Q&A page, and all Alt-text questions can go on the Alt-text Q&A page.
After the 2 month training and probationary period, a Production Assistant is expected to produce titles on an ongoing and regular basis. We have created the table below to help you understand the general expectations around how long each type of book will take.
The following is a breakdown of the average times it takes to produce different genres of books:
|Book Type||Average Work Hours|
|Novels (no images)||2|
|Children's Picture Books||10|
Alt-text is an essential part of accessibility. It can take longer to learn how to write image descriptions than the other parts of reformatting an ebook, and we are here to help and support you on this journey. Even after you have gotten a handle on how to describe images, there will always be times when you struggle and need assistance.
The expectation for your position is that you are able to write simple and medium Alt-text with little to no feedback after a 2 month period. The Images documentation paired with the additional resources are designed to help you succeed in this process. The Production Coordinator is also responsible for training you and offering support in learning and developing image descriptions. We have created a Alt-text Q&A page specifically for Alt-text to assist you with your education, and help you when you get stuck on any description.
After the 2 month training and probationary period the Production Assistant will have a formal job review with the Production Coordinator and Content Coordinator to discuss your progress in your training and work expectations. If the work expectations haven’t been met by this time, your employment with the BC Libraries Cooperative will be terminated.