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Job Outline and Expectations

This section covers the basic Job Outline and Expectations for Production Assistants.

Job Outline

As per contract, a Production Assistant is to work 15 hours a week.

If there is an illness, or other similar circumstance, that prevents the employee from working a full 15 hours they must contact their direct supervisor, the Production Coordinator.
As per your contract you have two (2) vacation days. Vacations are to be taken at such time or times as are mutually convenient to you and the Production Coordinator. The period from December 25th through December 31st are paid days off. NNELS is part of the BC Co-operative, and as such recognizes all BC Statutory holidays.

You also have five (5) personal days. Please contact the Production Coordinator when you are taking a personal day.

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.

If there is a section on the wiki that is not clear, ask the Production Coordinator for clarification.

Titles for production are found in the RT system in the Production queue. There are various levels of priority to these titles:

  • Urgent
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

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.

A Production Assistant should aim to have only 2-3 tickets maximum at any given time. This helps avoid burnout and workload piling up.

It can take 48-72 hours for the Production Coordinator review a finished title. The Production Coordinator will return the ticket if revisions are necessary. It is expected that these revisions are priority unless otherwise stated by the Production Coordinator. Notes about revisions will be placed in the Comment section of the ticket. If you do not hear back from the Production Coordinator with 48-72 hours then the ticket passed and will be converted and published.

When available, it is expected that the Production Assistants take an MP3 to DAISY ticket every week or so to keep on top of these requests. The workflow is on average 20-30 minutes per title. See the Converting MP3 to DAISY with Converter Plus documentation for more information.

All tickets assigned to Production Assistants by the Production Coordinator take priority over all other work. The Production Coordinator may also assign specific deadlines to titles.

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.

Training and Job 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.

Hours can only be banked in exceptional circumstances and this must be discussed with and approved by the Production Coordinator in advance.
The Production Coordinator works full-time hours during the week between 9am and 6pm EST. They may make themselves available outside these hours for special circumstances, such as training of special projects with tight deadlines.

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 you avoid 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.

During this training and probationary period it is essential you communicate clearly with the Production Coordinator about any issues you are having with your position or with training. If the Production Coordinator finds you are not meeting job expectations, they will apply Progressive Discipline measures to help you improve your work and skill set.
During your probation, if you find you no longer want to work with NNELS, you can send a letter of resignation to the Production Coordinator without notice. After the end of your probation, if you find you no longer want to work with NNELS, then we ask for one weeks' notice.

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
Novels (images) 4
Nonfiction (images/graphs/endnotes) 10
Poetry 1.5
Plays 1.5
Cookbooks/Complex Formatting 15
Textbooks 40
Children's Picture Books 10
Illustrated Books 5
If you have a title that you feel it is taking you a long time to work on, please contact the Production Coordinator through the RT ticket for that title so they are aware that the title is more time consuming than originally expected. This can include, but is not limited to, novels with messy conversion and complex titles that include many images, tables, and footnotes.

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 got 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 of working with Alt-text. 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.

You will have a final evaluation meeting at the end of this 2 month period where your performance will be reviewed and you will be given either a pass or fail depending on if you have met the job expectations as outlined above.

If you do not meet the job expectations at the end of this 2 month period it will be considered a fail and your contract will be terminated.

If you do meet the job expectations at the end of this 2 month period it will be considered a pass.

If at any time during their employment, a Production Assistant is not meeting the expectations as outlined in this documentation Progressive Discipline will be applied.

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public/nnels/etext/pa-outline-expectations.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/11 13:44 by rachel.osolen