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Job Outline and Expectations

This section covers the basic Job Outline and Expectations for Production Assistants, as well as details on the Probation and Training period.

Job Outline

A Production Assistant is to work 30 hours per week.

The Production Assistant will use their own laptop along with a current and updated version of Microsoft Word. It is the Production Assistant's responsibility to ensure that they are using the latest software on a reliable computer.

Your work duties will be divided as follows:

  • 20 hours on eText Production
  • 10 hours on MP3 to DAISY
  • Content as needed (around 5 hours a month for CELA and ABC)

Content development work:

  • CELA File Exchange: aim to select 5 titles a month. Remember to contact the Production Coordinator when you finish each batch of selection.
  • ABC Selection: aim to select 5 titles a month. Remember to contact the Production Coordinator when you finish each batch of selection.
  • Purchasing: For more information go to Selecting Titles for Purchase.
  • Metadata Cleanup: When you have no other content work to do, or are waiting on Production work, you can work on this!
  • Other projects as assigned
If you have any issues accessing any of these pages, please contact the Production Coordinator.

Production Expectations

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, post a question on the Production Q&A.

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 that they take the Urgent tickets first. These are titles that have been directly requested by our patrons.

It is also expected that the Production Assistants regularly check the queue to see if any new Urgent tickets have been added.

When taking your next patron request, please start with the oldest and work your way through to the newest. If you need help identifying which ones are oldest, please ask the Production Coordinator.

Some Award tickets will need to be converted into two formats for the same title (i.e. an MP3 to DAISY, and EPUB conversion). When you take one of these tickets there will be a comment in the ticket that both formats need to be converted. The documents for the EPUB conversion will be in Cyberduck, and the link to the MP3 will be in the comment section of the ticket. If you need assistance with this, please ask the Production Coordinator.

You should finish a ticket before taking another one, unless otherwise directed by the Production Coordinator.

Sometimes a ticket will be assigned to you by the Supervisor. The Supervisor will also send out regular email updates on production priorities for Awards.

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 to 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 within 48-72 hours then the ticket passed and will be converted and published.
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.
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 hours, and the Production Assistant will not be paid any additional amount for these projects.
If there is an illness, or other similar circumstance, that prevents the employee from working their full hours they must contact their direct supervisor, the Production Coordinator, at their greatest convenience.
Please contact the Production Coordinator to book your vacation and personal days. These will be outlined in your contract.

Job Expectations

All Production Assistants are expected to work their full hours per week (30 hours).

It is expected that part of their work schedule overlaps with the Production Coordinator.

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.

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 posted 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.

Below you will find a table that is a breakdown of the average time it takes to produce different genres of books for reformatting an eText. These are average times and include image descriptions and complex formatting. Complex formatting includes (but is not limited to):

  • heavy use of emphasis,
  • heavy use of languages,
  • complex image descriptions,
  • page numbers,
  • asides,
  • more than 2 heading levels,
  • tables.
Book Type Average Work Hours
Poetry 2
Plays (cover image only) 2
Novels (cover image only) 5
Novels with Complex Formatting 7
Illustrated Books 15
Children's Picture Books 20
Nonfiction/Biography (multiple images) 20
Nonfiction with Complex Formatting 50
Cookbooks 50
These times are based on fully-trained Production Assistant workflows
If you have a title that you feel 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.

Job Expectations: Image Descriptions

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 creating image descriptions. We have an 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.

The table below is a guideline of the average time it takes to do only image descriptions.

The average time for writing and editing Alt-text:

Image Type Average Work Hours
Simple image 5 minutes per image
Medium image 30 minutes per image
Complex image 1 hour per image

Go to Editing Your Alt-text to learn more about how to edit your image descriptions.

Sometimes images will require so research on your end and will take longer than average. For example, when describing art, you want to use the right terminology for the style of art you are describing and a quick search on the art piece or artist can help. This is also try for culturally specific items. For more information, go to Glossary of Alt-text Terms and General Guidelines.

Probation Period and Training

All new hires will go through a training and probationary period of 2 months. It is expected that by the end of this probationary period you will be able to do the following:

  • Be able to produce titles with little to no feedback on an regular and ongoing basis (see below for table of average hours per book)
  • Write Simple and Medium Image Descriptions with little to no feedback
  • Communicate clearly and ask questions

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 and you will continue your employment with NNELS.

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
  • Wiki documentation and Q&A posts
  • Comments in RT

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 that 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. If Progressive Discipline does not improve your work within the 2 month probationary period, you will fail probation.
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.

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public/nnels/etext/pa-outline-expectations.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/27 11:37 by rachel.osolen