News Omeka Dev Team: Now Full Strength

I am thrilled to announce that as of March 1, four key members of the Omeka Development Team are coming to work directly for the project as employees of Digital Scholar.

Under the stewardship of Digital Scholar, Omeka has been a self-supporting project since 2016. As such, it has been contracting with Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University for increasing portions of the Dev Team’s time to develop the software. That important partnership has enabled impressive growth and innovation across the platforms over the years. We are grateful for the long alliance with RRCHNM, which has always been based on a shared commitment to the essential role of open access and open source software in a thriving cultural commonwealth, and we will continue to be allies in the field.

With this transition, the Omeka project is entering a new stage of maturity, ensuring that the staff is available, at full strength, to support its user and developer communities, and to continue to improve the software packages on which so many have come to depend.

Those joining Digital Scholar are:

  • John Flatness, our lead developer who provides direction and oversight to the software development activities across all of the Omeka web publishing platforms;
  • Jim Safley, our senior developer and metadata specialist who concentrates his efforts on architecting and extended the Omeka data models to extend its functionality in innovative ways;
  • Kim Nguyen, our lead designer who is responsible for the administrative and public user experience for all of the platforms;
  • Ken Albers, our Omeka services manager who oversees the hosted service, our custom hosting, support, and design and development services.

These should all be familiar names to Omeka users and developers, because each of them has been part of the team for at least ten years while working as staff at George Mason University. Now, with this move, their time and attention will be fully dedicated to the maintenance and development of Omeka Classic, Omeka S,, nearly 150 addons and themes, and the support of our large community of users and developers.

John, Jim, Kim, and Ken join two new team members who already have been working directly for Digital Scholar since the Fall:

  • Matthew McKinley has significant experience in digital library systems integration, and will concentrate on improving and developing Omeka’s connectors to the larger digital library ecosystem.
  • Robin Fay has a long career in digital library instruction, and is heading up Omeka’s efforts to provide increasing opportunities for end-user training and professional development.

Since its launch in 2008, the Omeka project has thrived on the skill and dedication of the Dev Team. In the early years of the project, when it was grant-funded and based at the RRCHNM, the staff did their best to integrate insights and developments from an array of related work that used Omeka as their core web publishing platform. That helped to keep the software fresh and to improve its functionality. At the same time, we slowly pursued a sustainability plan targeted at making the project self-supporting.

That plan has now paid off in the dramatic increase in capacity that will come from having the full powers of the Dev Team applied to work of building, maintaining, and supporting Omeka. Look for lots of good things to come in the future!

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