The New York Public Library: Web Applications Developer

Posted by | May 22, 2012 | Web Pro Job Tips

Location: New York, NY


External Overview:
The New York Public Library seeks a talented web applications developer to help build and launch a new web-based video archives environment as part of its new research and development unit, NYPL Labs.
Us? A small, creative team at the heart of one of the world’s great cultural institutions: exploring new technologies, imagining the future of research.

You? A maker and experimenter game to help re-imagine a century-old organization. Able to build, test and debug in rapid iterations. Excited by performing arts archives and interested in figuring out ways to breathe new life into them digitally. Maybe you went to library school and liked coding more than cataloging, or maybe you’re tired of building coupon apps and want to focus on liberating data.
Archives? The raw material of research and the building blocks of new knowledge. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is one of the largest and most used archival repositories of video documentation of dance and theater. Thousands of books, documentaries, and even new performances have been created out of our archives.
The work? To modernize (and in some cases invent) the mechanisms for discovering and using the Library’s archival video material. The project will begin with prototyping around videos in the Library’s Dance collections. This model collection will lay the foundation for a broader library video service: a cornerstone of the Library’s digital future. You’ll work at NYPL’s landmark central branch on 42nd Street as technical lead on an archives project team collaborating with senior curators and librarians. Expect frequent visits to the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and contact with dance historians, choreographers and the wider arts-tech community in New York.
Skill set/qualifications:
  • Bachelors degree in Information Systems, Computer Science, Web Development, Digital Design, or a related field
  • Excellent knowledge of Javascript, including frameworks and techniques such as AJAX or JQuery
  • Solid experience using scripting languages for building web applications (PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl)
  • Expert level HTML and CSS skills
  • Clear, acute writing style (there will be blogging and potentially other writing opportunities)
  • Interest in libraries, archives and open source/open access culture a must

  • Expert knowledge of XML and XSLT strongly desired
  • Some understanding of archival collections (from collection processing, management, or as a researcher)
  • Some understanding of copyright and contract law.
  • Knowledge of TEI, METS, MODS, and OAI-PMH
  • Familiarity with streaming video and location-specific access restrictions
  • Familiarity with the API of the commercial video streaming service, BrightCove, a plus.
Position will report to the Manager of NYPL Labs, and work closely with the Digital Curator for the Performing Arts, Repository team, fellow Labs developers, and Senior Manager for Web Initiatives.
This position is temporary for 12 months.


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