As the Hydra-in-a-Box project prepares for major developments in 2017 – release of the Hyku repository minimum viable product, a HykuDirect hosted service pilot program, and a higher-performing aggregation system at DPLA – we welcome three stars who recently joined the project team. Please join us in welcoming Michael Della Bitta, Heather Greer Klein, and Kelcy Shepherd. Each brings deep experience, unique skills, and genuine enthusiasm to the team and will help to ensure that our collective communities are well-informed about this exciting new repository platform and the opportunities to get involved.

Michael, Kelcy, and Heather

Michael Della Bitta

Michael joined DPLA in October 2016 as Director of Technology. Prior to joining DPLA, Michael worked in software development, publications, and in the startup, library, and education spaces for nearly twenty years. Michael most recently worked as the engineering manager at the content marketing company, ScribbleLive. Prior to that, Michael worked as a developer and architect on the repository and Digital Gallery teams at The New York Public Library, and built content management, online learning, and semantic metadata applications at Columbia University.

Michael contributes to the Hydra-in-a-Box project by serving as the IMLS project director, which involves oversight and reporting to IMLS regarding the status of the project. Michael also oversees DPLA’s technical contributions to the project. Michael is extremely enthusiastic about how the Hydra-in-a-Box project will enable smaller institutions lacking the in-house resources to run digital preservation systems and to share their resources with the library community and the world at large.

Heather Greer Klein

Heather joined DuraSpace in October 2016 as Services Coordinator. Heather comes to DuraSpace after spending six years with NC LIVE, a statewide digital library consortium serving 200 public and academic libraries across North Carolina. First as an Online Services Librarian and then as the Member Services Coordinator, Heather helped institutions to take full advantage of the resources and services available through the consortium and implemented new services to meet shared needs.

Heather’s role in the Hydra-in-a-Box project is to help institutions take advantage of the hosted repository service, HykuDirect. She will guide institutions through the setup process by providing sales support, account setup, onboarding and training. Heather is excited that the Hydra-in-a-Box project will allow institutions of many types and sizes to share their collections with the world, regardless of local technical expertise and infrastructure. She is committed to helping institutions to be part of a large and active repository community.

Kelcy Shepherd

Kelcy joined DPLA in August 2016 as Network Manager. Kelcy focuses on maintaining and expanding DPLA’s growing network of Service Hubs. Kelcy has worked on digital archives and digital library projects for over fifteen years, focusing on effective collaboration and community-building. Prior to joining the DPLA, Kelcy was the Head of Digital Programs at the Amherst College Library, providing leadership for the creation, curation, delivery, and preservation of digital collections. She also worked as the Digital Interfaces Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and was an Archives Analyst for the first phase of the Archivists’ Toolkit, an open source software project that evolved into ArchivesSpace.

Kelcy serves as a connection between the Hydra-in-a-Box project and DPLA’s Hubs network, and participates on the Marketing and Communication Team. DPLA’s Service Hubs work with thousands of contributing institutions from very large research libraries to very small local historical societies, libraries, and museums. All of them – and the many more that have been unable to make their collections available online – hold rich, unique collections that deserve a larger audience. Kelcy is most passionate about the potential of the Hydra-in-a-Box project to lower the barrier for these institutions to effectively manage digital collections and make them discoverable to the world.