Avalon Spotlight: Univ. of Alberta Libraries and Chris Want's Contributions to Avalon

As an open source, community-driven application, the Avalon Media System progresses and improves via contributions from users.  A recent example of how our community supports Avalon can be found in the work from Chris Want at the University of Alberta Libraries.
UAL hosts ERA Audio + Video (Education & Research Archive), which utilizes the Avalon Media System.  “Currently [UAL] hosts over 1600 research, instructional, licensed and other types of multimedia resources. Its purpose is to provide a platform for the University of Alberta community to host its own digital audiovisual content in a secure environment built for academic needs, in support of the increasing use of media content in research and teaching. The repository helps to ensure that audio-visual content from the University is properly managed and curated, and will be accessible for many years to come,”  says Weiwei Shi, UAL’s Digital Initiatives Applications Librarian.
Lead developer Chris Want has recently worked to upgrade the Avalon 5 system to Avalon 6, migrating data and ensuring the stability of ERA Audio + Video.  During the migration, Chris remained in constant contact with the Avalon core development teams at Northwestern and Indiana Universities, providing us with updates, and uncovering bugs. His work included  an array of useful upstream code changes that have strengthened the Avalon 6 codebase.  
By reaching out on Slack, contributing to the Avalon codebase via Github and remaining in close contact, Chris has helped make Avalon 6 a better system for anyone who wishes to jump onboard.  This truly collaborative relationship has paved the way for how Avalon can work with more developers while bringing a better system to the community.
However, as Weiwei states, “At the end of the month, we are saying a bittersweet goodbye to Chris as he moves to another position on campus, and we'd like to express our sincere appreciation for the amazing work Chris has done for us over the past few years.”  
The Avalon team wishes to express its sincere thanks to Chris Want for his contributions to the Avalon codebase and to the University of Alberta Libraries for allowing Chris to spend the time necessary to share his experience and his code.  We wish Chris the best of luck and look forward to working with UAL again in the future.