Shannon, I agree with everything you say here. You are absolutely right. But what you say does not address the central issue. It is certainly true that anyone can scan whatever they like and get it added to the collection. There does not appear to be any kind of discrimination or bias as far as that is concerned. However, the issue Chris is raising is an important one. Bookshare has made an explicit statement on its site about its policy with respect to best sellers. What he, and a couple of others, are pointing out is an apparent disconnect between that clear statement and what Bookshare actually does. For whatever reason, Bookshare is perceived by some as not fully living up to that statement.
Personally, I don't care about the particular books that have been mentioned in this regard, as I have no real interest in reading that kind of thing. But there is a matter of principle here: Either Bookshare needs to stand behind its clearly stated policy, or it needs to qualify that statement, or remove it altogether from the site. It is not good for Bookshare's reputation - and perhaps its future growth - that there is this perceived disconnect between words and action. It is even worse, in addition to the perception that Bookshare does not stand behind its words, if the issue is compounded by a perception of bias in those best sellers that do or do not get added to the collection. The surest way to quash such perceptions is for staff to act in strict accord with stated policy, or else change the policy.
Evan----- Original Message ----- From: "solsticesinger" <solsticesinger25@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:57 AMSubject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Best sellers that aren't making it into the collection
Honestly, if you are that concerned about it, and want to read these booksso badly, you really should scan them yourself, or find somebody to do so onyour behalf. No one stops books from becoming part of the collection because of their subject matter. Whether or not a particular person chooses to scan and process a given book is a matter of personal choice, but, no one is saying that certain books are not allowed in the collection.I'm a lesbian and a Pagan. Now, there are books on both LBGT topics, and onthe Pagan religion in the collection. Both subjects are consideredcontroversial. Yet, I have found that bookshare is one of the only places Ican obtain such material. Yes. Some of it I have scanned myself. Some of it has been scanned by others, but, the point is, no one stopped the books from being part of the collection, because of their subject matter. Shannon We are wise, not because we are women, but because we seek wisdom.----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Feist" <ccfeist@xxxxxxxxxx>To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 11:59 PM Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Best sellers that aren't making it into the collection Hi all. After some investigating, I see that I'm still confused, and I believe with good reason. I'm posting this on both lists. To begin with, I'll quote directly from the Bookshare Web site."Bookshare.org is proud to be able to bring to its subscribers all the booksthat have appeared in the top 10 on the New York TimesR Best Sellers lists in fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and paperback alike, from September, 2005 through September, 2007 . . . We're working on our October/November 2007 best sellers; as new titles appear on these lists, we purchase these books, process them in-house, and add them to our collection." Based on the information above, all books that appear on the NYT top 10 shall be routinely added to the collection. It goes on to say, "Our volunteers make sure that the Bookshare.org library includes current books on The New York Times Best Seller list." And yet, for some reason unclear to me, it has been brought to light that Power to the People by Laura Ingraham was never added to the collection.First, Ann Coulter's new book is passed over, and now I learn of another top10 book that shared the same fate.It's significant to point out that Power to the People reached #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Let me repeat that. It went all the way, infact it debuted, at #1. How could a #1 book possibly get overlooked? Tothe best of my knowledge, there has been only one explanation given for itsexclusion, (and thanks to Jamie for bringing it to our attention). Surely there is a more adequate explanation. If there is, I'd really appreciatesome clarification. It's unfortunate that the book was not included at thevery least, and it raises some disturbing, but valid, questions-especially considering the similarity of both authors. Also on the Web site, I've discovered that Bookshare takes donations to assist in broadening the collection: "We obtain a new book either bypurchasing it or having it donated. Decisions on which books to purchase aremade based on user requests and surveys, best-seller lists, book award winners and recommendations from teachers and school administrators." Again, this is baffling because Power to the People has been both 1.requested and, 2. was a #1 on both New York Times and Amazon. I don't knowif the consideration of "user requests" is taken by a show of hands, but just in case, I'd like to add my request for Power to the People as well. As far as it's status as a best seller, I believe Power to the People's success speaks for itself. It has been suggested that if I want a best seller added to the collectionthat has been skipped over, I could always purchase the book myself and sendit to the Bookshare office or find someone to scan it for me. In view of Bookshare's policy on providing members with best sellers, plainly thatendeavor lies with Bookshare itself. I do understand that volunteers submitthe books they wish to, and that is what makes up a significant portion of the collection. However, clearly that process is not supposed to include best sellers. Let me close by saying I've merely raised some concerns I have. I'm notpointing fingers at anyone. In fact, I'm reading what people have to say onlist, and then reading the information on the Bookshare Web site, and for whatever reason, 2 + 2 is not equaling 4. Thank you for your time, Chris Feist - The one and only! To unsubscribe from this list send a blank Email to bksvol-discuss-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxput the word 'unsubscribe' by itself in the subject line. 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