[bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare & PQ submission

I totally agree with you Lori. And thanks for saying it so well.

Bob
----- Original Message ----- From: "Lori Castner" <loralee.castner@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 5:03 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare & PQ submission


Monica and others,

I did not read Cindy's message as speaking for all of us, and the message I am posting now speaks only for me. But in reality, all of our comments on this matter are totally irrelevant because the powers that be at Bookshare have already made the decisions: publisher quality books will replace books in the collection (unless some with pictcture descriptions can be preserved), and more and more publishers will be providing books (which is great as long as people don't mind the character of Bookshare changing)..

I initially wrote my comments below last evening but put them in a draft message as I believed they should sit for a while, but they do voice my concerns.

I'm going to say the first negative thing I've said on this list.

All the points made about loss of chart table and poetry formatting are
crucial concerns.

In addition, the loss of very wonderful detailed picture descriptions
provided by volunteers mainly in children's books but also in some adult
books is irreplaceable. I grew up without picture descriptions in my books and their availability to blind children and adults today through bookshare
books is a true marvel.

But, here is the negative part.  I am very disappointed to know that the
hard work of many submitters and validators will be simply lost as publisher
books become a more prominent part of Bookshare.  Hours and hours of work
simply gone; frankly, it feels like a corpporation taking over a small
company.

I am sure many will disagree with me, but as Bookshare progresses in this
direction the work of volunteers will be less needed and the voice of those
who scann/submit books to shape the collection will become less important.

From what I know of the formation of Bookshare, it was originally a vehicle
for many to submit books they had scanned so that other individuals could
access them.  It was a grassroots movement sort of; as I see it, in a few
years it will no longer be that.

True; we will have access to many more books, but users will have far less
say and volunteers will have far less work and value.

Mind you, Bookshare will still be a  good and worthwhile source of books,
but it won't be the same source. I may be alone in this concern, and maybe
I am wrong, but I doubt it.

Cat Lover Lori

----- Original Message ----- From: "Paula and James Muysenberg" <outofsightlife@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Bkvol" <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 4:35 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare & PQ submissions


these books contain charts or diagrams. I try to either format the charts
so
they will be understandable, keeping in mind that the Bookshare stripper
removes tabs, or I put an explanation in brackets. I'm sure other
submitters
do similar things, all of which would be lost when the book is replaced.
   For the most part, I'm excited about publishers donating books to
Bookshare, but I really think these other issues need to be addressed. I'm
concerned that none of this seems to have been taken in consideration,
when
the contract with publishers was drawn up.
   The loss of picture descriptions in children's books especially
troubles
me, since some children's books don't
make much sense without the pictures. When our oldest daughter was a
toddler, someone gave us a couple of Frances books. The books never
mention
that Frances and her family are bears, and since I couldn't see the
pictures, it was years before I found that out. I also didn't know for the longest that Clifferd is a huge, red dog. Oh the gaps that will be left in
our
education, without picture descriptions!
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Paula


----- Original Message ----- From: "Mayrie ReNae" <mrenae@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:33 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare & PQ submissions


Hi Carrie and Pavi,

All that you say here I understand completely.  There are, however,
a couple of cases in which replacing a truly excellent copy of a book
scanned and validated by conscientious volunteers would be, in my
opinion,
harmful to the Bookshare collection.  Children's books that have had
picture
descriptions and handwritten pages typed in by volunteers, and books of
poetry in which stanzas have been preserved would be of lower quality
from
the publishers.  Obviously copies of childrens' books from the publisher
will not include picture descriptions.  If handwriting is preserved in
the
text of publisher quality books as handwriting, , no screen reader will
read
that.  And finally, poetry that is not protected from having all of its
stanzas and lines run together is no longer poetry, but prose, which it
was
not intended to be.

I understand that to keep your contract with publishers, you must
keep only their copies of books.  That can't probably be changed.  I do
think it is important to note that there will be in some few cases, some
important things lost by removing scanned copies of books from the
Bookshare
collection.  I doubt that there is anything that can be done.  But this
is
a
sad situation to me.

I would suggest  that members grab any books whose quality might
suffer in ways that I have noted, and others that I haven't thought of,
that
they want to read that might be replaced by publisher quality books  now
before they are replaced.

Mayrie


-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Pavi Mehta
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 2:20 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Lisa Friendly
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Bookshare & PQ submissions

Hi All,

In the light of recent discussions on the list regarding Publisher
quality
submissions we wanted to send an email to all of you to clarify
Bookshare's
position on this.

While volunteers continue to be our primary source of books being put
into
the collection, upgrading books already in the collection continues to be
one of Bookshare's primary goals.  Many volunteers have contributed
thousands of hours in improving books in the collection, and they do a
great
job!  But publishers have resources that allow them to create perfect
copies
of books. Bookshare would like every single book in the collection to be
absolutely perfect, and this goal actually might be achievable if we can
convince publishers to donate e-book versions of their books. Many of the Publisher Quality books that we receive are in perfect condition, but not
quite all at this point, as the technology is evolving in the publishing
industry.

We need to encourage publishers to donate their books, since eventually
they
will be donating ONLY perfect books. And wouldn't that be wonderful?
Imagine
every single book in the collection being perfect! Currently it's a goal,
but someday, maybe not too far away, it might be possible to achieve it.
We know that thousands of volunteers have contributed hundreds of
thousands
of hours of effort in putting books into the collection, and we
acknowledge
that the vast majority of our books are in excellent condition.  But
upgrading our books will always be a primary goal, and to that end, we
will
replace current books with publisher quality books. It is also very
important for us to let our volunteer community know that this
replacement
policy is in fact a requirement of the contracts that we sign with the
publishing houses.

To the extent possible, we will also inform the volunteers of the books
that
publishers will be sending us, so as to not duplicate efforts. With every
batch of books that publishers send us, there are software changes
required
in our processing of their books, so the books are currently being added
to
the collection in at a fairly slow trickle. But we are pretty optimistic
that in the near future, the speed of donating books and processing them
will increase. Our mandate from the US Department of Education is to put
100,000 new books into the collection in 5 years. We have no doubt that
we
will meet that goal, especially with all the Publisher Quality books that
we
are being given by the forward-thinking publishers who are so generous
with
their time, efforts and books. Huge thanks to O'Reilly, HarperCollins,
Scholastic, and other publishing houses and to all of you as we continue
to
grow the collection as a team.


Carrie Karnos and Pavi Mehta
Bookshare.org







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----- Original Message ----- From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Pavi Mehta" <pavim@xxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Lisa Friendly" <lisaf@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 1:08 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare & PQ submission


Hi, Cindy. No one likes to have their time wasted or see what they
worked on replaced. Having said that, a large number of books
currently in the collection are nowhere near perfect. Keeping them for
the sake of preserving someone's time isn't fair to the members of
Bookshare both because it would create confusion when someone is
searching for books and because we don't enjoy reading messed up books
unless we have no other choice. Even books rated excellent aren't
usually letter perfect, and a significant number have some serious
issues.

Cindy, you have the ability to grab a book from your library or
bookstore and read it whenever you want to. You never have to worry
about scannos, and you don't have the distraction of hearing non-words
spoken in almost every paragraph. Yet you are the loudest voice asking
for Bookshare to keep scanned books when a publisher-quality book is
available. Yes, you may validate carefully from the print copy, and
that's wonderful. You are not in the majority though, and Bookshare
can't just keep books processed by you while getting rid of everyone
else's. All of us here have put our money, time, and energy into
preparing books for people to read. Yet we do this knowing that
someone could come along and do a BSO of our book at any time. In this
case, the publisher is doing a BSO, and who is more qualified to
provide it than the publisher?

You send your emails copied to Lisa and Pavi and would seem to speak
for us. You don't speak for many of us because you don't have any
concept of what it's like to have scanned books as your only source
for reading material. If Bookshare had a magic button where they could
replace every book with a perfect publisher quality version, I would
celebrate and send the staff some champagne. There are a small number
of books with hand-written picture descriptions that might be
replaced, and you could contact Bookshare about those. There are
literally thousands of books in the Bookshare collection that are
barely legible right now. They would become a pleasure to read if
replaced. Teachers want extremely clean scans for their students to
read. The PQ books provide that and benefit adult readers as well. I
just hope they will expand the program and that other publishers will
work with Bookshare in the future.


--
Monica Willyard
Visit my blog at http://www.scannersguild.com
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