[bksvol-discuss] Re: Jim gets off his duff and speaks

Thank you so much for posting! I know all the griping has to make some 
people sound like a bunch of ungrateful never-minds. *smile* I think, 
really, we're all about trying to reach the same goal, though, and I think 
some of us just have our patience worn a little thin when we try to make a 
book more accessible to someone and our attempts fail. I can't speak for 
everyone else, but I can probably safely say at least most people would 
agree with me that we are truly grateful for what we have here. We just get 
frustrated in trying to help, too, in whatever way we can, to make it more 
accessible for everyone who uses it. That's no small feat, I know, since we 
all use Bookshare for various reasons...some strictly for pleasure, maybe 
some strictly for research or school, and many of us probably somewhere in 
between. I personally want to thank everyone who works behind the 
scenes...most of them we never hear from, including Mr. Fruchterman himself, 
and I thank you for taking the time to write to us. Take care.
Julie Morales
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jim@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 6:25 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Jim gets off his duff and speaks


Jim Fruchterman of Bookshare.org here.  I've been reading the discussion
about the stripper with some interest.  There are a lot of issues, and
I'd like to address them in order.  First, the overview.

Bookshare.org wants to provide quality books that address the needs of
all of our users, at a low cost.   We want to get more books, highly
accurate books and better marked up books.  And, we have to do it on a
shoestring, as someone pointed out. I spend most of my time raising
money, in large part to plug the deficit that Bookshare.org runs.  Our
key priority is to keep the system running and grow the number of users,
so that we can get Bookshare.org to break even.  After that, as we make
more money, we plow it back into Bookshare.org for more services, more
books and more engineering improvements.

Right now, we're not flush, but we have enough funding to operate and
for a modest amount of engineering to meet user needs and grant
objectives.  We're going to target raising money for collection
development and quality improvements around technology.  Collection
development money will fund a replacement for Marissa, as well as more
books.  Of course, if we had twice as many subscribers, that would do
wonders funding these things.  That's why we hired Janice Carter and
Susie Mackinnon: Janice can run a business better than I can, and Susie
is working hard to bring the education revenue in (which is our best bet
for increased revenue).  I think we are in a great spot for growth right
now.

Janice often mentions how amazed she is with how far Bookshare.org has
come on so little funding.  I think it's a combination of a great
user/volunteer community with a small but scrappy team, together
dedicated to creating the digital library of the future.

So, we want to do more and do better.  And, constructive criticism is a
good thing. So, in my next post, let me try to sum up what I think the
page number thing is all about, to inform both our engineering and fund
raising goals.

Jim Fruchterman, Bookshare.org founder






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