[bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis kindly addressed

No, it's not make work. When they put a book up for proof reading from in-house, it is a raw scan. They chop the binding, run it through their high speed scanner, and post the resulting file.


Dave

At 08:02 PM 3/23/2009, you wrote:
Let me say up front that I am speaking from ignorance on this point because I really don't know what goes on at Bookshare headquarters. I am also a relatively new volunteer, having only been doing it since July, so I don't know a lot about what has gone on prior to that time. However, I do have a concern about the staff throwing books on the download list for us to proofread. As I understand it books that are processed by the Bookshare staff are not ordinarily put on the download list. I have no idea what the proofreading process or other quality control process might be in house, but there must be something efficient in place. That is why I wonder if the staff placed books on the checkout list for us to proofread if it would be makework. I mean we want to make a real contribution, not just be given something to do to keep us busy and happy. If my concern is unjustified will someone let me know wherre I am going wrong?

"Philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." Karl Marx

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[bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis kindly addressed
Date:
3/23/2009 6:55:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From:
airadil@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Dear Pavi,

Your answer to my concerns is more reassuring and promising than I ever
hoped for! It feels so good knowing that even though the Bookshare staff has
grown considerably, volunteers work and feelings are still given so much
consideration.

I'm practically levitating with joy at the news the staff may be scanning
books for volunteers to proofread in the future. Your industrial strength
scanner works massive miracles in terms of quantity and quality of books
scanned, but I know from experience that a dedicated proofreader will be
rewarded by finding a few scannos to correct in them, and yet not be
frustrated by lapses in text and page numbering which are frustratingly
beyond repairing. If all of the volunteer's sighs of relief at this
wonderful news were directed toward the Bookshare offices in Palo Alto, you
just might be blown right over the Pacific Ocean!

Was it Mike who suggested comparing the number of errors the tools find in a
submit to those found in   the checked out book? He read my mind. That's a
quantitative, unbiased  way to measure how much a book has been improved,
though many submits have been so carefully prepared scanned and pre-checked
that finding the occasional mistake is no mean feat. I know it's a fine line
between giving the volunteer community its head and micro-managing. And, no
amount of rules and regulations substitute for the individual's ethical
values. Those of us with years of experience may occasionally forget that
what seems obvious to us is unchartered territory for newcomers. We wouldn't
want the work of dealing with us to outweigh our contribution, either.

It takes quite a bit of initiative and planning to develop teamwork between
specific submittors and proofreaders. Sometimes there's considerable
investment in books and postage, too. Faith, risk, patience  and practice
are called upon as teams discover how best to complement one another's
skills for the best productivity and enjoyment. Thank you for recognizing
the value of such teams and allowing them to continue working together.

It's great that some members and volunteers got to meet you at the
conference. You returned to the office to find quite a stir! Thank you for
digging in and working so constructively with Carrie and then writing to the
list on your very first day back!

Always with love,

Lissi

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pavi Mehta" <pavim@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 3:17 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis

> Hi Lissi and others,
>
> Thanks for the thoughtful discussion that has taken place on this list
> while I've been away at C-SUN. (It was a pleasure to meet some of our
> volunteers and members in person there!)
>
> Carrie and I just had a follow up discussion on the problem of the
> scarcity of books on the checkout list. To answer your question Lissi,
> staff and paid subcontractors don't use the checkout list (except for rare
> exception cases) so that isn't where the problem lies.
>
> 1. As you have all pointed out -- there are a few people who have checked
> out and checked in large numbers of books without according to each, a
> reasonable time for proofing.
>
> I have written to these volunteers (my thanks to all the submitters who
> wrote in with their concerns) and let them know that in the future if that
> trend continues their checked in books will be returned to the checkout
> list due to "insufficient time for proofing" and further action will be
> taken if needed. Carrie is ccd on these letters so she stays in the loop
> as the approval queue manager. We will certainly be watching the proofing
> time more carefully here on.
>
> 2. Carrie and I talked about the possibility of scanning more books
> in-house explicitly for the Checkout List. We are hoping to be able to up
> the weekly number of new titles we scan here and place on the checkout
> list, so that our proofreaders have more to choose from.
>
> Regarding Hold Fors -- we know that many of you work in excellent teams
> and do not want to do anything to prevent you from being able to reserve
> books for your tag-team partner or anyone whom you have a good working
> relationship with. That said, when I receive emails from proofreaders
> asking that I place a Hold For on a book that is on the download list in
> their name, I let them know that in order to be fair to other proofreaders
> I can only do this for a maximum of two books, and if they want a Hold For
> on more books the best way to do that is to develop a working relationship
> with the submitter. If you would like me to modify this policy please let
> me know.
>
> All good things,
> Pavi
>
> Pavi Mehta
> Volunteer Coordinator, Bookshare
>
> Benetech
> 480 S. California Ave., Suite 201
> Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609 USA
> Phone: +1 650 644-3459
>
> pavim@xxxxxxxxxxxx
>
> www.benetech.org
>
> The Benetech Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity
> A Nonprofit Organization
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mickey
> Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 8:42 AM
> To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis
>
> Well said, Lissi. I have some time off, and looked at the checkout page
> today. The books are almost all either Holdfors or something not in my
> field
> of expertise. Frankly, I'm ready to throw in the sponge.
>
> I have some books to scan, but I don't even like my scans. But I'll do
> them
> anyway.
>
> We also need to be careful to nourish volunteers, to bring them along and
> show them what we require, not only give to the ones we know are good.
> That
> promotes cliques, which ruins any good volunteer organization.
>
> Not trying to start something, just trying to make the organization
> better.
> Mikey
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bob" <rwiley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 12:36 AM
> Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis
>
>
>> You do bring up some very valid points Lissi, and I want to second your
>> concern.
>>
>> Some time ago I did notice that a few books were scanned and proofread by
>> the same person and given the short path to the collection. I didn't
>> notice many like that, but that could be one of the reasons for our
>> incredible shrinking checkout page. I really love the book history
>> feature
>> that bookshare has implemented. In that way we can track a book's path to
>> glory.
>>
>> Bob
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Estelnalissi" <airadil@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:21 PM
>> Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: proofreading crisis
>>
>>
>>> Dear Bud and Booksharian Friends,
>>>
>>> The scarcity of books to proofread on the check-out page is alarming.
>>>
>>> I understand Bookshare wouldn't want to alienate its volunteers en
>>> masse,
>>> but I think a small number of volunteers may be responsible for a large
>>> amount of poor quality material being shunted through the system.
>>> Certainly conscientious proofreaders are missing the opportunity we had,
>>> a mere 3 months ago, to find books upon which to lavish our attention,
>>> but worse yet, members are again, despite the elimination of the fair
>>> category, being given books to read which are below the high standard
>>> most of us willingly give our time and acquired expertise to maintain.
>>> It
>>> only takes a couple of frustrating reading experiences for a member to
>>> write Bookshare off as an unreliable source of reading material and I
>>> think we shouldn't underestimate the damage the resulting word-of-mouth
>>> criticism does to Bookshare's reputation.
>>>
>>> The purpose of proofreaders is to catch the errors which submittors
>>> miss.
>>> A proofreader who runs a routine spell check and copyright check is
>>> bound
>>> to overlook errors which will be all to obvious to subsequent readers.
>>> Submittors like you, Bud, trust when you put a book on the check out
>>> page, that the volunteer who checks out your book will take as much
>>> pride
>>> in their proofreading as you do in your scanning.
>>>
>>> A few weeks ago I checked out a book by Avi, a book for middle school
>>> age
>>> children, which was missing many page breaks and had had extra hard
>>> returns on at least 95 percent of the lines. Some other scanning errors
>>> had also been left uncorrected. It was put back on the check out page
>>> after being checked in by a proofreader who would have to have noticed
>>> these mistakes on practically every line, in just a few minutes of
>>> examining the file. It took a couple of weeks for me to get a copy of
>>> the
>>> book and to fix what needed fixing, but I'm a fan of Avi and I was
>>> horrified at the thought of a kid getting such a good book in such sorry
>>> condition.
>>>
>>> Another important point in my mind is the fact that we're watching the
>>> check out page dwindle without knowing the cause. We're speculating
>>> because we're concerned and because proofreaders' source of workable
>>> files is drying up. Are their fewer submissions? Are a small number of
>>> manic proofreaders who are ignoring the reading implicit in the word
>>> proofread turning books around in the time it takes to fill out the
>>> check
>>> in form? Is the staff proofreading books from the check-in form? Why has
>>> the number of books on the check in page dropped an average of 100 books
>>> a month. At that rate the page will be empty soon and May first will
>>> truly be a May Day for dedicated proofreaders. Is there a future for
>>> Proofreaders at Bookshare?
>>>
>>> Pavi, Carrie, Anyone on staff would ask you personally, but the answers
>>> I
>>> seek are not just for myself. I  believe concern and anxiety are running
>>> high in this segment of the volunteer community. Please catch us up...
>>> fill us in. Solid information would serve us far better than our
>>> continued hypothesizing.
>>>
>>> Always with love,
>>>
>>> Lissi
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Bud Schwab" <budschwab@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:22 PM
>>> Subject: [bksvol-discuss] proofreading dilemma
>>>
>>>
>>>> Hi guys,
>>>> I was out this afternoon and when I got home I had 95 emails, mostly
>>>> dealing with the shoddy proofreading.  Maybe my thoughts are too
>>>> simple,
>>>> but why doesn't Bookshare have the authority to just dump those people
>>>> who aren't  really putting their heart in their work?     I don't think
>>>> a slap on the wrist is going to do anything.  After all the hard work I
>>>> put into scanning and cleaning up a book I resent it when it gets just
>>>> a
>>>> short checking and returned  as proofread.
>>>> Just my thoughts.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Bud Schwab
>>>> W 6 Z Y P
>>>> Malibu, California
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
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>>
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>
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