[bksvol-discuss] Re: A Proposal For A Quality Solution

  • From: Grandma Cindy <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 20:20:48 -0800 (PST)

My personal opinion is that only books that are
Excellent, which does allow for a few errors,should
now be included. I'd allow Good, too, except that the
books I've seen rated Good do not fit my idea of Good
but only Fair. I don't see how anybody has the
patience to read books that have garbled words and
sentences and missing pages. Sentences that have
occasional missing words, such as in the book I'm
validating now, aren't so bad because it happens to be
easy to fill in from the context--either by writing
them in as I, the validator, am doing, or mentally. 



--- Monica Willyard <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I would like to propose a solution to resolve the
> ongoing quality 
> control issues that have plagued Bookshare since I
> started volunteering 
> 2 years ago.  As Bookshare grows, we're going to
> have some growing 
> pains. Things aren't as they were six years ago, and
> we have to find 
> ways to work through our growth challenges
> graciously . The Salvation 
> Army had to do something like this in the past, and
> so have other groups 
> who depend on volunteers for part of their work
> force.
> Quality control is an issue that keeps cropping up
> and is something that 
> is causing frustration for staff, readers,  and
> volunteers alike. We are 
> producing books for people who actually want to read
> them and are also 
> serving a growing population of students. At some
> point, I think we have 
> to set a baseline for what is useful and what is
> just garbage. The Toys 
> For Tots program won't let you donate broken toys
> for children. They 
> insist on a baseline for quality because no one
> wants to open a broken 
> toy for Christmas. No one wants to read an illegible
> book they download 
> from Bookshare either. Quality is one of the things
> staff and volunteers 
> hear about when we go to conventions, and teachers
> want quality if 
> they're going to use Bookshare for their students.
> I'd really like to see staff give a firm definition
> of what fair means, 
> because there really is a quality lower than fair.
> As it stands now, 
> fair could mean almost anything, even a book at only
> 22 percent 
> accuracy. I'd like to see fair defined clearly for
> everyone and then for 
> all books on step 1 to be run through the Bookshare
> tools. Any books 
> below the defined level should be deleted from step
> 1 automatically and 
> could be reviewed by Claire as she reviews all other
> rejections. Then we 
> could start with a mostly clean slate. Yes, that
> means we'd lose around 
> 40 to 50 books in this process, but these are books
> that will end up 
> being rejected anyway. This policy change would
> prevent the waste of 
> hundreds of volunteer manpower hours because the
> tools can assess books 
> in a matter of a minute or so. Time is a
> nonrenewable resource, and our 
> volunteer hours could be spent in more productive
> ways such as scanning 
> books from the wish list, validating books, and
> teaching new users how 
> to use Bookshare.
> I have been told that setting up guidelines would
> discriminate against 
> people using older technology. However, I have
> scanned books for college 
> and my own use for 17 years. Over that time, I have
> met many people who 
> are able to scan and proofread text from a wide
> range of books with good 
> results. Some of our volunteers use very old
> technology and still 
> produce clean, readable scans. Jim, Bookshare's
> passionate founder,  
> helped to create Openbook, and he helped make
> scanning work well with 
> Openbook Ruby, technology that is close to 10 years
> old. For these 
> reasons, I believe it is very possible for users of
> older technology to 
> continue to volunteer, even if Bookshare created
> quality control guidelines.
> Establishing a baseline for scan quality is a
> fair-minded process. It 
> won't single out problem submitters or discriminate
> against anyone. It 
> simply says that broken books, like broken toys,
> cannot be accepted 
> because it's not fair to the recipient.
> I hope you will consider my suggestion along with
> those of staff and 
> other volunteers. I care deeply about Bookshare and
> want it to flourish. 
> I'm proud of the work we've done here, and I want it
> to ring out like 
> the clarity of a fine bell that gleams in the
> sunshine, a beacon of 
> hope, help, and good books for us all.
> Monica Willyard
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