[bksvol-discuss] Becoming a Bookshare Volunteer - Introducing Some New Resources

  • From: Scott Rains <scottr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 08:52:29 -0700


Several of you have noted how quickly the wave of volunteers in 2011 have 
progressed through their first books. People have commented on how their 
questions are more informed and how smoothly they have become trusted 
collaborators working with experienced volunteers. A few of you have seen the 
new resources that have made this possible. We thought all of you might enjoy 
knowing what it is like to be joining Bookshare as a volunteer these days. Thus 
the attachment. 

Those who have seen the training material for proofreaders have been positive 
about the approach as well as the results. I attach one of several training 
books now available to volunteer applicants. You may even want to test your own 
skills against these new resources. You will note that I am attaching the book 
to an email. This is possible because we have transitioned to using only public 
domain books for training. It has made the process much easier to manage and 
speeds the process for volunteers.

Part of the secret of success has been because this is one part of a broad 
campaign to improve our documentation and training materials. Much of that work 
has been done by Rick Costa and a hardy crew of on-site volunteers. Building 
the attached materials has been unlike the very democratic process we used when 
rewriting the Volunteer Manual ( http://tinyurl.com/3fpvgyu ) and the very 
bureaucratic steps of gathering all the scattered data sources to create the 
new process for vetting a book ( http://tinyurl.com/3f4f3yg ). Creating a new 
volunteer training process involved a series of test and refine cycles to match 
the materials to the Bookshare mandate to support volunteers who can tackle 
ever more complex books. Those of you already taking on challenges like 
cookbooks, reference works, and other large or complex works should be finding 
some willing partners among the new crop of volunteers.

I hope that being able to interact with some of the volunteer training material 
helps you judge what a volunteer may or my not already know when they come to 
you with questions or for mentoring. If you would like a more in-depth look at 
the training process and materials feel free to write me at scottr@xxxxxxxxxxxx 
 If it appeals to you to become more involved in working specifically with 
applicants and early stage online volunteers feel free to contact me as well.

Thanks for all you do.

Scott Rains

Dear Bookshare Volunteer,

Thank you for participating in Bookshare's mission to help individuals with 
print disabilities gain timely access to important books.

At this time our needs for volunteers fall into three categories:

•     Proofreading electronic files of books that have already been scanned
•     Scanning hard-copy books
•     Occasional administrative, marketing, and engineering projects on-site in 
Palo Alto, CA

The training documents attached to this email introduce you to entry-level 
proofreading. Open the file named "INSTRUCTIONS" to begin.

If you wish to be interviewed for one of our on-site volunteer jobs, send your 
resume to:

Please identify your preferred area of volunteering and include in the Subject 
line "On-Site Volunteer Request".

We’d like to make your introduction to volunteering with us as smooth as 
possible so do let us know if you have any questions!


480 S. California Ave., Suite 201
Palo Alto, CA  94306-1609 USA

The Benetech® Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity
A nonprofit organization

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