[bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare demographics

  • From: "Brian Miller" <brian-r-miller@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 11:02:55 -0800

Thanks for your message.
I think you have some great suggestions here about networking, especially
among the library science community.
There used to be a terrific group of retired men and women who served as
readers for blind people, recording books and articles on to tape.  I used a
variety of such volunteer services around the country when I was an
undergraduate in college.  Perhaps we could encourage some of these
wonderful folks to put that commitment and energy to validating books.

It may give us pause to think about the fact that after a few short years,
Bookshare.org has over 20,000 titles.  How many years did it take NLS to
accumulate such a collection?

Brian M.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Pietruk" <pietruk@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2005 3:12 AM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Bookshare demographics

> Brian
> I understand where you are coming from; but, on the other hand, it is very
> important that a service such as BookShare have an extensive and high
> quality children and teens collection as those are tomorrow's potential
> readers, scanners, and yes, even financial donators.
> It is akin to a successful and building church congregation reaching out
> and making certain that the next generation has a place and outreaches
> that meet their needs so that youngsters and teens feel a wanted and
> valuable part of the community.
> Personally, I am a big believer in children's books along with Christian
> materials.
> Others favor science fiction coming out of one's ears; others, such as
> yourself, have extensive history collections; and the beat goes on and on.
> While massive contributions of one genre could, at least on a short basis
> impact what else gets processed, this is all a part of broad collection
> development.
> This leads me to reiterate what I consider BookShare's biggest problem at
> this time -- figuring out how to
> process an ever growing and expanding pool of submissions with the limited
> resources BeneTech has.
> Yes, it is nice seeing the latest Grisham book, the 911 report, or the
> latest Harry Potter whisked through the system within a matter of hours.
> And yes these may prove valuable in demonstrating both to users and donors
> the potential of BookShare.
> But what the ultimate goal ought to be is for a book you or I submit
> today, be validated by weekend's end and join the collection by Monday
> noon.
> The challenge for BookShare is how to get there and what we, as
> volunteers, can do to assist in the process.
> The challenge no longer is getting folks to scan and submit materials;
> more and more are doing that with quality steadily improving in
> submissions thanks to improved equipment and the skills submitters are
> gaining with each book they work on.
> The next 2 steps of the process, validating and final approval, are a bit
> more tenuous.
> Posting of msgs on this list can help in getting submissions validated;
> and so can networking on and off list with other volunteers.
> For the most part, both Christian materials as well as children's and teen
> books, tend to move through the validation process reasonably quickly
> because of that networking and a growing base of deddicated volunteers
> making certain that these titles move through the system.
> Perhaps those with other interests should similarily band together -- and
> they probably do -- to get the books important to them through the
> validation process.
> The last stage, at this time, is out of the hands of volunteers.  For
> legal reasons, those final approvals have to be done by a BookShare
> employee.  Perhaps BeneTech can figure out creative approaches to having
> volunteers assist on this end -- perhaps retired librarians, college
> students majoring in library studies, whatever.
> Over time, these problems can and will be dealt with.  It should be noted
> that these problems indicate just how successful BookShare has become and
> how dedicated the volunteer community has become.
> The solution isn't tempering the enthusiasm of the volunteers as
> enthusiastic volunteers are infectious and beget other enthusiastic
> volunteers.
> If someone told me to work less on Christian or children materials and
> focus on science fiction, as an example, the likely end result would be
> not my refocusing but on my doing less.
> So, how would BookShare benefit from that?

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