[bksvol-discuss] Re: Introducing myself

  • From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 11:27:36 -0500

Hi Denise. Welcome to Bookshare. I'm so glad you're here. :-) Yes, this list
has archives you can browse through if you like. Even more helpful than our
archives is our Scanning and Proofreading Manual found at
https://wiki.benetech.org/display/BSO/Scanning+and+Proofreading+Manual This
manual is written by Bookshare staff whereas the posts on this list are
mostly written by volunteers who may interpret the manual in various ways.
If you go to http://www.freelists.org <http://www.freelists.org/>  you can
search for this list and read through our archives. 


I have three tips to share with you that will make volunteering easier and
more fun.


1.    Relax. Don't worry about making mistakes. We've all made them when we
were new, and we probably have made worse ones than you. You'd have to work
at it to top some of the ones I've done. Since we all started out where you
are, don't be afraid to ask for help or think your question is a silly one.


2.    Have fun. Work on books that matter to you, ones that make you smile
or that you feel passionate about. Many of us have discovered that we do our
best work when we truly care about the book we're working on. If nuclear
physics bores you, you won't notice scannos nearly as well as if you're
reading a book from a genre that you like.


3. Start with easy books. For people who are new proofreaders, I recommend
taking books rated excellent. Books rated good are often harder to fix up,
and some of them actually have to be rejected. Since there are some things
to learn about how Bookshare works and about proofreading scanned books, I
think new volunteers do better if they start with an easy win, success that
helps them feel more confident. This is just an opinion on my part. 


I didn't know about the whole book quality thing when I came to Bookshare.
The first book I took to proofread was rated fair. It was a textbook, and I
took it because it had been waiting to be proofread for over a year, and I
wanted to be helpful. I cleaned up what I could, but there were a lot of
messed up pages in the book. In hindsight, I should have rejected that book.
It really was a mess. I didn't know that though, so I put the book into the
collection with a fair rating. Then I found out about rejecting books with
lots of totally unreadable pages and discovered I'd made a mistake. I
thought everyone would notice and would be upset with me for doing that and
stopped volunteering for awhile. It took awhile to see that others had made
similar mistakes and that people sort of expect new volunteers to have
questions and even make some bloopers at first.


Bookshare no longer accepts books that are fair scans, scans that have
serious problems. You won't make the same mistake I did. I'm just sharing my
story so you'll see why I've made these suggestions to you. I broke all 3 of
my "rules" by worrying about a mistake, taking a book about a subject that
didn't interest me, and starting with a book other volunteers had taken and
put back because of its flaws. 


Monica Willyard

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." -- Peter Drucker

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