When I go to conferences and talk about volunteering for bookshare, I can
tell you what the new subscribers come up to me and say,
First they know it is mostly a volunteer run project. Few of them know about the process of book acceptance in detail though it is on the site for folks to read. The comments I have heard from users when encountering books of less than excellent quality are all negative. They think the things in books which could be fixed with a global replace ought to be fixed. Complaints are common about 1 for I. They feel they ought to pay for a service with better quality. Unless you can fix up a book whose quality is fair with tools such as k1k rank spelling and autocorrect and bring up its rating to excellent, please go ahead and reject. Volunteers who validate and who encounter books prepared with such carlessness by the submitter need to send a message asking for better scans. Do make sure your book is put on the rescan list after rejecting it.
Poor quality books make bookshare come across as sloppy.
E. At 12:31 AM 8/22/2006, you wrote:
I agree. I took a look at a book last night, which was rated Fair. It was something about linguistics, and has been on the Step 1 page for some time. The book fit the standard--it was readable, but it had lots of errors. I really wanted to reject it, but felt I couldn't, as long as Bookshare allows books of that quality. Of course, if it had been illegible, I would have rejected it, but the policy seems to be that we should let books through if we can still read them. I guess that if a student didn't have a scanner, and needed to read the book, this copy would do, but I cringe to imagine what a new subscriber to Bookshare would think!
I hope Bookshare will soon eliminate the Fair category altogether.
----- Original Message ----- From: <mailto:k4zq@xxxxxxxxxxxx>k4zq To: <mailto:bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>books ` list Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 9:58 PM Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Quantity versus Quality
I read a great deal of this thread when it was really being discussed--what should be the criteria for rejecting books?
While some held out for well done material, there were those who held that books with quite a few errors were acceptable, and should be left in the collection.
One of the greatest problems facing American society (in my humble opinion) is that of dumbing down. In other words, find the lowest common denominator possible and use that as a guiding star.
With Bookshare, we have a golden opportunity to contribute to the reading material of print disabled people. Yet, there are some who for their ease and comfort would say that anything that comes close to being legible is as good as we need. Let me say that that's a bunch of rot (and I cleaned that up.) Truth is, that when a thing is easy to accomplish, no one values it. I for one value Bookshare, and I know some others do to.
Guess (to make it brief) to say that a book is "fair with many errors but legible throughout," should in no wise be acceptable. If that's so, we can just scan 'em and throw them up on the site. The validation process is pointless!
One other point, why spend $1300 for scanning hardware and software if the quality of the reading material doesn't matter? I sure won't.
Guess I should apologize for such a windy e-mail, but I won't do that either.
In closing, and to sum up, Boookshare can be a valuable source for books, if we want it that way, or it can be "gi go."
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