[bksvol-discuss] Re: Quantity versus Quality

  • From: "Rik James" <d28rik@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 11:38:55 -0600

I would agree with those expressions of opinion that Bookshare should accept
books of only high quality of accuracy into the collection.  Time is too
precious to be trying to parse out the jibberish.  I love to read, and with
only so much time, I would rather read the books that do not have the
jibberish and errors.  For a time it was okay when the technology and access
was new. But now the technology is better and we need not accept those books
who the scanners only took very minimal care to produce and submit.  

I do have a question:  

When a validator rejects a book how does the next volunteer know what the
history is?  I can see that after hitting the download link on a book on
Step 1 that the next page shows the book was returned but I don't see a
place that says why the prior validator released it.  Am I missing
something?   Seems like the poor books that are on the Step 1 forever might
be just done away with if the experienced validator released it for good
cause.  I know sometimes the newsgroup members comment on why they release
something, but that does not seem to be reflected on the web page where you
choose whether to take on the book for validation.  And I confess I can't
read every email posted on in the volunteer email groups discussions.   



-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of E.
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 10:32 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Quantity versus Quality

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.

Nowadays, with the kind of scanning software around, getting a quality scan 
really is possible and necessary.  Thank heaven we at least are going to 
end the txt page break nightmare.

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 
>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
>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."
>__________ NOD32 1.1718 (20060821) Information __________
>This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.

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