[bksvol-discuss] Re: hold for revisited

  • From: "Lisa Belville" <lisab12@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 14:36:45 -0600


With all due respect, I think you're reading more into the concept of "hold For" than is warranted. <smiles>

As others have said, submitters want their books to be validated by validators who will be as conscious of preserving the original content as they were when they scanned and submitted it. Likewise, validators want to validate a book that is as clean of a scan as possible.

Whether we want to admit it or not, scanning and validating are jobs which require a specific skill set. Not everyone is going to have the patience to tweak their scanner and OCR settings and/or want to pay attention to the details of a book's sentence structure and formatting.

I can't remember if you submit or validate, but wouldn't you be disappointed if a book you spent hours scanning was validated by someone who didn't take the time to be sure that book was as free of scannos as possible? Even an experienced scanner doesn't catch everything a good validator will if that person is attentive to details.

Likewise, would you want to validate a book that was filled with Scannos and other extraneous characters? This is becoming less prevalent because most of us are starting to show some "Tough Love" by rejecting these books. However, as someone who has validated my share of these books, I can tell you that it is a breath of fresh air to know that I'm working with a competent submitter who does their best to produce the cleanest scan possible, while still striving to improve their scanning technique.

Granted, Bookshare is a volunteer-based organization who relies on the good will of its volunteers. However, they also charge a fee for their services for those of us who are not in school or who otherwise do not qualify for free membership. Those of us who either paid full price for our memberships or validated our way to a subscription are just as entitled to books as free of errors as anyone else.

Look at the huge amounts of books submitted by the same submitters who refuse to join this list and are not interested in proofreading their scans or doing anything to make those scans easier to validate. To my mind, this is a much more serious problem requiring attention than a few of us (and as Scott and others have pointed out, it is a scant number of us), who have our names next to a specific title of a book.

I feel like improving the quality and variety of the books Bookshare has to offer should be the main priority here. Plus, as Bookshare grows and becomes more widely known, accountability is going to become crucial. This means the numbers of properly validated books will become even more important as time goes by.

Just my thoughts on the matter. I think the reason I'm so vocal about this issue is because for the longest time, validators weren't given the recognition, either monetarily or publicly, that we deserve. Both the Scanning and Validating process go hand in hand, and both an experienced and skilled validator are what's needed to elevate the Bookshare collection to make it the best it can possibly be.


----- Original Message ----- From: <talmage@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 1:56 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: hold for revisited

Hi Lisa,

I do take your comments in the spirit in which they're given, I just don't necessarily agree with them.

Dave says: 2. for a vallidator with specific interest in the project;
Lisa says: Yes, and I think this is a perfectly legitimate reason. For example, I volunteered to validate Julie's book about dogs from the Iams company. Why? Because I like dogs, and so the subject is relevant to me. Julie posted to the list asking for volunteers and I responded. She didn't have to pick me, ...

Dave's new comment
I would expect in most cases validators pick books that are of interest to them and try to do a good job with them. The problem I have is with the pick me concept, and once again we're back dealing with the list.

Dave says: 3. for the submitter's assurance that the book will be picked up in a
timely manner;
Lisa says: And what's wrong with this? We have had books on Step 1 for over a year. If a submitter knows in advance that someone is interested in validating a book encompassing specialized subject matter, I see nothing wrong with having a validator's name listed, since that book will be validated and hopefully added to the collection in a more timely manner. ...

Dave's new comment
It doesn't really change the dynamics of the step 1 page. We continue to have books that have been on there for over a year, we have books with hold for in the title that have been on for months at a time, and all it does is preclude others from downloading a work. By posting to the list, an is anyone interested kind of message is fine, all it does is assure that there is someone willing to validate the book. If when the time comes to validate, and the book can't be found, then apparently someone else was interested as well and it will end up in the same collection regardless of who validates it. Excluding the cases where a sighted validator is needed, all the hold for can do as far as time goes is slow the process down because you're now waiting for a specific individual.

Lisa Says:
think it's being selfish or elitist for a submitter and a validator to form an alliance in which books are submitted, validated, and published on Bookshare. As submitters and validators, we should have some say so over what we submit and validate.

Dave's next comment
From my view that special relationship you mention between submitter and validator comes across as a clique. As a submitter you certainly have a say over what you submit. You can either submit it, or not submit it. As a validator you can pick a book, or move on to another. Adding hold for, is exclusionary in a volunteer organization that should rather be shooting for inclusion.

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