[bksvol-discuss] Re: hold for revisited

  • From: Monica Willyard <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 17:32:49 -0500

Hi, Dave. I'll grant that you do make some valid points here. I can see how it might look like an exclusive club in a way. However, there are a couple of reasons why I think the practice of using holds will continue until Bookshare rethinks the step 1 page. The first issue is when there is a need for a book to be processed quickly. If I request a book for a class I'm taking or a project I'm working on, I would like to have the chance to validate it since I need it quickly. I requested a book for a class I was taking a year ago, and a volunteer submitted the book for me in just 3 days. I was thrilled and went to get the book. Another volunteer took it before I could get to step 1, and that person held it for four months before releasing it untouched. Since the volunteer was not on this list or wouldn't respond to my request that it be processed, I ended up having to acquire the book in another way so I could take my class. I could have cheerfully strangled the person who did this because it cost me extra money and time to get my book. To top it all off, when I finally got the Bookshare copy from step 1, the scan was nearly perfect and could have been validated in less than an hour.

Second, there is a dynamic you probably don't see since it's not done on the list. Many submitters and validaters work together to proofread certain books, using the phone, chat room, or Skype to go through the book together. They can't do this if someone else takes the book. This is especially helpful if pages need to be rescanned since replacing the offending page can be done in a matter of minutes. When two people work closely like this, books can be fast tracked into the Bookshare system, and they are in the best quality possible because there are two sets of eyes/ears doing the proofreading.

Finally, in your post, you have mentioned that you don't think a submitter wanting his/her books to be handled in an appropriate way is a valid reason for a hold. I would agree if all validaters had a set of quality controls guiding their work. They don't though, and there are some books where that really matters. I rarely put a hold on a fiction book that I scan. However, I scan a lot of nonfiction books with recipes, charts, and Scripture references in them and work hard to make sure each page reads correctly. I have had a validater remove the charts and Scripture references or fail to proofread them, and that doesn't work well when the references are an important part of the book. I want to work with a validater who will ask me about scannos that don't make sense and who will contact me if I've overlooked something important. For these types of books, I look for validaters who understand the importance of the references so I can be sure our readers will be able to use them.

If you watch Nascar drivers on TV, have you noticed that they have a specific pit crew? They don't let just anybody come in and start fiddling with their tires. They use the skills of people who they know to be careful, reliable team members. After the race, they don't just take their car to the local Jiffy Lube to be looked over. They take it to a garage where experienced mechanics inspect the car and get it ready for the next race.

When I make a point of putting a hold on a book for someone, it is because there is something about this validation that is best handled by someone with some skill. I suppose that is a value judgment on my part. Still, there are literally hundreds of books for validaters to work on, so a hold on a book doesn't lock a new volunteer out of working on things.

Monica Willyard

Other related posts: