[bksvol-discuss] Re: my disappointment

  • From: "Pavi Mehta" <pavim@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 16:47:27 -0700

Hi Jill and All,

I sent Jill an offline note as well and then had the chance to talk to some 
other members of the staff here and learned some things that I thought worth 
sharing with the group.

Older books in the collection (including the one referred to here) were 
submitted at a time when requirements for both Validators and Submitters were 
not nearly as stringent as they are now. (Checking meta data was the key 
requirement that was stressed). As a result some  books that were submitted to 
the collection relatively early on may have more errors than we currently 
consider acceptable.

Please feel free to write in to me (as some of you do already) when you run 
into trouble with a particular submission/submitter or a book in the collection 
with an unpalatable number of errors. I am happy to investigate on this end and 
 then if necessary be in touch with the submitter/validator in question with 
relevant feedback or suggestions. Our hope is that this will be a more 
effective and time efficient way of addressing the quality issue.

All good things,

Pavi Mehta
Volunteer Coordinator, Bookshare

480 S. California Ave., Suite 201
Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609 USA
Phone:  +1 650 644-3459

The Benetech Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity 
A Nonprofit Organization

-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jill O'Connell
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:09 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] my disappointment

I know I'm preaching to the choir here but I guess I hope someone from 
Bookshare staff will see this and begin to think how the situation can be 
improved. I am presently reading for pleasure Out of the Deep I cry by Julia 
Spencer-fleming. It is a mystery and I highly recommend her books for you 
mystery buffs out there. This book has an excellent rating and was scanned, 
of course, by the infamous bookshare volunteer. I may be exaggerating a bit 
but there is hardly a page in this book that does not have a mistake of some 
type, including such things as die for the, mat for that, etc. etc. My point 
in talking about this is to say that it is obvious that neither the 
submitter nor the validator read this book. In my opinion if the submitter 
has not read the book being submitted, this should be made clear, then 
hopefully only a validator who is interested in reading the book should take 
it. I can understand if someone volunteers to scan a book on the wish list 
that they are really not that interested in, but in that case it is even 
more important that thevalidator wants to read the book. If no validator 
wants to read it including the person who put it on the wish list, then I 
would suggest that the book isn't worth being in the colection. I hope some 
day I feel like taking the time to rescan this book because I am ashamed 
that it will be left on the excellent list otherwise. And, of course, that 
means Bookshare will pay $10 instead of $5 to have the book in the 
collection. I know this book can't have been in the collection for a long 
time by the way it is presented in braille. That means that scanners are 
capable of doing a far better job  of scanning than is seen here. I recently 
validated a book submitted by Jim Baugh and you know what a great job he 
does. I was reading the book along with others and realized I was really 
holding up his book too long so I put it through Kurzweil's paces and 
submitted it. When I picked it up later as an approved book to finish 
reading it, I recorded 22 mistakes that I had missed. That is an acceptable 
number even though I feel bad about it but I think it proves how necessary 
it is that someone, be it submitter or validator really reads the book from 
cover to cover. And now that validators are being paid $2.50 per book, that 
means that only twenty books need to be read carefully per year in order to 
maintain a free membership. Thank you all for letting me vent and I 
sincerely hope that the Bookshare staff can find some way to express these 
concerns to those volunteers not on this list. Jill 

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