[bksvol-discuss] Re: my disappointment

  • From: "Estelnalissi" <airadil@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 01:15:37 -0400

Dear Lori, and Booksharian Friends,

Lori, I wish we could get the 2 people you know who unsubscribed back because with validators and submittors like you and Mike, the quality of the collection is becoming noticeably better.

We blame the notorious Bookshare volunteer who is sometimes at fault, but I know that some of those volunteers are among the best submittors I know. It will be good for the system and all of us when submittors and volunteers are identified by either an assigned ID from Bookshare or their names, they're choice.

Now that validators are getting equal compensation, I think they bear half of the blame for messy books. I know of an instance where the submittor believed a book was excellent and gave credit to the validator saying they'd both read the book through. I downloaded it and found that the top two lines of over 100 pages were unreadable. They couldn't possibly have read the book through.

Those volunteers who are reading their books through carefully have my heartfelt thanks. Not only because I read Bookshare books in braille and appreciate the accuracy but because accurate books, as Lori says, are the basis for paid subscribers to sign up year after year.

Reading the books through takes more time, but the results stand up where it counts, when subscribers read them. I'd rather see 25 truly accurate books being approved in x amount of time, than 100 sketchy, error spotted books being approved in the same time span.

We've got nearly 40,000 books. Jake will probably put out the word when we hit that landmark. But, what good are 40,000 books if the collection as a whole has a reputation among readers as being sloppy?

Lori, it may save you a little work to know that you don't need to put header at the tops of pages to protect chapter titles and first lines as long as there is a blank line, a page number, and another blank line above the written content whether it's a title or a line of text. You don't have to take the trouble of writing or deleting the word header. The reason we don't use a word on the top line is because the stripper can't be counted on to remove substitutions for headers just as it doesn't consistently remove headers themselves. . We've learned through practice that a blank line, page number and blank line are ignored completely by the stripper. This combination gives the stripper nothing to do and so it leaves the page alone. What we get when the book is processed is all of the page numbers and chapter names, nothing extra and nothing cut out.

For anyone who likes police procedurals, I'll be uploading my validation from an excellent scan of Hire A Hangman by Collin Wilcox. , 248 pages of nuts and bolts detective work with plenty of suspects for two murders. Shameless promotion? Yep! I hope some of you will read it.

Always with love,


----- Original Message ----- From: "Lori Castner" <loralee.castner@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:51 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: my disappointment

You know, Jill; unfortunately, you are making an important point. I personally know two people who did not renew Bookshare memberships because of the quality of the books--they both expect perfection.

I have read several books from Bookshare with some errors--maybe thirty or so--and that does not bother me, but the quality of the books in the Bookshare collection are Bookshare and convey to members what is acceptable.

I agree with you that a validator or a submitter must read a book through in order to discover errors. I have read through every book I have submitted, and I have read through every book I have validated. I'm certainly far from perfect and know that sometimes when I put the word "header" in to protect something else that the word has not been stripped; I feel bad about that.

I'm not sure of the answer, but sympathize with your concern.

Cat Lover Lori who wants everyone who has ever joined Bookshare to recomend it to others and to rave about the quality of the books

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jill O'Connell" <jillocon@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:09 PM
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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