[bksvol-discuss] Re: venting my frustrations

  • From: "Gerald Hovas" <geraldhovas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 11:34:05 -0600


Since you're obviously wondering why you as a volunteer couldn't be allowed
to help with approvals, let me explain the issues.  BTW, You aren't the
first volunteer to wonder about this, and certainly won't be the last.  I
had seen this issue brought up earlier this year, so I asked Gustavo the
question several months back when I began monitoring the list because I knew
it would eventually pop up again and wanted to be prepared if it did.

Time isn't the issue here.  It's money.  An administrator needs to be a paid
employee in order to have accountability.  Bookshare has legal obligations
to meet every time they add a book to the collection.  If an employee adds
books to the collection without ensuring that those legal obligations are
met, then they can be held accountable.  Volunteers can not.  There is also
the issue that it would probably take a considerable number of books in the
collection with incorrect titles, authors, or copyright info before the
problem could be discovered.  if the problem gets that far, then Bookshare
has a serious problem to deal with.  Also, accountability means possibly
losing your job, not losing your membership.

There is also the issue of administrators having access to members' and
volunteers' personal information since that info is probably kept in the
same database or on the same system.

As for Gustavo handling the load by himself at this time,  He seems quite
capable of doing so, so I wouldn't worry about him having to do it all by
himself right now.  There will no doubt come a time in the future when he
will no longer be able to carry the load without help, and Bookshare will
address that problem when it occurs.  Hopefully Bookshare will be in much
better shape financially before that does occur and can hire someone who can
not only share in some of the responsibility of approving books, but can act
as a volunteer coordinator as well which will free up Gustavo and Janice to
focus on all of the other tasks they were doing before Marissa left for
graduate school.

BTW, don't worry about venting on the list.  A certain amount of that is not
only expected, but healthy.  It's only a big deal when a volunteer chooses
to post about the same problem day after day after day.



-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of tom hawkins
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 1:13 AM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: venting my frustrations

Hi Gerald,  I apologize for venting.  I understand the book being kicked
back under the circumstances. I didn't know that Gustavo was doing all of
the administrator approvals.But then the question remains, Why is Gustavo
trying to carry the entire program on his back?  I know money is an issue,
but cirtainly there is some way through some of these problems. I don't have
a million to donate, but I do have time.  Is there something I can do to
help?  Tom
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gerald Hovas
  To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:55 PM
  Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: venting my frustrations


  From what Gustavo has told me, the most common error related to filling
out the copyright fields on the submission form is entering the publisher in
the copyright name field instead of the copyright holder.  Because he has to
kick so many books back due to this error, you should always provide
information about the copyright holder in the comments field when the
copyright holder turns out to be the publisher after all.  In this instance,
I believe it is well worth the trouble of verifying the copyright holder
through an internet site like www.copyright.gov or through sighted
assistance then including a comment informing him that you have verified
that the copyright is actually the publisher and include an explanation of
how you went about verifying it.  If the book isn't a new release, then I'd
recommend using the www.copyright.gov site since Gustavo can reference the
site if he wishes.

  As for opening the book up and looking for himself, that isn't always the
most reliable way to verify something as important as the copyright
information since the volunteers who are putting the publisher in the
copyright name field by accident could have been confused enough about
copyright to have changed that line before submission.  Granted that it's
unlikely, but if I were in Gustavo's shoes, I wouldn't feel comfortable
about trusting the contents of a submission by someone who couldn't fill the
form out properly due to a possible lack of understanding of copyright.

  I understand your frustration, but when you take into consideration the
number of books Gustavo has actually approved this year, it's understandable
if he accidentally kicks one back by accident every now and then.  I'm not
sure, but I believe Marissa approved a handful of the 4900 books which have
been added so far this year.  Even if she did, I'd suspect that Gustavo's
approved at least 4700 of those 4900 books, if not 4850 of them.  With that
many books being approved, it's bound to happen since he is always going to
err on the side of caution since adding a book to the collection which has
incorrect copyright information has the potential to be a more serious
problem than frustrating a volunteer over getting their book kicked back by

  BTW, the staff is aware that it would be helpful for the system to notify
a volunteer when one of their validations is kicked back or accepted.  As
long as Bookshare has limited resources though, Engineering will have to
postpone some upgrades which volunteers want in order to make improvements
which will have a greater impact on members and volunteers.

  Again, I understand your frustration.  I've had a book kicked back on me
too, and from what Gustavo and I were able to determine, it was due to
nothing more than his approving books when he should have been in bed
instead.  My kickback didn't even happen to have a note.  It just looked
like Gustavo clicked the wrong button because he was tired.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of tom hawkins
  Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:55 PM
  To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Cc: Gustavo Galindo
  Subject: [bksvol-discuss] venting my frustrations

  Hi Everyone,

  Well I' am totally frustrated with bookshare and the lack of simple
communication procedures. I spent a great deal of time validating a book to
make as near perfect as possible including using my wife's time which she
treasures dearly. I went to the step one list to see if any of the Dale
Brown books that I submitted nearly three months ago  were returned, only to
find the book that I just validated back on the step one list and no
communication from bookshare. When I checked the notes, the administrator
apparently did not like the copyright.

   Well a publisher  is clearly listed as the copyright holder. So now what
does it take to fix the problem! If the administrator took a moment to open
the book it clearly states that the copyright holder is the publishing
company as listed. Is there some special miracle to be performed? I have
decided not to list the problems that I encountered with the web site, as
Iwell it seems that the designer was a mouse user and could see what they
were doing.


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