Janet Escarcega

Interested in Volunteering, however...

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I'm very intersted in volunteering, but I'm  visual impaired and I use my iPad to get on this site. So I'm pretty sure I'm very limited on what I could help with.

 

Though, I am curious; what do volunteers do?  Just  beta and scan books onto Bookshare?

Edited by Janet Escarcega

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Hi Janet,

 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Bookshare. There are currently two ways to volunteer with Bookshare:

 

  • Scan books: using your scanner and OCR software, scan books into Rich Text Files (RTF) that we don't have in the Bookshare collection. The Bookshare collections is an online library of accessible books for people who have a visual impairment, learning disability, or are physically disabled.

  • Proofread scanned files: clean up scanned RTF files and format them according to our guidelines to ensure the books are accessible for people who have a visual impairment, learning disability, or are physically disabled.

 

If one of these areas interest you, the next steps to start volunteering with Bookshare are:

 

1.       Sign up to volunteer by clicking on the Sign Up button at https://www.bookshare.org/cms/get-involved/volunteer/opportunities-us and filling out the forms.

2.       Read the instructions for the volunteer opportunity you are interested in:

a.       Scanning Books: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/scanning-home

b.      Proofreading Books: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/proofreading-home

3.       Get Started!  Once we receive and approve your volunteer request, you will receive an email notification that you can get started. It may take up to a few days for the notification email to be sent.

 

If you have any additional questions about volunteering, feel free to post here or email volunteers@bookshare.org. 

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    I would like to do scanning 'cause it'd be a great excuse to buy the books and add them to my book collection haha. I'd also like to Proofread. Usually when I'm reading through stories, I see a few errors in spelling and what not. So I think I could Proofread pretty good. 

     

    However, I use an iPad to get onto this site and many other things due to my vision problem. So I'm not sure that I'd be able to download/install the proper things I'm going to need to help. 

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    When bookshare was new, nearly all the volunteers I corresponded with were blind. I never got in to volunteering much, mainly because I was getting paid to do the exact same things bookshare volunteers did and I wanted to do something completely different when I got off work.

     

    But, blind people definitely helped build the collection, so your visual impairment is no barrier. You can scan and proofread as effectively as anyone else; I have submitted over 800 books to bookshare under my college's name.

     

    You cannot always "look" at the original page, but if the scan is so bad you need access to the original image to figure it out, then it's not worth submitting anyway. Proofreading usually involves fixing just a few errors here and there; a run together R and N that was mis-identified as an E followed by an M for example.

     

    Volunteering also gives you credit towards membership. Don't let any impairment interfere with your ability to volunteer here.

     

    There is an active volunteer community that can help with figuring out how to do the work independently. For example, one valuable tip I picked up in the beginning was to scan the table of contents to a separate text file, and refer to it as I marked up page numbers. That made the work I did in my job far more accurate, and I am grateful to the community of bookshare volunteers that helped me develop my scanning and proofing skills.

     

      

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    That's cool. I mean, if blind people could do this then really, it shouldn't be to hard just because I have slight vision problems. Acually right now I'm learning the Braille text. So far so good.  Still need a little more practice but I'm getting there.

     

    If I were to join volunteering I'd go into the proofreading. Like I said earlier ^ When I'm reading through stories (The Kane Chronicles for example; sometimes "Carter" is spelled "Cartet". Point is, I would find those mistakes easily) I find errors as simple as missing " or spelling mistakes, so that would do.

     

    Really I'd like to volunteer here because Bookshare really helped me find a way to read before I started learning Braille. And  I love to read. So anything to help out with books would be great!

     

    Last problem: Am I able to proofread through an iPad? iPad is the only thing I could use at the moment to get onto here.

     

    And i I do that mistake all the time! Mostly with a I instead of an O. B-V too. So I understand that one.

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    Are their minimum or maximum amount of books someone must complete in order to serve as a volunteer. I have more free time in the Summer to volunteer, but have little time available during the school year. Do you offer training videos to assist volunteers in learning the proper Bookshare process.

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    There is no maximum number of books someone must complete in order to volunteer, but the minimum would be one book to be considered a volunteer.  The Bookshare volunteer opportunities are flexible and each person can decide when and how often he/she wants to volunteer because everything is done remotely.  Books are checked out in 14 day intervals and can be renewed if a volunteer needs more time with the book. If you find that you cannot complete a book, please release it back into the check out queue, so that the scanner's hard work would not be lost.  Please note, if you release a book, your edits will not be retained.

    Unfortunately, we don't currently have any training videos for the proofreading process.  However, it is something that we plan to provide in the future.  In the meantime, you can find our guidelines to proofreading here:  https://www.bookshare.org/cms/proofreading-home .  And if you have any questions regarding any of the guidelines, please contact volunteers@bookshare.org or post it here in the forum!  

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