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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

One BookLikes' Librarian's Manifesto

The following thoughts and processes are mine and mine alone.  I do not work for, or represent, BookLikes; I'm a volunteer and I do not speak for any other BL librarian.  


I've seen several posts/comments from fellow BL'ers concerning librarian functions lately.  As I said above, I don't speak for BL or for anybody else, but I thought I'd outline a few points that might make it a bit clearer how the librarian process works here and how to make/request changes so that they are done as fast as possible.


I love ya BookLikes, I really, really do, but the librarian functions here are worse than clunky. (This primarily applies to combining or merging books and authors.) For those who may have been/are librarians at either GR or Leafmarks, please know right off the bat that the librarian functions here work nothing at all like their counterparts at those sites.  What can be done on one page in seconds on GR/LM takes much longer here and often requires several open webpages.  We can't just click the appropriate checkboxes and hit "combine".  We have to copy/paste ID numbers from one page (or several) to another page, one book or author at a time.  It's slow and it's prone to user error so it can't be rushed.


Any new book added to the database, or any edits made to existing authors or books are added to queues on the librarian panel, to be reviewed and set as checked/approved/rejected by any librarian who has the time to check them.  Same for any reports made via the "report" flag on a book page.


I think I finally cleared out all these queues yesterday, but they pile up quickly.  I'm lucky that my job has a lot of down time where I'm free to spend my time doing librarian stuff and I admit I get a bit obsessed with complete and accurate book records.  I try to check the lists at least 3 times a week, but it doesn't take much time for these lists to get crazy long again.  So, here are a few things that will either slow down the clearing of your book/author edit/request, or speed it up exponentially:


1.  If you're trying to make a cover change, include a source link showing that book edition (ISBN/ASIN) has that cover.  I'll reject the edit otherwise (just speaking for me here) because I don't have time to hunt down that edition and cover to verify it.  This does not apply, of course, to replacing crap-quality book covers with the same but higher-quality cover.


2.  Don't try to change a legitimate ISBN/ASIN.  I reject these.  Please add a new book record.  This happens surprisingly often.


3.  Please don't include author sound bites or review quotes or sales information in book summaries.  They are against BL policy and they'll get rejected (unless I have time to strip them out - your chances are 50/50).


4.  If your adding a book, please, PLEASE include the ISBN/ASIN number.  I've decided that any book (post-1970's) that is added without one is now going to the bottom of my list and left for when either I have finished all other BL tasks and have time to chase them down, or another librarian comes in and does it.  This goes double for authors who add their own books.  Honest to god if I had the ability to reject those books outright, I would.  


5.  If you're requesting that editions be combined (or "tied" together) there's a way to do it on the report that will make it a LOT faster for librarians to do.  A report is tied to the edition you hit the 'flag' button from, but that edition ID isn't listed on the report, so we have to open up the book page to get it.  If, when requesting a combine, you include the book ID of both books, it makes the job a 2-second job for the librarian and it can get cleared that much faster.  Same for author merges.


BookLikes doesn't yet have a way to add alternate cover editions, but there are ways to hack it and get it done - there just isn't yet a way for the requestor to communicate the request to a librarian.  Hopefully BL will add that soon.


Finally, for those of you who actually made it to the end of this long, long post:  FUR BABIES!!!