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In Celebration of our wonderful PBS Volunteers….Data & Image Teams

Without our hardworking, dedicated volunteers, PBS would surely not be the wonderful site that it is. All week we will give you an overview of what our volunteers do and why.




Today we cover Book Data & Book Image Teams

By Robin (Sianeka) Book Data Coordinator and Book Image Approver

What the Data and Image Teams Do

Data Team Members submit edits for the book details, adding missing information and revising incorrect data.  Data team members add book descriptions but also try to provide information such as the publisher, genre, number of pages, book dimensions as well as try to add some consistency to title and author information as it is presented in the database, so member searches are more productive and accurate.  A Data Team member will try to fill in ALL book data information with their submissions, researching data and trying to fill in any missing or blank data fields and will format information to match current database standards.

Team members often involve themselves in special Team projects to work on improving specific areas of the database, so that there are a group of Team members all working to reach a special goal.

Image Team Members seek out book cover images to replace the empty listings with the blue boxes and to replace poor quality images that are already in the database.  They will try to find clear and crisp images in .jpg format that meet the site’s size standards, and then crop them so that the image is visible without extra outside area displayed and without logos or photo glare or other flaws showing.

Both Team forums have guidelines posted to show site standards and help show new Team members what is expected from a submission that will be Approved and there are members around almost all the time to answer questions Team Members may have.

What the Data and Image Approvers Do

All data and image submissions need to be Approved before they actually appear on the site.Approvers are the Team Members charged with this important duty – reviewing the submissions sent in to assure they follow all the site’s guidelines before they show up on the site.

Data Approvers look over the submissions, and fix or revise submissions before approving them, or decline them gently with a polite note to the submitter to let them know why their submission isn’t able to be approved at this time.  Data Approvers will often research the information submitted to verify accuracy and seek to find the missing information that a submission may not have included.  Data Approvers try not to allow any submissions through that still contain blank fields or missing information. Data Approvers will ascertain that all submissions conform to match site formats set up (such as title, series information, author format) in order to make Searches work more better to bring up more complete and accurate results.

Image Approvers will make sure that submitted images clearly display a book cover that matches the PBS listing.  They will make sure that the image is oriented properly and displays clearly visible title and author information, and that the image is cropped so that only the cover is showing.  Image Approvers will often seek out larger or clearer images if a submission is not up to optimal quality or too small, or too blurry or obscured, and they often will crop the many uncropped submissions.  Image Approvers will often fix up or retouch images showing labels or blemishes or photo/image glare if they can’t find a better image to replace an image that is flawed.

Image and Data Team Approvers always come from the ranks of the Data Correctors or Image Collectors team members.  If a member has been a member of the Team for at least three months and wants to become a Data or Image Approver, they will notify a Team Coordinator, and then add submissions as usual that are reviewed for a time by other Approvers and Coordinators who will provide feedback and suggestions regarding their submissions.  Submissions are reviewed until the candidate’s submissions no longer receive any Feedback suggestions.  The member is then elevated to Approver status, and gains access to the Approver screens.

Data Correction and Image Collection Team members are a friendly and helpful group, and we have a lot of fun together while making the PBS listings much more useful to the PBS membership.

Joining the Image and Data Teams

Do you love to pay attention to details?  Do PBS Book listings that don’t show a cover image or have a book description bother you???   If you can answer YES to these questions, you should consider joining the PBS Image Collection and Data Correction Teams.

The Image and Data teams are made up of members who help improve the PBS database, making it more accurate and fun to look at!  Frequently, members will join both teams at the same time to help out in both areas, but if your expertise lies favoring one or the other, members can certainly join only one team at a time.  Both teams enthusiastically welcome new additions with open arms!   Team members who want to be even MORE involved with the process can sign up to be Team Approvers.  Approvers are members who review all the submissions that are submitted by club members and Team members to determine whether the submitted changes make it to the final PBS pages that all members see when they look at a book’s information.  We can ALWAYS use more help!

Any PBS member can submit Data Edits or Images for the database, but Team members get some special benefits that general member volunteers don’t have.  Team member benefits:

* Team members have access to special forums where there are team-specific topics and where team members can interact with other team members.  These are especially good for discussions of team problems for which the general membership would typically not involve themselves or have answers.  Team members can interact with other team members, who are all very friendly and helpful, and all interested in helping out the site, so they are a WONDERFUL resource when you have data and image questions and problems!
* Team members get special icons identifying them as team members.
* Team members can get information about new features and problems before the rest of the general membership.
* Team members can advance to become Approvers, should they be interested in this job.

Research shows that books with images and descriptions are much more likely to be requested more quickly than books missing this data!  Team volunteers help make all members’ books more desirable to the rest of the membership!

To Join the Teams:

* Contact a Coordinator for the team(s) you are interested in.  Data Team Coordinators are Anna B. (classicana) and Sianeka.  Image Team Coordinators are Sarra B. (sarradee), Betsy B. (Betz68) and Anna B. (classicana).
* Read and sign the PBS Non-Disclosure Agreement
* Submit a message via feedback letting PBS know you are interested in joining the team(s)

If you are interested in helping out, here are a couple of Discussion topic links that list a lot of additional information about the teams: http://www.paperbackswap.com/Want-Help-Data-Images-Find/topic/60867/ and http://www.paperbackswap.com/Time-Slot-Project-Volunteers-Part/topic/190591/ .

There are no quotas or minimums for joining – each member volunteers at their own pace and can submit as often or as little as they like.  There are no pressures to do more than you can handle, and each member determines their own time schedule for themselves, submitting whenever they feel they can help. Team members can be as active as they want, and their efforts are greatly appreciated!





3 Responses to “In Celebration of our wonderful PBS Volunteers….Data & Image Teams”

  1. Diane G. (icesk8tr) , says:

    I appreciate all the hard work these volunteers do!! Thanks for the information!! 😉

  2. Robin K. (jubead) says:

    Thanks Sianeka. I am happy to include myself part of the Data and Image Team. They are a great bunch of people sharing the same goal.

    As part of the Image Team, I find it very satisfying knowing that I am part of the process to slowly eliminate the blue boxes on the site (endless, but one can always dream that one day all the blue boxes on PBS will be gone). As a Approver, I love working with images and love helping other members learn how to crop, straighten, and repair images. If a member finds it a challenge using the image editors, I don’t mind fixing the images for them. I know other Team Members and Approvers feel the same.

    As part of the Data Team, I love filling in the missing information on a book so another member may discover a new author or story line. As a Approver, it is satisfying to know that we are turning out the most accurate information on a book. I would love to see PBS have the most complete and accurate book database on the internet.

    If anyone wants to channel their creative talents finding, fixing and uploading images consider joining the Imaging Team. If you enjoy researching and are detailed oriented, consider joining the Data Team. There is a lounge where we can kick back discuss formatting, challenges, frustrations and have some fun chatting. When working on data you can work as a team on a particular project or work individually. I hope to see you in the Lounge.

  3. Marie N. (pottergal) says:

    looking forward to helping out with the images!

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