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text 2018-08-22 03:36
State of the Librarian: frazzled.

I'm off on holiday in a little more than 36 hours.  Nothing's packed, organised or ready.  Situation normal.

 

This isn't so much me doing the "I'm going on vacation" sing-song-dance as it is just a note that I won't be online much - or if I am it will be for short check-ins only, and as a result won't be pulling my weight in librarian duties for the next 3-4 weeks.

 

I'm not the only librarian that checks and maintains the queue, of course, but with Bingo happening and our current aggravations with the Amazon imports not working, the queue grows much faster than normal, and the other librarians don't have jobs nearly as boring as mine can be.  Please keep this in mind if you don't see your edits being approved or requests for changes going through, and please be extra patient.  They'll check in and work through what requests they can, but there might be a longer delay.

 

Or, it might happen faster, who knows?  Either way, it won't be me, so if you have any questions about librarian stuff, please post in the BookLikes thread, or, if you're friends with the other librarians and know they'll welcome a PM ... but the BookLikes discussion is always the safest bet.

 

Remember: tidy records make librarians happy.  ;-)

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text 2018-08-13 03:57
State of the database: Thank you!

3 pages of librarian requests.

 

10 minutes.

 

Thank you from the bottom of my carpel tunnels, to all of you who read my post.  You know who you are.  

 

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text 2018-08-12 05:48
State of the Database: BookLikes database, Halloween Bingo, and a mini-rant - with pictures.

Note: I'm writing this a little hungover.  That's my disclaimer if anything sounds snarky.

 

A common grumble in BookLikesandia is that the database could be better (my polite translation).  This is a perennial grumble that rolls across BookLikesandia regardless of search/import outages or other unfortunate and annoying bugs.

 

I and the other librarians scurry around the records like ... ants, trying our best to fix things and make the database a solid body of reliable, verified data.  No flag waving, but Themis-Athena and I have done over 100,000 edits combined - and in reality, the number is much higher because the system only counts how many times we open a record, not the number of edits we make while its open.  With other librarians, the count is almost 150,000.  We've been scurrying.

 

We have so much more work yet to do.  Tip of the iceberg stuff.

 

But changes on BookLikes take a lot of time.  There are no bulk-edit librarian tools; every book and author record has to be edited, merged, or tied together one at a time.  Today, I did 7 pages of queued up edits, 20 to a page, in 5 different languages. It took me over 2.5 hours. 

 

I enjoy doing it - I'm a nerd and get a great sense of satisfaction out of seeing an accurate and complete record.  BUT - and this is the point of my lead up:  if edits and new books were added correctly by  most users, 2 hours of my time this morning could have been spent fixing old problems and cleaning up old records.

 

If records are submitted correctly (including edits), I could have gone through the 7 pages in the queue today in 30 minutes, instead of 2.5 hours.  I've done posts before - repeatedly - about do's and don't's, and, let me be clear a lot of people DO submit wonderful records.  Really, and it's really appreciated.  We remember your names, and smile when you submit stuff.  Ok, I do anyway.

 

But a lot of people are still missing the details.  So.  I have pictures.  Screenshots of the two biggest time wasters for librarians processing the queue:  mis-labelling formats, and adding ASINs where they should NOT be added.

 

Let's start with E-books:

 

Both of these are wrong, and have to be fixed.  The first one because it's a KINDLE, not an ebook, and the second because it's an EBOOK, not a kindle, and the ASIN should NOT  be theres.  It should be on a KINDLE edition, seperate from the ebook edition.

 

This is what a correct ebook edition should look like.

 

This is what a correct KINDLE edition should look like.

 

 

Now, paperbacks and hardcovers:

 

Both of these are wrong and have to be fixed.  Paperbacks and hardcovers NEVER HAVE AN ASIN.

 

This is an example of what a paperback edition should look like (and hardcover - except, of course, it should say "hardcover").

 

 

This record is doubly wrong:

No format was included, so we don't know if this is supposed to be a paperback, hardcover, ebook or kindle - hell, it could be an audiobook for all we know.  So we have to leave Booklikes to search the web (because most of these include a GoodReads source URL that doesn't specify the format) to find out what format it is before we can correct it.

 

Sometimes shit happens.  Sometimes mistakes are made, or someone is in a hurry, no biggie.  But most of these aren't mistakes, most of them are submitted by serial offenders.  And please understand that I'm not complaining about a few - almost half of the queued lists are usually made up of records like these, that have to be opened and corrected before they're approved.  Today's count would have been close to 70 records.  On top of the records missing covers, ISBNs, etc.  Out of 140 records today, only about 40 were submissions I could just approve as is.

 

As I said, I enjoy doing this, as do the other librarians, but our time is finite, so whatever we spend on new submissions that have to be corrected is time we can't spend on fixing old records, bad imports, combining scattered editions and merging duplicate author records.  The records that cause all the grumbling in the first place.

 

Please help us make the BookLikes database better for everyone.  Rant over.  Send aspirin.

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text 2018-08-12 00:02
Preliminary and evolving Halloween Bingo TBR

I typically average about 5 books a month, so unlike many of the more voracious readers here, I’m not even going to attempt to black out my Bingo card*.  So I think I’m going to follow the same strategy that I used last year – pick a likely row with a handful of interesting books and then just wait for the calls to catch up. Here are some of the books I'm debating for the start.

 

 

A3 – Slasher Stories

Sandman Slim - Richard Kadrey 

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys - April Genevieve Tucholke 

 

B3 – Spellbound (an embarrassment of choices)

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead - Kim Harrison (can also fit Deadlands, Cryptozoologist, Shifters et c.) available as an audiobok

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness  (might also fit Relics & Curiosities) - available as an audiobook but at 24 hours is longer than might commit to in audiobook during Bingo

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld - Patricia A. McKillip   

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab  (one of many places this can go since I don’t have the Darkest London Square).

 

C3 – Raven

The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (reread - though this can also go many places)

one of the overflow from Spellbound

A short story TBD 

 

D3 – 13 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson (even though I think this will stretch my comfort zone and could go elsewhere)

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo 

Or more Raven Boys

 

E3 – Ghost Stories

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown - Seanan McGuire  (could also fit New Release)

 

 

*Yes, I know short stories count towards Halloween Bingo, but I can’t see reading 25 of them in a 2-month span either.  (And I’m just too likely to get sucked into the anthology and not move to other squares anyway)

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text 2018-08-11 03:03
Halloween Bingo - Unofficial Buddy Read?
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

I've now seen A Darker Shade of Magic on half a dozen reading plans for Halloween Bingo 2018.  Who'd be interested in turning it into an unofficial buddy read?

 

I suggest that we start either over the weekend of September 15/16 or the weekend of September 22/23, though I'm open to any time that doesn't conflict with the official Buddy Read.

 

So who's interested and what dates do you suggest?

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