Hi @librarydude33! Nice to meet you and thanks for the feedback. Your frustration is understandable and noted.
Some other details; the entire Open Library team of staff has been 2 engineers (now 3) -- Drini, Jim, and myself. Volunteer team leads from the community step up to ensure the aspects of the service they care about also get done.
In any given month, more than 20 volunteers may submit contributions and our staff invests in supporting, mentoring, and reviewing the changes of each of these contributors. This takes time.
The library serves nearly 5M patrons; enabling around 350,000 borrows a month. We are the team responsible for maintaining the servers. For writing and deploying new code. For monitoring the pager when the service has performance issues. For working with librarians. For coordinating with policy teams. For drafting and executing on a roadmap for the project. For moderating spam and user-generated content. For supporting a group of volunteer librarians, more than 5 volunteer team leads, and 4 interns/fellows.
Our entire roadmap is also public and the project is open source, meaning if there's something one is unsatisfied with, they have the power to change it, and our team does our best to support contributors in this pursuit with the time we have. Moreover, we host public community calls every Tuesday and developed our yearly roadmap with the inclusion and feedback of our entire community.
Finally, the past 2 years we have added a variety of librarian features. An interface for merging duplicate works. A mechanism for deleting works and their editions in bulk. Bot infrastructure to clean up records en masse.
Many processes such as adding and editing book records don't require librarian privileges. Some tasks like author merging and deleting records require privileges because these services require a certain level of trust and training -- otherwise, a mistake which takes 10 seconds to make, may cost our engineering team 30 minutes to untangle. Also, some contributors stick around for a few days and then disappear and training takes time, so we like to build rapport with teammates before granting permissions.
Lisa, who is our lead community librarian, coordinates with more than 30 people in addition to her full time job. She typically is very fast at replying to passionate contributors who want to help out as Librarians. Even if one doesn't have librarian access, she and her teammates welcome requests for merging records.
If you send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I can work as quickly as possible to invite you to our librarian channel so at minimum, you may engage with other passionate librarians, raise your concerns, your wishes, and report records which need fixing.
Here is our active monthly sprint for any who wish to ask questions or weigh in on our active efforts:
Please note that responding to these requests also takes time, and while we're happy to engage, the total surface area of Open Library is ~100 contributors, many who week-to-week have questions, concerns, comments, and other needs. The Tuesday community calls 10a PT is a great opportunity to voice these comments; we explicitly dedicate half of the call to "Open Mic" where we may efficiently use our time to provide feedback or talk about specific issues relevant to our interests.
@lakshya-dhariwal there are ~30 issues which we've identified as important one the community may be able to help with:
Here are also 5 issues which are specific to the front-end:
And another 20 or so regarding website experience:
@technoplato_twitter -- no great way to query book chapters. This data is often not asserted in our books (it used to be manually asserted by operators). Also, I don't believe chapter markers are indexed in the search engine.
On Open Library, you can use the book API per book to query for the Table of Contents if it is available -- see: https://openlibrary.org/dev/docs/api/books
table of contents
Senior Content Editoror
Hello friends. Did anything come of the GraphQL discussion? I have a little time available and I'm eager to start contributing. My neighbourhood is lacking a good English library and I want to write some software to make it easier for neighbours to open up their private bookshelves as lending libraries.
My idea is to use openlibrary as the database, via ISBN ids, and to have some PWA web UI for scanning then registering the book as part of the private library, or POSTing book metadata to openlibrary in case it's missing.