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Topic: Should I not bother them or is this acceptable?

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Subject: Should I not bother them or is this acceptable?
Date Posted: 9/27/2013 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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I have several saved searches through the site, in some cases I'm interested in either only the Hardback, or only the Paperback, or in one case I just want a printed book (not an Audio-Tape, that has to be a strange case I know).

I've noticed that there are several ISBN listings for some of these books that are listed with "School Library Binding" or "Unknown Binding".  Knowing how members who haven't read through the forums or the help guides can be, it would be nice if these had the standard "Hardback" or "Paperback"  listing for the binding, so that I wouldn't have to wade through all of the other listings I'm not interested in (and can actually receive book hits when I want, I recently ran into a jewel that I'd missed because of this).  At the same time most of these listings are probably not worth me wasting a Wish List place on.

So, is it reasonable for me to go through and ask the Admins to clean-up the database in these areas.  And besides the appropriate Amazon & Barnes & Noble, entries what other information would I need to fix them.


Date Posted: 9/27/2013 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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It's possible that there are library bindings of books with ISBN, these are different then hardcover or paperback.  Only ones would be unknown binding, it would be up to those who posted them to let PBS know what binding it really has.  I'd see it as a waste of their time because they don't have the book in their hands to say what the binding is. 
Library still do make some books into library binding.

Date Posted: 9/27/2013 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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And note that PBS isn't likely to change binding information on books that have copies posted, since "unknown binding" pretty much means any binding will work when posting.

Date Posted: 9/27/2013 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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Sometimes an "unknown binding" book type will remain because the publisher published more than one book type using the same ISBN.  As long as books are posted to the listing, the Admin Team can't change it to "hardcover" or "paperback" (or something else) because both book types may be posted to the listing.  However if your research shows that the ISBN has only been used (ever) for one book type, you can ask the Admin Team to change it.  They are more likely to do so if there are no copies posted to the listing.

My suggestion would be that you google the ISBN to see how it is listed on other sites, particularly eBay where members write up their own listings.  If you think it might be a book you want, set up a requestor condition before ordering the book.  State what kind of binding you are looking for, and ask the sender to decline your requestor condition if the book is not a (paperback/hardcover/audio CD...).  Set up your RC (in My Account --> Settings) and turn it on, save your settings, then order the book. 

Then go back into your settings, turn your RC off, and save your settings again so that it won't accidentally be attached to your next order.

Also, regarding library bindings, this refers not only to the rebound library copies, but also to sturdier bindings issued by publishers especially for libraries.  You're more likely to find the latter here than the former if the ISBN says "library binding."

Last Edited on: 9/27/13 8:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2013 12:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Thanks for the input,

None of the books of interest have any copies posted (or I would probably have requested them already).  Problem is that if you click on the Hardback check box only, or the Paperback check box only when you search then the additional bindings never appear. 

Question based on curiosity,

Is there a difference between "School Library Binding" and "Library Binding".

This makes me think of an alternate solution, do either of these binding types have a definition as far as PBS or TPTB are concerned.  If they do then I maybe we could petition them to include the "Library Binding" in with the hardback check box for the search parameters.  I don't know how they have coded the searches but it includes "Mass Market Paperback" as a Paperback so there has to be some parameter variability as long as the code has been kept fairly simple they could include this in the next update.

Date Posted: 9/28/2013 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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If what you are looking at has only a 5 or 6 digit number as an ISBN, it is a one time listing and not worth the effort to change it.

You can do a search for the ISBN if it is a 10- or 13-digit and see if it comes in any other binding.  Look at World Cat, they have a lot of good info.  You can become part of the data edit team too.  Take a look at the books on your own shelf, pull down 'more options' on the listing and look at the data on the book.  Thousands of books in the system need genres, dimensions, descriptions, weight and so on.  Find one that needs data entered, enter it and then submit for approval.  Patti is one of the approvers and will help you a lot. 

There is an ongoing project called Mission Impossible to try to get the data complete on all books without a genre listed.  Want to have some fun?  Do a search with no genre.  You have to pull down the genre menu and exclude everything except "no genre".  The listings stop at 10,000 and change everyday as more books are added.  You might start, again, with your own bookshelf.  But, if you submit a data edit, please be sure to complete all the data, not just the genre.  Plus if you have a scanner and can scan covers of books you own to replace the blue boxes, we need help with that too.