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Topic: Are Songbooks textbooks?

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Subject: Are Songbooks textbooks?
Date Posted: 10/7/2011 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 16
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I have a number of children's songbooks that I would like to post, but several of them have bits of notation (start here, shrug, surprized!) alongside the music. We used these for music education so I think of these little notes the same as one would write in or underline in a textbook. BUT, would anyone else think this way? I don't want to just toss all these books, but I also don't want to send books that might be a problem for someone to accept. I've received several "classics" with underlining notes and  I understood their purpose had been to be used in a class. So, what defines a textbook? And are my songbooks okay even with a few notes?


Date Posted: 10/7/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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I think I would consider them a textbook.  Probably the best thing to do is post them, then if you get a reqeust, send a note to the requester saying, "These books were used in a classroom at textbooks and have writing in them." 

It's been a bit of an ongoing debate as to what constitutes a textbook.  Especially if you start dealing with books that were used in literature class and such.  Some people are fine with that, some people aren't.  So I think it's important to give people the option.  Personally, I would be upset to get a book with writing in it, I mark it RWAP and the sender then informs me that the book was used as a textbook.  Tell me up front. 

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 10/7/2011 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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My understanding is pretty much *anything* can be a textbook - if you are posting something with student's notations in it, though, you must PM the person before you mail it, to see if they want something that has been used as a textbook and has notes in it, and cancel if they say no.

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 16
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Thank you for responding and that is just what I was thinking and I will do as you suggest. Although I find the whole business of contacting the requestor to be a bit awkward and  would eventually like to see a way to do this before the request has been accepted.


Date Posted: 10/7/2011 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 701
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For clarification, you must cancel if they say no, or never respond back at all.  They may only be sent if they respond with a pm stating they'll accept. I might not bother if these are heavily posted or offer in the Bazaar for a deal.

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,495
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Another option is to offer the books in the Home Schooling or Children's forum, with details on the conditions.

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,231
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For the purposes of PBS, its is very clear that any book can be considered a textbook for the exception and that no book with writing or highlighting in it can be send without prior approval from the receiver. From the Help Center.

What is the definition of a textbook?

Actually, the way the system and rules are designed, it does not matter what the "objective definition" of a textbook is.  The club members decide this - as long as the rules in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS are followed.  See the explanation and examples below.

If a member considers her book a textbook she may Post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages, according to the "textbook exception" in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS; BUT since the textbook exception in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS require her to contact the requestor and obtain PM consent to the book's condition, she won't be in the position of sending a "stealth textbook" to someone who doesn't expect to receive one.

Examples/further explanation:

  • Member A posts an Economics 101 textbook - something that most people would clearly consider a textbook.   
  • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
  • Chances are good that she will get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc. 
  • Member B posts a novel (fiction) that she used in a class - something that most people would NOT consider a textbook.
    • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
    • Chances are good that she will NOT get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc.
    • If the requestor declines the book in its condition, Member B will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  It will go to the 'back of the line' for requests.  (If it is a Wish Listed book, it will be offered to the same wisher and the sender will again have to cancel.  She will have to wait for the wishing member to get a copy of this book from someone else before Member B can post her copy again.)

So, the farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  Members in Member B's situation may encounter several declines, and will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition.  Member B will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook"  and will consider it instead an unpostable/damaged book.

In this way, the club defines "textbook" on a case-by-case basis, and no one who is following the rules will be able to "surprise" another person with a highlighted/written-in/underlined book.

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Oh good, Melanie posted the official textbook info.  Basically, if you used it for a class (and thus notes, highlighting, etc.)  then it is postable IF the guidelines are followed.  So don't feel awkward about pm'ing Sharon.  Those types of books/media can be pricey (or infrequently posted) so members are often grateful to see them offered. 

I was recently sorting through some old piano text/primers from when DD was taking lessons.  A set of three books for each level, and for each level one book always had notes and comments added by her instructor ... it's very common, so your notated books should not be unusual.

Emily also has a good point, the homeschool forum has a thread for offering learning books.  Most of what I've posted there has been requested quickly.

A final thought, you might wish to check out the Help documents for pamphlets.  There is a miminum number of pages to qualify for a PBS book...some of the small music leaflets might be unpostable under this rule:

Pamphlets/Booklets/leaflets without ISBNs: NO

  • These sometimes contain advertising; members also complain at having to pay a credit for these.
  • Leaflets = non-children's books with less than 20 pages
  • Booklets = non-children's books with less than 50 pages
  • Leaflet/pamphlets/booklets with ISBNs may be posted
    • if so, the number of pages must be included in the item description.
  • Children's books do not count as booklets or leaflets, even if they are short.
    • Children's books can be expected to have short pagelengths and the booklet/leaflet designations do not apply.

Last Edited on: 10/7/11 11:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/10/2011 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Quote: "Basically, if you used it for a class (and thus notes, highlighting, etc.)  then it is postable IF the guidelines are followed."

Fortunately the guidelines don't say anything about something being a textbook "if you used it for a class." All they say is that you have to follow the guidelines.

That's good, because it really isn't "cheating" to post something under the textbook rule (because of writing and highlighting) even if you didn't use it for a class. I have been in very few classes in the last twenty years, but I've written in a lot of textbooks - because I'm preparing to teach a class - because I'm preparing to tutor someone - because I'm studying something on my own - because I'm making notes about how a particular item applies to my particular situation - because I'm researching something for writing purposes and need to highlight something - because I'm evaluating something for teaching purposes and I want to make notes of its suitability - so many reasons, which all have to do with study but don't necessarily have anything to do with a classroom.

I really like the PBS textbook rules. I only wish that more people followed them! They're just not that hard....

Date Posted: 10/11/2011 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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That's true Elizabeth, the rules don't specify student or teacher lol.  I also like the fact they have left those details open so the rule can work for a wide variety of situations.