Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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To NAB or not to NAB?

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message 1: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments I've got a question.
Some months ago I added a comicbook which is the German "Free Comic Book Day" special edition of a "Green Lantern" issue.
Another member NABed it without documenting a reason. So I unNABed it - and he NABed it again, declaring that periodical comicbooks are not allowed.
I couldn't find such a rule in the librarian manual. So I wrote him a message - which he ignored.

I'd like to ask you all now: Is it a book or not? And who can/will finally decide this?

This is the "book" we are talking about:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11...

Thanks and greets,

Roland


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 963 comments Here's what the manual says about NAB:
Just as not all books have ISBNs, not all ISBNs are associated with books. When an item which is not a book is imported via ISBN into Goodreads, it does no good to delete it: the item will only be re-imported as long as it remains on the feeder site. (Often these are book-related items which are assigned ISBNs by book publishers so that they can be tracked through their book systems.)

These items should be transferred to the “author” NOT A BOOK. This can be done by editing the individual book record and replacing the existing primary author with the author NOT A BOOK, or, if all of the items on an author's list are not books, the author can be edited and merged entirely into NOT A BOOK.

In the case of items currently credited to an author who is a member of the Goodreads Author program, proceed extremely carefully and contact the author for clarification if there is any question regarding the status of an item as a book, particularly in the case of calendars, workbooks, or blank books with additional content.

These items are not books:
* multi-packs of the same book
*** dumpbin, dump bin, dumpb, dumpbi, dumpbn, dbin, d/bin
*** mixed bin, mixed copy, copy bin, mxd
*** prepak, ppk, stockpack, stock pack
*** header
*** shrinkwrap, shrink wrap, s/wrap, swrap
*** x12, x24, x36, x48, 12c, 24c, 36c, 48c, 12cc, 24cc, 36cc, 48cc, 60cc
*** awbc
* promo materials (displays, etc.)
*** counterpack, counter pack, cpack, c/pack, counter display
*** floor display, floordisplay, floor disp, fd, f/d
*** 18fl, 24fl, 27fl, 36fl (fl = floor display)
*** mxfl
*** easel
*** clip strip
* movies (DVD or VHS)
* television episodes
* theatrical production recordings
* music (esp soundtracks) (but not bound sheet music)
* stationery
* calendars (unless containing additional content)
* diaries and blank books (unless containing additional content)
* posters
* coloring books (except those for reference or which tell a story)
* unbound maps (as opposed to bound maps in an atlas)
* board games
* tshirts
* toys
* stuffed animals/dolls
* bookmarks
* stickers
* decks of cards (including Tarot)
* puzzles (as opposed to puzzle books)
* plaques (inspirational, or otherwise)
* video games
* podcasts discussing books
* untitled books where no verifiable publication information about the book exists (often these are titled "Untitled #3" and represent placeholder ISBNs that were never used)
* "all book by an author" or "all books in a series" where no published collection of these works exists

The ones with numbers indicate #'s of copies, e.g., 24c indicates a 24 copy item...thus these are usually display or stock items of that # of books and not the correct ISBN for the actual individual books themselves. These are the most common numbers, but others also abound. Also, stray numbers in a title (as numerical digits rather than spelled out), even without the x, c, or cc, will often indicate copy number as well. A single year in a title (e.g., 2008) often indicates a calendar. Presence of one of these terms does not automatically indicate that the item is not a book, but in most cases you should be suspicious.

Note that any of these items packaged with a book count as a book, if the specific book edition with which they are packaged is not otherwise sold separately.

These items are books:
* repacks
* F&C Sheets
* bound sheet music, scores, librettos, etc.
* atlases
* reference books (including books on CD-ROM)
* book group discussion guides
* workbooks
* calendars or something-a-day books with additional content
* "blank" books with additional text or collectible artwork
* advanced reader copies (ARCs)
* boxed sets (sold as a boxed set with one ISBN)
* multiple distinct volumes (sold together as a set with one ISBN)
* fanfiction which is self-published in book format
* forthcoming books with only partial information
* books withdrawn from publishing if enough information was ever provided to make a book record a useful resource
* periodicals and bound comic books with ISBNs
* periodicals without ISBNs but substantially similar to books (eg, perfectbound literary magazines)
* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field
* short stories published online (the format should be "ebook")
* audio productions, not recordings of theatrical productions (the format should be "audiobook")
* podcasts of books

So if it has an ISBN and it is bound, it's a book.


message 3: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments Quote from Rivka (Mod) about comic books: "Comic books that have an ISBN or ASIN should be left as not-NAB. Ones that don't can be deleted. In neither case would NABing be necessary."

See message 27 here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...

I'm going to guess that a few of us NAB versus delete. Do more "experienced" librarians ever go through all of the NAB books and delete the ones that are delete-able. (Librarians who know enough to know which books can be deleted and which books should be deleted vs. left as NAB so they don't get re-imported by Amazon or B & N?)


message 4: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Shay wrote: "Do more "experienced" librarians ever go through all of the NAB books and delete the ones that are delete-able."

There are 43,000+ "Not a Books," it doesn't seem too feasible to go through it and fix things. :)


message 5: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Ok ... returning to my question:

As an edition of the Free Comic Book Day in Germany the issue has no ISBN.
But as the manual says: "not all books have ISBNs"

The list "these items are not books" shows no item which fits to my issue.

But IMO the list "these items are books" does:

"* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field"

So again: is ist - or is it not?


message 6: by Vicky (last edited Jul 11, 2011 08:34AM) (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Roland wrote: "* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field""

Given this, I would say it probably counts as a book. But I would probably wait for Rivka to come around and see what she has to say.

On a related side note - I notice that there seem to be quite a few books that have been NAB'd that should not have been. This stands out, for one.


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 963 comments Vicky wrote: "Roland wrote: "* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field""

Given this, I would s..."


Looks just like the same kind of thing the original poster is talking about, if you read the description.

I'm leaning toward if someone really wants it to count as a book, then it stays a book, but it's a fine line.

Roland - does it feel and look like a normal comic book without all the added items? If so, I'd say it's not a book. Think about all of the zillions of magazines and comic books that could be added if it doesn't have an ISBN and doesn't actually look like a book.


message 8: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments The distinction appears to be "single" issue and "bound"- which I've also read in various threads. So, as this is part of a comic book series, my guess would be that it's not a book. But, I'm a relatively new librarian, so almost anyone knows more than I do.


message 9: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments Vicky wrote: "Roland wrote: "* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field""

Given this, I would s..."


See, going through all the NAB'ed entries would make a good project for someone. (Not me)


message 10: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Jessica wrote: "I'm leaning toward if someone really wants it to count as a book, then it stays a book, but it's a fine line."

It's definitely a fine line - but the manual does allow "* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field" which seems to be exactly what this is.

I noticed while looking through the Not a Book listing, that someones complete comic book collection that they'd gone through the trouble of adding and reviewing was NAB'd. I think that for comic books, since they are allowed through the clause above, if someone has added it and reviewed it, it shouldn't be NAB'd.


message 11: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Shay wrote: "See, going through all the NAB'ed entries would make a good project for someone. (Not me)
"


Maybe if it's decided that all those single-issue comic books should not be in the NAB pile, I'll make it a project. ;)


message 12: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments I don't want to add every single "Amazing Spider Man" or (to take a German example) "Perry Rhodan" issue.

The "Green Lantern" issue I'm talking about is "single" in its special edition. So I personally think it IS a book.

What I'd like to know is, if the game of NABing and unNABing it will continue - or if there can be made a final decision.


message 13: by Roland (last edited Jul 11, 2011 08:53AM) (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Vicky wrote: "I noticed while looking through the Not a Book listing, that someones complete comic book collection that they'd gone through the trouble of adding and reviewing was NAB'd. I think that for comic books, since they are allowed through the clause above, if someone has added it and reviewed it, it shouldn't be NAB'd."

Well I agree with that, too.
Do I have to use different tools archiving my books and my comicbooks? Physically they stand in the same shelf. :)


message 14: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Roland wrote: "What I'd like to know is, if the game of NABing and unNABing it will continue - or if there can be made a final decision. "

I'm sure there will be a decision made, but you'll have to wait for Rivka to check the thread.

We librarians can interpret the manual however we see fit, but until someone from Goodreads says "it's a book" or "it's not a book" you won't have any weight with the librarian NABing your book. :)


message 15: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Thanks Vicky, thats good news for me. :)
I'll wait for Rivka and her decision - and will accept it. :)


message 16: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
I would neither NAB nor un-NAB it. It's a comic book; I would delete it.


message 17: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments rivka wrote: "I would neither NAB nor un-NAB it. It's a comic book; I would delete it."

Even though the manual says that comic books are considered books?


message 18: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
That's not quite what it says. It has weasel words on purpose. ;)

I don't go out hunting down comic books. But when I find them (or if they are brought to my attention), I delete them. Similarly, I would not have commented on this thread -- but my opinion was requested.


message 19: by Vicky (last edited Jul 11, 2011 10:14AM) (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments rivka wrote: "That's not quite what it says. It has weasel words on purpose. ;)"

I suppose so, but I think it would better serve to have a documented policy that says "comic books may be deleted" rather than a policy that gives off the suggestion that they will be left alone.

I'm not a comic book person myself, but if I were I would be upset if I added a lot of comics, which I consider part of my book collection to Goodreads only to see it NAB'd or deleted. Maybe a note in the if you can't find a book section of help?


message 20: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Ooookay ... nearly 50% of my books are in the shelf "comics" - most of them are so called "graphic novels", have an ISBN and are bound. But Comics have a great part in my physical shelves, too. I see no reason to seperate them from my other books.

I agree to Vicky: There has to be a clear definition that comics are not allowed at all - there still is no such item in the "these items are not books" list.


message 21: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
Graphic novels are quite distinct from individual comics.


message 22: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments Roland wrote: "Ooookay ... nearly 50% of my books are in the shelf "comics" - most of them are so called "graphic novels", have an ISBN and are bound. But Comics have a great part in my physical shelves, too. I s..."

Also, I think the "ISBN" loophole was not meant for comic books. (Adding books that don't have an ISBN) I think it was meant for pre-ISBN books- like a copy of Michener's Hawaii that was published in the 1950's.


message 23: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Ok, so there seems to be no chance for my Free Comic Book Day edition bekoming a book, I think. :)
But that's allright for me.


message 24: by MissJessie (last edited Jul 11, 2011 12:32PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments My question is (and I don't do Comic Books) is: what does it hurt to have them in the GR catalogue? Who is hurt by it? What damage does it cause?

I agree, if I had gone to the trouble of entering my comic book collection and someone dumped it, either deleting or NAB, I'd be highly incensed. (And the irony is, my brother is a fairly well know comic book artist who if you knew his name you could easily google.)

If Comic Books offend someone when cruising the GR database, just ignore them and go on. As I have said (unpopularly to some) before, I don't understand why any individual feels he/she has he right to decide what someone else has on their list in the way of reading material (not calendars, toys, etc.).


message 25: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments MissJessie wrote: "My question is (and I don't do Comic Books) is: what does it hurt to have them in the GR catalogue? Who is hurt by it? What damage does it cause?

I agree, if I had gone to the trouble of entering..."


I get your point, I don't have anything either for or against comic books. I'm not going to go out of my way to find them so I can NAB or delete them. But, I think many librarians became librarians because they are bothered by things being "wrong". In other words, why should I care that a book is listed as having 412 instead of 411 pages. But I do...I think quite a few librarians are the same way. If it's a rule, it's going to be followed until it's changed. I'm sure at least a few librarians will argue that you shouldn't upload things that you should know are not books.


message 26: by Melody (new)

Melody (runningtune) | 13258 comments Same reason we don't have patterns or movies. This is a book database. Otherwise why even have librarians? If people want to misspell or add non-editions or spam or ..... anyway.


message 27: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments Roland, if the one of the reasons you want to add comics is to maintain an online database of your books, have you tried LibraryThing? http://www.librarything.com/

It's free to join and enter 200 books. I don't know the rules about comics, but they do allow you to import things, I believe. After the 200 books, it's $10/year or $25 lifetime. I'm not a member, but other people have mentioned using this as their book catalogue.


message 28: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments And Shay's recommendation is another reason for leaving comics alone and no using individual perceptions of what is a book and what is not(re comic books).

Shay has just suggested that Roland leave GR to find a database that will allow him to list his comics.

Is this what GR really wants to happen? Not criticizing Shay who made a good suggestion, but do the PTB want Librarians driving away good customers of GR by imposing their personal opinion of what constitutes a book on others? I doubt it personally.

Or, as my Mother used to say "Who died and left _____ in charge?"


message 29: by MissJessie (last edited Jul 11, 2011 02:14PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Melody wrote: "Same reason we don't have patterns or movies. This is a book database. Otherwise why even have librarians? If people want to misspell or add non-editions or spam or ..... anyway."

I don't think that correcting a mis-spelling or combining editions or whatever is the same as dumping someone else's hard-worked-at entries. There are God only knows enough corrections that need to be made that we could all keep busy into the indefinite future without going out of our way to piss people off.


message 30: by Melody (new)

Melody (runningtune) | 13258 comments Several people have added their dvd collections and their favorite movies. And their crochet patterns.


message 31: by MissJessie (last edited Jul 11, 2011 04:55PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments We were, I thought, discussing things that were borderline "books" in some views, e.g., comic books (note the common name, which includes the word "book").

Patterns have been discussed in a previous thread (I started said thread) and records and movies have been discussed often enough in the past. And all were determined to definitely be not books. I don't think there was any question of that, actually.

But comic books, that's an area of debate.


message 32: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Vicky wrote: "Shay wrote: "Do more "experienced" librarians ever go through all of the NAB books and delete the ones that are delete-able."

There are 43,000+ "Not a Books," it doesn't seem too feasible to go through and fix things..."


I will sometimes go in there and fix things. Obviously it's too big a project to tackle all at once, but I'll do a few here and there, or if I come across something at random that has been improperly nabbed I'll unnab it. I just did about 10.


message 33: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments MissJessie wrote: "We were, I thought, discussing things that were borderline "books" in some views, e.g., comic books (note the common name, which includes the word "book").

Patterns have been discussed in a prev..."


I agree that it seems like the passing of a judgment upon comic books. After all, a calendar with a few quotes is a book. A coloring book can be a book. But a comic book with characters, plot, etc. is not a book. But, as long as it's a rule, librarians are going to delete. It would be an interesting debate though. I wasn't trying to encourage Roland to give up on GR so much as just being realistic. Since there is that rule, deletions are going to happen. So, why not list your comic books somewhere where all your work isn't constantly at risk.


message 34: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Amen Shay. GR doesn't appear to meet his needs. It's just a pity that they are not being met based on individuals making decisions about items that don't even impact their own lists. Just doesn't sit well with me to have other people making such decisions in an arbitrary manner when there is so much else that they could be doing that is not controversial and is useful.


message 35: by Nenangs (new)

Nenangs | 469 comments All along I thought that comicbooks (with or without ISBN) are considered as books, only unbound comic strips that were considered as not books and must be NAB'ed or deleted.

Comicbooks are really not that different than tankoubon of mangas, so why it's not a book?


message 36: by Roland (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments I totally agree that you have to follow such rules - or you work on changing them.
I just couldn't see a strikt rule in the manual that forbids comic books.

I personally don't see a reason to separate books from comicbooks.

Maybe I'm a bit "lost in translation", too.
In German you speak of "Comic Heft", "Comic Album" and "Comic Taschenbuch".
First means non-bound booklets like a weekly "Superman" issue - I could agree in banning them.

Second and third are bound Paperbacks like "Tintin", graphic novels and special collectors editions - they IMO are books according to the rules.

I checked out several services like librarything - and I chose goodreads. Its simply the best - and many friends followed me. I don't want to leave ... :)


message 37: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Excellent point re the manga and graphic novels.

Differentiating between comics and manga -- perhaps it's just that comics are viewed by some as not so 'intellectual' (for want of a better word) than graphic novels or manga.

When you consider it closely, there's very little difference.

I am glad you don't want to leave; it would be unfortunate to be driven away by a few self-appointed determinors of right and wrong re the database.


message 38: by vicki_girl (new)

vicki_girl | 2765 comments I don't think it's a matter of being more 'intellectual'. My understanding is that monthly comics were considered at one point to be periodicals, similar to Vogue or GQ. Therefore, they would not be books. Graphic novels are bound collections of a set of monthly comics that encompass a complete story (though I'm sure there are exceptions), and could then be considered a 'book'.

My 2 cents on this debate: I agree with how comics are treated in the librarian manual as it currently stands. That is, people are not supposed to add single issue comics. However, if I see someone has added them, I leave them alone, UNLESS there is a graphic novel that it can be merged with instead (this is rare though; most of the single issues I see listed are because there is no graphic novel to pick).

If anyone is interested, I use comicbookdb.com to catalog my comics. It's free, like GR, and users can correct data, similar to librarians here. It is limited though. I haven't found a good way to designate a comic that I've read, but don't own (e.g., I borrowed it from the local library).


message 39: by Sandi (new)

Sandi I might have missed it, but did anyone even ask whether the comic in question was a periodical or a bound collection? I can't tell from the cover picture.


message 40: by Roland (last edited Jul 12, 2011 08:55AM) (new)

Roland (treanor) | 9 comments Hi Sandi,

it is the special edition (German Free Comic Book Day) of a periodical issue.


message 41: by Dan (new)

Dan (daniel-san) | 2 comments Writers often cross over from comics to other published books, so it would be a boon to the authors and readers to have comic books included as a periodical media type.

Remember, comic books are really just serial graphic novels bound by staples or glue. There is really nothing outside of an ISBN that differentiates it from a trade edition graphic novel in any meaningful way. Most of the time, the trade edition is still a part of a series, but collects more issues in each volume. So we are talking about page counts here.

From the manual, the word "unencouraged" makes this unclear to me however:

* single-issue magazines and comic books on an individual and unencouraged basis, although they should be typed as "periodical" in the work: media type field

What does this mean? If you take that word out of the sentence the rule is clear.


message 42: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments It's definitely confusing, esp. since on another thread a 5 page magazine (downloadable) story by Charlane Harris is deemed to be worthy of inclusion without an ISBN.

Seems inconsistent, and almost discriminatory against comic books.


message 43: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Dan wrote: "What does this mean? If you take that word out of the sentence the rule is clear."

I think the word "unencouraged" is meant to say that Goodreads doesn't want comic books added to the database.

I'm not going to argue for or against the inclusion of comic books, but I do think there should be a clarification of the rule.

If comic books are not allowed, the rule should be rewritten to say that they are not allowed.

If comic books are allowed, even on this weird "unencouraged" basis, I think they should be left alone and not NAB'd or deleted by librarians if they are added by a user.


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan (ofearna) | 33 comments I'm trying to clean up an author (Piers Anthony) and noticing a WHOLE LOT of multi-book packs... should I not-a-book them or leave them in the groups Amazon.com has them under Piers Anthony?


message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan (ofearna) | 33 comments Vicky wrote: "Dan wrote: "What does this mean? If you take that word out of the sentence the rule is clear."

I think the word "unencouraged" is meant to say that Goodreads doesn't want comic books added to the ..."


For comics, I use comicbookdb.com unless they're TPB collections instead of regular issues.


message 46: by willaful (new)

willaful Vicky wrote: "I'm not going to argue for or against the inclusion of comic books, but I do think there should be a clarification of the rule."

I agree. The current rule seems to be an effort to please everyone, which is clearly not working.


message 47: by Shay (new)

Shay | 179 comments willaful wrote: "Vicky wrote: "I'm not going to argue for or against the inclusion of comic books, but I do think there should be a clarification of the rule."

I agree. The current rule seems to be an effort to pl..."



I think people wouldn't be happy, but would prefer a firm, "No do not enter comics without an ISBN" than entering those comics and having them deleted or NAB'ed.


message 48: by Melody (new)

Melody (runningtune) | 13258 comments http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15...

Boxed sets? NAB or not? I've changed it back and messaged the librarian - and she NABed again. Maybe I'm mistaken?


message 49: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41701 comments Mod
Not NAB.


message 50: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments To NAB, or not to NAB, that is the question;
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outraged librarians
Who are offended by NABing with which they disagree;
And by opposing them bring down the wrath
Of those who dislike one’s work
And more; and by offending them we end
With heartache and the natural complaints
And criticisms that dissenters are heir to.
It is devoutedly to be wished that we may Sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream of a place
Where all may be satisfied and none
Displeased.


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