User ability to add books to network catalog

Hi all,

We were reviewing some of the books on our network, and noticed that a number of them are set to Public status—and we believe their authors are using them in their classes—but that not all of them are necessarily in our network catalog. Based on my understanding from this page in the Network Manager’s Guide, network managers can control what books appear in the catalog; what we were curious about, though, is whether the authors themselves could control whether their book appears in the catalog? Based on what I can tell from this page of the Pressbooks User Guide, users can only add books to their own personal catalog, which doesn’t seem to be associated with the network catalog.

  1. Can users in the network add their own books to the network catalog? (repeated question from above)
  2. If no, is it possible to include this as a feature near the option to change the global privacy status? (When authors change their book to Public, they might assume that this means it will get added to the network catalog)
  3. If not possible to add that feature, is there a way that a book’s change in status to Public triggers an email notification to network managers, so that we can reach out to the author and ask if they would like us to add it to the catalog?

My thinking is that it would be good to give users the ability to add or remove their books from the network catalog. If network managers got an email each time a book was set to Public, that does add some additional work to follow up with the author. Also, there might be reasons author wouldn’t want their book to display in the catalog right away; giving them the ability to do that themselves gives them some autonomy over that.

On the other hand, I can see why it would be preferable to limit that capability to network managers. And I can also appreciate that it just might not be possible regardless, because of the user permissions. I’m just curious to see if there’s a way we can improve our workflow around helping faculty publish and promote their books when they’re ready. If others have suggestions along these lines for how they monitor the books on their networks, I’d be happy to hear about them!


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Hi Kate –
By default, only network managers can add books to the network catalog. We’re not planning to change this feature in the near future – I think in a majority of cases, editorial control of the network catalog is something that network managers want and expect to have.

The idea I have while reading this would be some kind of feature where an author could ‘request’ or ‘nudge’ the network manager and request that their book be added to the network catalog. I’d imagine a flow that looks like this:

  1. an author writes a book and makes it public
  2. the author clicks some kind of button in the interface to request the book be added to the network catalog
  3. network managers receive a notification (via email and/or in the app) and can choose to approve or reject the request. If they reject it, they can provide brief feedback/rationale for the requesting author.

How does that sound to you? If that would be interesting, I can either write this up in our ideas forum: GitHub - pressbooks/ideas: Ideas for Pressbooks., or help you to create a GitHub issue there.

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Thanks, Steel! Yes, I can see the reasoning for reserving that ability for network managers. I think what you’ve described as an alternative sounds like it would do what we’re thinking/hoping! Just having something that would alert us when someone wants to add a book to the catalog would be super helpful!

Would you mind writing up the idea in the GitHub? I really appreciate your quick response! :grinning:

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