Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reading for others


 When one can't read for himself, where does he turn? 
Audio books.
Some books are recorded by actors, 
some by the authors,
some by volunteers.

 Our city library maintains a recording studio for the State Braille and Talking Book Library.
A much larger studio with three recording booths is housed in east Phoenix.

The above photo is the 'director's desk' at my recording site. I get to sit here one day a week.


 And here is the 'reader's' desk. Often it is easier to call this person the 'narrator'. Reading is NOT easy work. This person must pre-read, read again, read out-loud, and practice reading more. Two hours of recording requires A LOT of homework for the narrator. S/he must also maintain a 'moist mouth' (no coffee while preparing!) and must sit very still while recording - no rustling, no tapping of foot, and no wearing jingly earrings.


This is the 'reviewer's' desk. This is my desk two days a week. A review is the proof-listener. For a few hours, the whole world is blocked out. The headphones replay every sound, every word, every swallow or sniffle a narrator might create. The reviewer documents it all, recording the time stamp and error. The file then goes back to the director - who plays supreme editor, cutting out the minute sounds or gurgles. 

And then it goes to the boss of us all, the KING REVIEWER. 
And...
then copies go to patrons who want to read but can't. 

Reading for others. The best job money can't hire.
(and we get to read a LOT of books!)

14 comments:

Kate said...

That's a really great thing to do - very interesting to hear how it all works.

Sandra said...

I had no idea how hard it would be to record the books, never really thought about it. my friend takes audio books with her when she travels alone. you have a wonderful job and it does so much good for others. thanks for the info

sealaura said...

Hi Brenda! So cool to learn about your volunteer work. I used to work in the Special Services part of a Library and had clients who came speciafically for these books. They were always so thrilled that they to could enjoy the library. Your work is essential and much appreciated.


BTW I got the the scarf this fall at the GAP for $25 it could also be worn as a long shawl.they had it in white, grey and black. hope you find it!
xx
L

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

It never occurred to me that it took so much work to get a book on tape. How awesome of you to give your time and sight to help someone enjoy something so easily taken for granted.

"course, we've known you were awesome for awhile now!

The Retired One said...

I have always wanted to do that...I know, it is a sick hope, but seriously, I really have....must have come from when I was chosen in 2nd grade to be the narrator for our school Christmas play.

Al said...

That's awesome. I can't imagine speaking for that long, my throat would be painful.

Barb said...

How wonderful! I never realized so much work went into the books. I know my friend, who is blind, appreciates people like you. As do I.

altadenahiker said...

Can we listen to one of your books?

Thérèse said...

Awesome!

Brenda's Arizona said...

AH, there are ways... our patrons are blind/visually impaired who have 'library cards' (not really) with the State Library. The patrons have the cassette player, etc. - and their very own librarian who helps them pick the book they might want to read. And they have "interlibrary loan", too!

If ANY of you ever thought you could do this - you CAN!

I am thinking I should keep a running post on the books we 'do'. And the 'science' behind the books we pick ('we' being the reading/engineering team).

Thank you all - and please know, reading to a child, to a loved one, to a grandparent - none of it is wasted breath.

Pat Tillett said...

wow! I didn't realize that it was so much work! Kudos to you for doing this for people...

Billy said...

Thank you for doing this for others! It is fascinating to learn about the process...volunteering your time and talents - way to go!

BANJO52 said...

Here's another "way to go" for doing this. I don't know if I'd have the patience, no matter how much I wanted it.

Elaine said...

What a wonderful way to help improve the quality of life for blind people! My grandson is deaf, and he benefits from the people who do close captioning for movies. Seemingly small things can have a huge impact for someone with disabilities.