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Old 12-06-2007, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,734,112 times
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I know most of the folks who visit these forums are sighted and probably do not subscribe to the "Talking Books" program administered by the Library Of Congress but I was just curious if any of you have visually impaired friends or relatives that use the program. Whew what a long sentence!

I was asking because I am a volunteer narrator who does some reading for their program. If any of you would like to do volunteer work for this program contact your local library commission or someone with the Commission for the Blind. They usually need volunteers to do anything from narrating, monitoring, shelving and sorting titles and handling mailings. It is very rewarding work and a much needed service.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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I have done some volunteering as a narrator too and thoroughly enjoyed it . I think it's a wonderful programme and one which should be more publicised as it is a very useful and to some indispensable service for blind or partially sighted people.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,442,141 times
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Thanks for bringing it up here.

I have done some reading for the unsighted at my local library, and will probably volunteer again.

It was gratifying.
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:50 AM
 
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My boyfriend's grandmother, who suffers from macular degeneration, is a member of the program in Maine. Aside from listening to the Red Sox, the talking books are her only source of entertainment. What a wonderful program!

Kudos to you all for volunteering!
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:07 AM
 
7,139 posts, read 13,557,295 times
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Very nice post. A friend of mine is legally blind, and gets audio books from Commission for the Blind. I believe he just borrows them and mails them back? Will have to look into doing the volunteer reading at the local library.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:21 AM
 
Location: A Valley in Oregon
610 posts, read 3,070,504 times
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I have known several folks over the years who use the program and enjoy it.
I have known a few that do not enjoy it.
While they enjoyed reading prior to their eyesight going south, they say that their imagination simply does not work the same with the spoken word and they also say that they abhor the mono-tone reading.
I would imagine that, at some point, they may miss the distraction enough to give it another go.
I think it is a great service ... but might suggest (to who?) that someone or some agency find the funding to "do the books up" like the old radio-shows ... with sound effects and over-the-top emoting. Even a dozen or so books done in this fashion every year would ... could ... might ... compete with HD!
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
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RckyMtnr. . . one thing to remember about the talking books is the fact that it is a low budget program and almost all of the narrators are volunteers. When we read a book if we make a mistake or any background noise or glitches are discovered the passage must be done again. Typically in a session it may take two or three hours of actual time to read and record one hour of work up to the standards of the Library of Congress program administrators. Even if you are lucky enough to read a really great book it is very difficult to keep enthusiastic about the project. If the L.O.C hired professionals the quality of the reading would be a lot higher I am sure but there were be very few book/magazines that would get done. Everyone in the program that I know and have worked with tries to do the very best job possible but what the heck, not all of us are blessed with the voice of a James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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Is there a national organization that could contact actors to see if they would volunteer? There should be. There must be a gazillion wannabees out there in addition to those already famous.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,734,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssg II View Post
Is there a national organization that could contact actors to see if they would volunteer? There should be. There must be a gazillion wannabees out there in addition to those already famous.
To answer your question ssgII: I don't know. I will say this to any High School or College student wanting to pursue a career in broadcasting, theater or other performance arts: Doing volunteer work for the Talking Books program will give you something to put on your resume that could be very beneficial to you after graduation. You could enter the job market with actual experience in studio production work, experience with computer databases, library systems, hardware maintenence and various other valuable job skills. I have heard that some Colleges even give credit hours for working in these volunteer jobs. I am sure any competent career counselor could head a student in the right direction.

Many celebities have talent but for every ONE celebrity there are probably a hundred undiscovered talents. This might be a great opportunity for someone waiting to be discovered to get very valuable experience.

GL2
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