Partnership to expand title selection for visually impaired
Visually impaired South Dakotans should soon have access to an expanded selection of local and regional titles in talking book format, thanks to a new partnership between the South Dakota State Library and the Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls.
The two organizations recently opened a recording studio at the Siouxland Libraries Main Branch. The recording studio will be used by volunteers of the State Library’s Braille and Talking Book Program to produce books in digital format. The books are made available to South Dakota citizens who are unable to read standard print.
According to Mary Johns, Siouxland Libraries Director, they are excited to partner with the State Library on this project and bring the opportunity for volunteer readers to the community.
“The talking book program has a long history of positive impact for individuals,” Johns said. “Public libraries have played various roles in this service, and Siouxland Libraries is happy to be a small part of the digital production of these materials.”
Assistant State Librarian Colleen Kirby said she is grateful to Siouxland Libraries for being willing to share space for a recording studio.
“Currently the Braille and Talking Book Program has more than 1,500 books that need to be recorded,” Kirby said. “We depend on volunteers to narrate and prepare these books for our readers. By donating their time and energy, volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the thousands of South Dakotans who are unable to read standard print.”
The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program is a free library service for people who cannot read standard print because of visual, physical, or reading disabilities. All equipment and services are free, including return postage.
If you would be interested in volunteering with the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program, please contact Josh Easter, South Dakota State Library, at 1-800-423-6665.