Audio book choices for Indiana Voices

Indiana Voices, part of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library at the Indiana State Library, records Indiana-related materials for residents of Indiana who cannot use standard printed materials due to visual or physical disabilities. In the past few years, the reach of the Indiana Voices program has expanded as the National Library Service (NLS) has allowed the inclusion of locally recorded materials to their Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service for patrons nationwide to download and enjoy.

Since the process of recording a book is so time consuming, we put a lot of thought into each book we choose for recording. Just because a book meets the Indiana-related criteria for the program does not mean that we will be able to record it. When choosing books to record we take into account positive reviews for a book, whether the book covers a subject of interest to our patrons, whether the book covers a subject our collection is lacking in and whether the books is available in an accessible format elsewhere.

Emmy Award-winner Dick Wolfsie of WISH-TV visited the Indiana Voices studio in January.

The most important criteria for what books should be added to the collection is rather simple: What do our patrons want to read? Our patrons tend to enjoy mysteries, westerns, religious fiction and historical fiction, along with non-fiction topics like war diaries, biographies and true crime. Patrons also always enjoy books by classic Hoosier authors such as George Barr McCutcheon, Meredith Nicholson, Booth Tarkington and Gene Stratton-Porter. These titles are easily available by simply perusing the book collection located in the Indiana Authors Room here at the state library.

Indiana Voices is always open to input from Talking Book and Braille Library patrons as to what types of titles they would like to see added to the collection. If you would like to make a suggestion, please feel free to contact Linden Coffman via email or via phone at (317) 232-3683.

This blog post was written by Linden Coffman, director of Indiana Voices. For more information about the Talking Book and Braille Library, call 1(800) 622-4970 or send an email.

Carl W. Henn, Jr. – Volunteer of the Year

Recently, the Indiana State Library named Carl W. Henn, Jr. volunteer of the year for his work as a narrator for the Talking Book and Braille Library’s Indiana Voices program, a program which records audio books for blind and visually disabled citizens of the state.  Mr. Henn, who is 93, has been volunteering as a reader for both the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Historical Society for over 35 years.

During WWII, Mr. Henn served as member of General George S. Patton’s headquarters band. He worked for many years afterward in a variety of capacities at the Indianapolis Times newspapers, as well as for Eli Lilly & Company, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis.

While working as a volunteer for the Indiana Voices program, Mr. Henn has narrated approximately 20 audio books.  He enjoys reading both fiction titles as well as books that are highly informative in nature.  He also shared that his reason for being a part of the Indiana Voices program is to fulfill an obvious need by making use of his capabilities.
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To learn more about the Indiana Voices program, including volunteer opportunities, please visit http://www.in.gov/library/2399.htm.

This blog post was written by Margaret Ansty, Talking Book & Braille Library Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3684 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Locally Recorded Books Now Available to Download from BARD

Good news for patrons of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. Locally recorded books from the Indiana Voices program are now available to download from BARD, the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download website. While we have been eagerly anticipating the day when we could start adding our locally recorded books to BARD for several years now, we first had to go through a pilot process so that we could fulfill all of the required criteria.

We were invited to participate in the BARD pilot program in November and completed it in January.  Early in February we uploaded “Brewster’s Millions” by Indiana author George Barr McCutcheon, to BARD. In its first month on BARD it was downloaded over 200 times by people all over the country!

Over the next few months we will be working on making the necessary formatting changes to more books in the Indiana Voices collection so they too can be added and freely enjoyed by Talking Book patrons all over the country. Upcoming Indiana titles to look for on BARD include biographies of Richard Lugar and Frank O’Bannon as well as the classic Indiana novel “Uncle Tom Andy Bill” (a personal favorite).

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This blog post was written by Margaret Ansty, Talking Book & Braille Library Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3684 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.