How to HelpThe State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service is seeking volunteers who are interested in making written material accessible for the visually and physically impaired. Volunteers are needed to narrate books or magazines, monitor narrators during recording sessions, and edit recorded audio. Anyone with a clear speaking voice, audio editing experience, or familiarity with computers and a willingness to learn is encouraged to apply.
Volunteer positions descriptions (PDF)
Volunteer application (PDF)
Narrator AuditionsProspective narrators must audition in our recording studio. The audition is recorded, and it will include a test for pronunciation with brief excerpts from books and magazines. The test will take about 30 minutes to complete.
The audition is a "cold" reading. Although good sight-reading skills are essential, any other preparation is minimal. Your test will be evaluated for the following characteristics:
- Correct pronunciation
- Diction that is clear, distinct, and understandable
- Reading with a smooth flow, free from disturbances and hesitations
- Expressiveness without exaggeration
- Relaxed speech; not stilted
- Reading at a pace that is easy to follow
- A manner that compels listeners to continue with the book / magazine
Project Assignments & SchedulingThe director of Talking Books determines the selection of reading material. Assignments are based on volunteer interests, reading/computer skills, schedule, and by the needs of the program. Volunteers will not be asked to read anything that they find personally offensive. Most reading material is furnished by Talking Books.
Approved volunteers will be required to commit to the completion of at least one assignment. Dates and times are scheduled by appointment only. Most reading sessions will be limited to one hour at a time. The Talking Books library is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on holidays.