Texas Talking Book Program Celebrates Its Recording Studio Volunteers

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Austin, TX

Austin, TX – April 17, 2023, marks the start of National Volunteer Week in the United States. The Talking Book Program (TBP) Volunteer Recording Studio at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) this week honors its volunteers, who have been resilient and steadfast by continuing to provide thousands of Texans and those across the country with reading materials in digital audio format.

“Volunteers are the heart and spirit of our 45-year running recording studio. They are the voice and the muscle that enable us to produce the thousands of titles to Texas patrons and beyond. We could not do this work without them,” said Miles Lewis, Recording Studio Manager. “This important program provides children and adults with recreational reading, vital information and scholarly resources.”

The TBP Volunteer Recording Studio produces more than 60 books and magazines of regional interest each year, including some in Spanish. Volunteers gain valuable experience that is not only interesting and rewarding, but appreciated by patrons.

“Reading is something I never thought I would do again, when I went blind. Finding out able the Talking Book Program has been a lifesaver,” said Randall Marks, TBP patron for 11 years. “Not only do I have books again, I realize that I can still do things, It is just a new way of doing them.”

The studio is currently looking for volunteers who can work either as a reviewer or a monitor in English and/or Spanish. Teams are comprised of a reviewer, monitor and narrator. The reviewer's job is to ensure a quality recording by scouring the audio for errors in narration, unwanted noises from the recording booth and general misrepresentation of the author's intent. The monitor assures that the narrator is reading accurately, and that the digital equipment is recording properly. Orientation and training are provided by TBP Volunteer Recording Studio staff. A volunteer who has worked with the studio for a minimum of six months can then audition to become a narrator.

The Talking Book Program is a free library service for Texans of any age who have a visual, physical or reading disability. TBP offers alternative formats in braille, large print and digital audio. For more information about the program, visit www.TexasTalkingBooks.org. For more information about volunteering, contact (512) 475-4605 or tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information needed to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.

Susan Floyd
Communications Officer
Page last modified: May 10, 2023