Saturday, December 15, 2007

75 Years of Talking Books

Maya Angelou reads "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" for the Talking Book service in 1970. Listen to a clip.

Celebrity readers are not a new reflection of the booming popularity of today's audiobooks. Fun fact: In 1937 Gregory Peck auditioned as a Talking Book narrator. A report said "Damn nice fellow. Pretty good reader. Might try out when we get some books." The American Foundation for the Blind has an interesting online exhibit of 75 years of Talking Book services for the blind. The key role of Talking Books in the history of audiobooks can be explored here:

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, through the Library of Congress, administers the distribution of Talking Books for the vision impaired & those with learning disabilities. Every school intervention specialist & parent should be informed about the services provided at no cost to identified children. Find out more here:

Audiobooks are great for everyone, but the role of Talking Books in the lives of the blind & handicapped deserves greater recognition. How about including audiobooks in a local "Read-a-thon" and donate to the AFB?

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