Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
State Library of North Carolina
Library Services Section
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The Volunteer Newsletter of the North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
As I come up on my fourth year here, it is hard not to reflect on my beginning here at NCLBPH. I remember being overwhelmed by the studio and feeling extremely nervous to meet those of you who had been here for a long time. You all welcomed me with such kindness, and I was humbled right away. I came in after having been a volunteer for various services for a good part of my life, but I feel like you all taught me what service was really about. You see, I had always taken on opportunities that I refer to as "Instant Reward", meaning that I was able to be in the direct presence of those I was helping, and that made me feel really good inside. I was able to see my direct effect on others, and it was usually positive and I in some way, shape or form fed off of that.
What I didn't realize at the time was that that was somewhat selfish on my end. I was seeing MY need being fed. Then I took the job as The Volunteer Services Coordinator here, and I quickly began to see a new facet of volunteering. I saw all of you come in and give your time and service unselfishly and without the direct contact of those who you help, with no benefits but to just humbly be of service. This truly inspired me and has continued to do so over the years. I am constantly amazed at what is accomplished by all of you and just how readily you give your time and service.
It is important that you understand just how much your commitment helps the library. This newsletter is dedicated to you all and how you help make this library what it is: a special service for those that just want to read a book. Every week, rain or shine you show up to help your fellow man. This past year much bad news has plagued the world around us. It is hard to just turn on the news at night and hear of all the strife and not be affected by it. But, when I see you all walk in the door with smiles on your face to come help us and your fellow man, I realize humanity still reigns.
So, I want take this opportunity break down the impact that each of you do every week through your roles here at NCLBPH.
First off, I want to highlight the Inspectors. Week after week you all come in at the same time to check that digital books are properly returned in the same cartridge. Though this not a glamorous task, it is absolutely necessary. And with over 1800 books returned daily, it is because of you that we are able to circulate books smoothly from one patron to another. This act helps our patrons enjoy the service more and be confident that they are getting a book that is good working order. Thus eliminating any stress for the reader. And for that, we thank you and your sore fingers!
With spring comes change, and this year has certainly brought on a lot of that. We have gone all digital in our audio book section. Cassette books are being recycled out daily to make more room for new titles and new digital books. This task has often been referred to as "green carding" (although now the cards are peach). What this entails is placing address cards in thousands of these cassette book cases, so that they may be shipped off to other places. Over the years, there has been constant help from volunteers with this task. But in December we really buckled down on this project, and results have been amazing. A whole side of the warehouse has now been cleared out and we have room for digital books for our Patrons!
Several times a year we do major mailings. They range from anywhere to 300 to 12,000 pieces. From folding, stuffing, stamping, labeling, and licking we repeatedly get our mailings out on time, if not beforehand, letting our patrons know about all of the wonderful things happening with the library. Through paper cuts and hand cramps, volunteers have repeatedly helped us to meet our deadlines (and most of the time before). You all have also helped to gather and organize Outreach materials such as brochures, applications, and gifts.
This brings us to Outreach, which is a pivotal part of getting the word out about the library and its services. Many of you have been a part of conferences in the past, you have helped to share your knowledge with others, or just been on hand to help with any task. We are so grateful for the willingness to go out and spread the word. We have even had volunteers perform outreach here at the library to call organizations that could potentially benefit from our services.
The Studio Program is used to record quality local magazines and books that have been selected by the Collection Librarian. Most people don't realize how tedious it is to make a recording. Being a Narrator is tough! Not only do you need to have a nice voice, you need to be a very good reader, consistent, committed to reading whatever material is chosen (even if you don't like it), and be able to take and learn from criticism. Also, you have to follow a strict set of standards set by the National Library Service. From all of these specs, you would think it would be difficult to cultivate a group of narrators that all fit this criteria, but we have. The Narrators here are extremely professional and work very hard to get out the best reading material possible.
No recording would be possible without a Monitor. Monitors handle all the recording facets of the process, but they are so much more than that. They are the "directors" of the recording process. It is their job to coach there narrators into making seamless transitions between sessions, fix all mistakes at once, and to make sure the recording is of the highest quality by the use of their ears, and having a vast understanding of the recording software.
Each recording has to go through a review. Reviews are a major part of the Studio Program. Every week they spend their time listening to a fresh recording from a studio team and following along with the text to make sure there are no mistakes. The reviewers are very vigilant and very good at catching any and all things that may not have been addressed in the studio session between the narrator and reviewer. No one recording is ever going to be perfect, but reviewers help us to get the most accurate recording possible so that we are a little closer to that goal of perfection.
Last but not least, there is one certain task held by one special individual, and that is the role of Volunteer Administrator which Nancy Campanille holds. Nancy has been here for many, many years and goes above and beyond to help each week with whatever volunteer needs are. She keeps the database up to date, as well as the boards up front, collects hours from those volunteers that serve outside the library, and totals up everyone's mileage for taxes each year, and so much more! She helps every year with the Volunteer Recognition dinner, yet she is always out of town when the dinner is held. So, I figured this was as good a way as any to bring some special recognition to her, which is funny, because she is someone who never asks for thanks but so deserves it. She is so organized and thorough and I absolutely love working closely with her! I really don't know what I would do without her. Thank you, Nancy!!!
All of you bring so much uniqueness and personality to this library. I love seeing how you all bond with each other over tasks. Many volunteers have made a new friend here or at least shared a laugh with someone they have never met before. I think that is quite beautiful. You all are such a joy to us here, and you will never know how grateful we are for you, but we will continue to try and show you. Again, thank you for all that you do.
In June, Volunteers Dan Wade and Chris Harris embarked on a special project to record a book that would pass NLS standards to become the first book uploaded to BARD out of the NCLBPH Studios. BARD is a download service for anyone that is a member of the library. It gives them access to many materials not readily available by borrowing directly from the library. By NCLBPH being able to upload our recordings, we give patrons across the country a chance to read locally written materials. The task at hand was daunting. Not only did the recording have to be as close to perfect as possible, it was also the first time the team had been back in the studio in over 7 months and there was brand new recording software in play. Chris Harris, the monitor, had to learn a whole new system and way to record from what he was used to! Dan and Chris had to also put new rules and announcement scripts into play. The whole process of recording, reviewing, editing, and producing took about 6 months' time. Throughout this time, there were lengthy pauses to fix new bugs in the system and iron out any kinks that arose. In February, the National Library Service requested we submit a book for their approval, and we were beyond ready to send in Scoundrels, Rogues and Heroes of the Old North State by H.G. Jones.
In March, we received the results. With just a few minor tweaks, we were able to upload the book. After revising the recording, we were able to upload the book in April. We now have the ability to upload to BARD!
Through all of the old and new challenges to record the book, these volunteers came through the other side! The National Library Service sent back extensive feedback on the book. Here is one of the comments made about our narrator; "Daniel Wade's relaxed, conversational tone works well for this book and he does a fine job of capturing the spirit of each story. His pacing is upbeat and conversational, plus decent vocal flexibility is employed. His projection energy and breath support are very consistent for this book's duration, promoting steady recording levels and good overall audio continuity." They also sent feedback on how consistent the levels were and the quality of the recording. This is in great part to Chris' seasoned monitoring skills!
Some of you who work in the back may recognize that there is a new hand back there. Mike Shaw moved from Greensboro to Raleigh in June. He was working as an assistant in special needs classes before coming to work at NCLBPH. We are thrilled to have him, so please be extra sure to welcome him if you see him!
Over the past year we have had many faces to join as volunteers. The following are those that have come to NCLBPH to lend their time and service over the past year; Frannie Ashburn, Robert Blue, Tyler Brown, Patricia Bunn, Liane Catania, Evelyn Evans, Tony Huyah, Mykala Larreau, Connor Nyes, Kathy Norris, Adam and Jordan Parker, Shevette Pittman, Deboarh Rogers, and Steven Talbot, as well as several new Delta Gammas. We are so happy to have you be a part of our library! Thank you for making us a part of your week!!!
After 27 Years with the Library, Deborah Barnes, the Braille Coordinator has retired from NCLBPH. She was an intricate part of the braille services here at LBPH. Through her time at the library she brailed books for the collection, and also braille newsletters, Friends information, mailings, and special requests. She felt her job was special because she got to help people, "And helping people in need was worthwhile." She says.
She had a real devotion to the volunteers and was always so happy to have new faces around. She even helped one (Mary Dallow) to get certified. Helping those trying to learn braille was one of her favorite parts of the job. When asked how she felt about the volunteers that helped her during her time at NCLBPH, she said, "I had the best and most dedicated volunteers ever!" She made sure to tell me to include the exclamation point. We will miss Deborah, as I know many of you will as well. She will always have a fondness for those of you she was able to meet and work with.
State of North Carolina
Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
State Library of North Carolina
Library for the Blind and Physically
1841 Capital Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27635
Local: (919) 733-4376
Toll Free: 1-888-388-2460
Fax: (919) 733-6910
T.D.D.: (919) 733-1462
World Wide Web Homepage URL:
Online Catalog and Ordering Site:
Secretary…………………..….Susan W. Kluttz
State Librarian/Director…...Cal Shepard
Section Chief…………...……....Jan Reagan
Regional Librarian……………….Carl R. Keehn
Monday, May 30, 2016
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