Can I request Audio Books?
February 24, 2007 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Is there any service through which I can "request" certain books be made into audio books? (For the handicapped...)

I have used my local handicapped audio books service for awhile (due to a handicap). I have found them to have a much better selection than Barnes and Noble or the like, but there are still some books that I want to "read" but don't exist anywhere on audio. Is there any service or place that takes requests and records them for you, even if perhaps for more money?
posted by jitterbug perfume to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Are you in the US? There's a free books-on-tape service through the Library of Congress that has thousands of titles, including academic books and textbooks. You register with the local library providing the service, and then the service mails you the tapes. All you need is a doctor's certificate. I enrolled my foster kid who has a reading disability. It's my understanding that it's the largest audio library in the world. Here's the on-line search engine ...

The tapes are not play-able in a regular tape recorder, but they provide for free the specialized tape recorder. They are slowly updating all of the volumes unto CDs.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:05 PM on February 24, 2007

I just realized that perhaps you're already using the LOC service ...

Have you considered Kurzweil software? The software takes scanned printed text and reads it out loud.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:15 PM on February 24, 2007

There are a couple places listed in the NLS Sources of Custom-Produced Books Directory that will do audio transcriptions, though most organizations on that list do Braille transcriptions, which may also be of interest.

If the book is in the public domain, you can make a book request at the Libravox Book Suggestions forum, and volunteers might step up to help.
posted by rajbot at 12:18 PM on February 24, 2007

No I'm using my local service that's just for my state. Would this be considered a different service or could my info just be transferred (doctors note, etc.)? I did search and they do have more books than my current service. And I think I already have the right tape player.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 12:19 PM on February 24, 2007

There's the RNIB in the UK.
posted by popcassady at 12:21 PM on February 24, 2007

Sorry, I am in the states, forgot to mention.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 12:22 PM on February 24, 2007

I think the state and national services work together, but I'm not completely sure how it all works. You could ask your local service about how to request from the national library. When I signed up for my foster son (who, incidentally, refuses to use the service because he thinks the special tape recorder is "hella ugly," sigh), I think they explained to me how to access the different libraries (there was a local library, and, I think, a through-the-mail national library).

Also, I remember, there's another service -- Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic -- that is more academic, for people like college students. They take requests for academic texts to be read aloud (but don't promise to accept every request).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:29 PM on February 24, 2007

This website might be of some help: Assistive Media

"We provide audio access to reading materials for anyone with a reading access barrier. Talented volunteers record magazine articles and other short works which are then available for download or in our podcast. "
posted by sk381 at 12:32 PM on February 24, 2007

I work for the Rhode Island Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We refer people to Talking Books Plus, the National Library Service program all the time. Contact your local state agency which assists people who are blind or visually impaired and they should be able to set you up in a jiffy. Additionally, I believe publishers are required by law to provide books in accessible formats, so you might contact the publisher of the book you want to read to see what they can do. Also, Talking Books takes requests.
posted by Kattullus at 1:46 PM on February 24, 2007

You might try Taping for the Blind, in Houston.
posted by GPF at 4:10 PM on February 25, 2007

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