MTBL Recording Studio

Photo of a volunteer monitoring a recording sessionThe Montana Talking Book Library receives the majority of its recorded book collection from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the Library of Congress. The collection includes best sellers, and a variety of fiction and non-fiction books as would be found in a medium sized public library collection. However, the Library of Congress has neither the funding nor the personnel to record materials of special interest to each state. Montana, therefore, is responsible for producing books by Montana authors, about Montana, or about issues concerning Montana.

Photo of a volunteer reading and recording a book The recording of Montana Digital Books is done by volunteers in the sound studio at MTBL.Books are recorded under the guidelines established by NLS which require that the book be produced verbatim, error free, intelligently interpreted, easy to listen to and free of outside noises. Each recording team has a narrator, a monitor, and a reviewer. The narrator/reader is selected on the basis of an audition program done in the studio, which is monitored by the Recording Program Director. The Narrator/Reader, with the Recording Program Director, selects a book out of the recording program collection to read. The Monitor operates the digital recording equipment, listens and follows along with the text to catch mishaps as they occur, and keeps track of the paperwork for the book. The monitor is selected for his/her ability to operate the digital recording equipment as well as for having a good sense of the language and its pronunciation. The Reviewer reads the book while listening to the narration to catch any errors, noises, and breathes in the recording, which may have slipped by the monitor. Reviewers are selected for their listening abilities and their attention to detail.

The Recording Program Collection is made up of books both Non-Fiction and Fiction written by Montana authors, about Montana, relates to a Montana issue or concern or is a patron request. All of the books are put through a Selection Review Committee to make sure that the book meets all of the criteria and would be a book our patrons would like.

The Montana Talking Book Library serves users of all ages, but the majority are over 70. Many of these users are lifelong Montana residents. The stories of the pioneers, Native Americans, homesteading, cattlemen, and growing up in Montana are their stories. They relate to the tales of old time Butte, the wilder days of Havre and life on a Montana ranch. The humor, hard times and joy of the Montana experience is close to their hearts and these Montana books keep them in touch with the beloved state in which they have lived.

For our younger readers, access to Montana materials is a valuable resource for history of Montana. For readers of all ages, access to contemporary materials keeps them current on Montana literature, thought, and social and political trends. The richness of the Montana experience is represented from a variety of perspectives. We strive for a well-rounded Montana Digital Book collection that will meet the diverse needs of our library users.

The Montana Talking Book Library Recording Program continues to be a strong program that showcases the talents of Helena area volunteers. Homemakers, retired professionals and members of Helena's working community have donated their time and considerable talents to recording Montana related books. Narrating/reading, monitoring, and reviewing books is a most demanding and very creative job and the volunteers consistently produce talking books of high caliber.

No Story Should Go Untold

No Story Should Go Untold

Sometimes the best words on the page aren't on the page. That's why Montana Talking Books offers high quality audio books and magazines recorded by trained narrators for your reading pleasure. Because No Story Should Go Untold.