Connecticut Cassettes (CTC’s) are books recorded by Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped, Inc. (CVSBH) for the Connecticut Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). Formed in 1979, CVSBH is a private non-profit corporation made up of over 250 volunteers statewide that record books, pamphlets and magazines for those who cannot hold or read standard printed material. CVSBH maintains studios in public libraries in five locations around the state in Hartford, Litchfield, Milford, Ridgefield and Southbury. CVSBH has received numerous awards for excellent standards to ensure that print-handicapped readers have access to the same range and quality of reading materials as the public library patron.
Three volunteers work together to produce a recorded book: a narrator prepares and reads the material into a microphone in a sound-proof booth, a monitor operates the computer outside the booth and directs the narrator while following along with a second copy of the material, and a reviewer listens to the recorded material in-between recording sessions to check for accuracy and quality. Each book in progress and each completed book is appraised by an evaluation panel made up of volunteers and talking book users. The panel forwards their comments and suggestions to the recording team.
Once the recordings are accepted, they are duplicated onto cassette or cartridge, labeled in print and braille and shipped to the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The titles produced by CVSBH are also submitted to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped’s on-line catalog.
Our volunteer recording program is in the process of undergoing the transition from recorded cassettes to digital cartridges. While we have been recording digitally for the last ten years, we have not had the means to duplicate these recordings onto cartridges. Through a generous donation, each of the five studios is receiving new computers, recording set-ups and installation of the software necessary to transfer the recordings to the digital cartridge. We hope to be able to convert the books listed in this catalog on cassette into the digital format.
An average sized book can take a year to record – including evaluation and duplication. Contributing time on a regular basis and a dedication to a long-term commitment are required. A command of the English language (foreign languages are helpful) and a background in literature are necessary to translate the written word to its audible meaning. Many of the books we record are about Connecticut and New England, Local history, information and books by Connecticut authors. People interested in volunteering or with suggestions of books and material to record, may contact the LBPH Liason to CVSBH, Kathy Hotchkiss at 800.842.4516 or 860.721.2024.