Studio > NLS Narrator/Monitor/Reviewer Position Description

NLS: That All May Read

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

NLS Narrator/Monitor/Reviewer Position Description


The narrator works under the general supervision of the Studio Director.  Work assignments are received from the Studio Director, who assigns tasks, sets priorities, and provides guidance on matters affecting Recording Studio policy.  Interpretation and formatting of a book is determined by the Studio Director.


The Narrator, utilizing specifications outlined by NLS and the Director, records books covering a wide range of titles and genres for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The Narrator is responsible for doing whatever research on correct pronunciation any given title may require from sources inside or outside the Recording Studio.  The Narrator is also responsible for learning the standard diacritical marks used by dictionaries and is responsible for communicating that information to other Studio personnel.

The Narrator must be able to modulate his/her voice through a wide range of vocal dynamics, and must maintain consistency and fluency of speech.  Speech must be clear of any repetitive characteristics which would be distracting during extended periods of listening.  Speech should not include strong or inflexible speech patterns (regional or personal coloration) that his/her range of material would need to be severely restricted (i.e., a strong burr sound, and adolescent sound, a lazy “S,” etc.).

The Narrator must be able to judge the needs of each title, including dialects, pronunciations, and characterizations, and make instant decisions during the recording process.

The Narrator must translate with the conventions of the written word into the conventions of the spoken word.

The Narrator must work well with a wide variety of monitors, reviewers, and other narrators.

The Narrator must be able to write accurate, concise descriptions for illustrations, graphs, charts, and tables when necessary to describe graphics that appear in the text.

The Narrator will agree to learn and put in weekly hours monitoring and reviewing (see Monitor/Reviewer position description).

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Posted on 2014-12-02