While the NLS talking-book program primarily contracts with commercial recording companies for book production, the program also produces a number of titles each year at a professional in-house studio. Staying involved in the process of producing talking books helps NLS keep abreast of evolving techniques and technology.
It is common that persons who narrate NLS talking books also pursue other activities using their voice. Many narrators are professional actors and/or voice-over artists who have won awards for skills in their fields.
NLS narrators also often contribute to Say How?: A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures, which lists over 11,000 names, and the ABC Book: Acronyms, Brand Names, and Corporations. Longtime narrator Ray Hagen was instrumental in the initiation and development of these great resources; now everyone has access to them via the internet. They are meant to be living documents, so please send addition or corrections to Laura Giannarelli at [email protected].
How Can I Become an NLS Narrator?
The NLS in-house studio hires new narrators infrequently. When a position opens, it will be announced through multiple channels, including the Library of Congress website.
Many network libraries use volunteer readers to record materials for local use, some of which is circulated to the larger NLS network. You may contact a network library to see if they have current openings for volunteer narrators. Directory of Producers of Accessible Reading Materials may list other organizations that use volunteer narrators.
Production studios awarded NLS contracts generally recruit and hire professional narrators. Currently, NLS has recording contracts with American Printing House for the Blind (APH), Potomac Talking Book Services (PTB), Benefit Media (BFM), Books to Life (BTL), Talking Books Publishers (TBP), Visual EFX (VFX), and Minuteman Talking Books (MMN).
Who Currently Narrates at NLS?
Learn more about some of our narrators who have shared their stories.