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Tell Me A Story

May 23, 2012

Books have been around for a very long time. I mean, a REALLY long time. Many people, myself included, have an eReader or a way to access digital books, even audiobooks. With all of this new technology used to read and access information, it’s easy to forget where this information started.

Did you know that audiobooks have been around since the 1930s? It all started in 1931 when Congress established the talking-book program to help blind adults. The American Foundation for the Blind then started developing the first talking-books the next year. You may be asking, "What did they record on?" Well, they were recorded on 33 1/3 vinyl records or sometimes aluminum discs. Of course, audiobooks didn’t really catch on until the 1960s and ‘70s. At that time, libraries started offering them for free. The medium, the cassette tape, was also more readily available. Since then, audiobook popularity has exploded, and now you can find them on your library’s shelves and even online. MCPL offers many titles for download through two services, OneClickdigital and OverDrive Digital Downloads. You can access either service here.

Keeping with the tradition of the American Foundation for the Blind, the Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides audiobooks and braille materials to those who aren’t able to use standard print materials due to some visual or physical disability, temporary or permanent.

You can pick up an application for their services at any MCPL branch or by contacting them directly at 1.800.392.2614 or wolfner@sos.mo.gov.

If you’ve never tried an audiobook, I would suggest the Harry Potter series, narrated by Jim Dale, or any book narrated by Tom Stechschulte. Audiobooks are like having a grown-up storytime just for you! Come in and browse our audiobooks on display too. Be sure to check them out, no matter the format!

Dan B.
Red Bridge Branch

Tags: audiobooks

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