Neighbor-state cooperation at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Neighbor-state cooperation at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Recently, Joel Henderson of the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) in Seattle to learn more about the audiobook production program.  

Both libraries are regional libraries of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress. WTBBL is a program of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State.

WTBBL audio department staff
From left: Steve Goettsch, John Pai, Joel Henderson, Alycia Ensminger, and Bonnie Brown

Joel met with each audiobook recording staff member to better understand the production process, including recording, editing, post-production, and digital cartridge duplication and labeling.

This information will advise the setup for a new production studio in the Oregon State Library building. Joel also met with other staff to discuss volunteer management, patron relations, and circulation of materials.

“Only 3 percent of print material is available to those who have a visual impairment or are blind,” WTBBL Audio Book Supervisor John Pai said. “This collaboration with Oregon is the kind of work that will improve services across the board for both libraries.”

WTBBL staff and volunteers produce more than 200 talking books annually which are accessible to Washington State residents who qualify for service, as well as patrons of other NLS network libraries around the country.

WTBBL provides services at the library and by mail or download to any Washington resident unable to read standard print material due to blindness, visual impairment, deaf-blindness, physical disability (cannot hold a book or turn pages), or reading disability.

For more information, contact WTBBL at (800) 542-0866 or visit

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