Whether you’re a casual reader, and avid literary enthusiast, or just someone with a little extra time on their hands this week, we’ve got the gig for you. Starting this Monday, April 20, and stretching through Saturday, April 25, the Santa Barbara Unit of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) will be hosting their annual Record-a-Thon at 5638 Hollister Avenue, Suite 210. Now 14-years-strong, the multi-day event brings people of all walks into RFB&D’s center for some truly quality reading time. Throughout the week, volunteers are invited to sign up and drop by to record a literary work of their choosing for the National RFB&D Library. Home to recorded works ranging from kindergarten to graduate school reading levels, the library provides audio files for over 237,298 members. For a quick glimpse of just some reasons to stop by, check out our list below. And to sign up for a reading slot, call 681-0531 or visit www.rfbd.org.
1) It Affects You: In the United States, researchers estimate that between 3 and 10 percent of school-aged children suffer from dyslexia, though some have calculated the figure to be as high as 17 percent. With the help of the RFB&D, those afflicted with this, and numerous other “print disabilities” are given the opportunity to experience the joys in-and necessary tools provided by-literature. Last year alone, RFB&D added nearly 7,000 titles to their still-growing stacks; a great feat accomplished thanks solely to volunteer efforts.
2) Equal Opportunity Empowerment: Back in 1948, librarian Anne T. Macdonald first caught wind of the need for recorded reading materials. Overwhelmed by the number of World War II soldiers who had lost their sight in combat, Macdonald went on transform the attic of the New York Public Library into a makeshift recording studio, providing a short list of books-on-vinyl to those in need. Today, the RFB&D boasts 29 studios across the nation and still stands by Macdonald’s powerful mantra: “Education is a right, not a privilege.”
3) Serious Star Power: While the RFB&D’s schedule is far from full, there’s a sizable string of authors, artists, and volunteer collectives already in line to show their support throughout this week’s event. On Monday, a group of Santa Barbara County firefighters will step into the recording booth. Come Tuesday, literary stars like Cass Warner and T.C. Boyle will be on hand. And on Wednesday, musicians from throughout the S.B. area will stop by to show off their vocal prowess in a whole new way. As of press time, there are still 51 slots available for volunteers, with commitment times ranging between 30 minutes and one hour.