Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s
Chris Mundy joins the ranks of individuals like text-to-speech innovator Ray Kurzweil as the 48th recipient of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award
The award recognizes institutions or individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped.”
Mundy serves as quality assurance specialist for network-produced recordings at Mutlistate Center East, a division of Clovernook, as he works to improve the quality of—and expand upon the availability of—audio materials available to library patrons who cannot read print.
“My position’s unique, and it’s the only one in the U.S. that works directly with volunteer programs to get the material to a particular quality level,” Mundy says. “And what’s really cool is all the people that get involved—a lot of them are retirees with a background in dramatic arts or broadcasting and are capable of handling really difficult material.”
As Mundy travels around the country to the National Library Service
volunteer studios, he assists in the behind-the-scenes production that allows for continuity of sound and quality for the various materials available.
“There’s a revolving door of volunteers—maybe 10 narrators involved in a typical issue of Smithsonian
magazine, for example—and the whole key is, over time, the staff and volunteers involved with it are constantly changing,” Mundy says. “Plus, the technology changes. I learn it and impart some of that knowledge to them.”
Mundy says he’s humbled to be a recipient of the award, but he’d like for more individuals to take advantage of the resources he helps make available.
“At any given moment, 900,000-1 million people are currently using it (the Braille and Audio Reading service), but there are 3 million who are eligible for it,” Mundy says. “So roughly 2 million don’t know they can access it with a doctor’s note. There’s just so many people in everyday life who might really benefit from knowing about it.”
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Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.