What We Do
Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) is a nonprofit radio station that broadcasts print information statewide via radio signal and the internet. RTBS volunteers read newspapers and magazines aloud and their diverse voices are broadcast to blind, low vision, or print impaired listeners. We are in our 46th year of empowering our listeners to remain active and engaged in their community through two programs: Radio Talking Book Network, a statewide radio reading service; and Listening Link, an educational reading program.
With resilient and committed volunteers as well as access to necessary technology, RTBS rose to the challenges posed by the pandemic that have affected us all the past year. In March 2020, RTBN transformed our cadre of volunteers into remote readers who are providing the vital, local programming our listeners rely on now more than ever. We have over 60 volunteers reading newspapers, grocery and department store ads, and more every single day in their homes. We were able to maintain our core programming with little alteration. Additionally, we began producing programming to directly address pandemic needs. RTBN modified our weekly, statewide Community Calendar with a focus on COVID closures, cancellations, and now, re-openings; food assistance; medical assistance; and more. RTBN also airs daily COVID updates with resource contact information and recently, vaccination information. Other pandemic specific programming included a weekly program highlighting food delivery options, access to streaming Easter services, and a special edition of the Community Calendar that focuses on mail-in ballots and other election information. RTBN staff is in the early stages of developing a reopening plan for the studios and offices, slated for Summer/Fall 2021.