Sunday, November 15, 2009

I know I've said I work well when I'm up against a deadline, but come on

A student came into the library on Friday looking for an audio version of the next book she's reading in English class. I was a little befuddled at first, given that it's now exam week and, as previously mentioned, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas will consist of regular classes, meaning that regular classes won't resume until January. I subsequently discovered that these students will be expected to read a book and make contributions to a message board during the time between now and when they return in January. These are seniors, and that seems like a perfectly reasonable project.

Only the book isn't available in audio. Not just at my library. Anywhere. No one has made an audio version of this book.

But no worries! Kurzweil (and perhaps another program I've been playing with) will convert electronic text to an mp3.

Only this book is also not available electronically. Anywhere.

The only version it is available in is traditional print. Which, at most schools, would probably be fine. But at a school for LD students? Not so much.

We're in exams now, so it is likely too late for the senior English teachers to change their plans; if anything, they would have to scrap this plan entirely, which I don't want them to have to do. But I've already had two requests for the book in audio, and those demands (from students and parents) are only going to increase as students actually start reading.

So it would appear that the answer to the question, "How long does it take us to take a paper book, convert it to electronic text, and then convert that to mp3?" is "by Wednesday."

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