July 2021
News from Audio Journal | Serving Central Massachusetts Since 1987
Articles by Mary Frandsen, Audio Journal Executive Director
(so I can write in first person)
Audio Journal Volunteers Broadcasting LIVE again!
Photos of Marion Giacomelli, Beverly Giarusso, and Catherine Thornton
Now that it is safe for people who are fully vaccinated to gather, volunteers are returning to the studios to broadcast live and prerecord programs. Slowly, the office is coming back to life with volunteers coming and going. In fact, the other day I jumped out of my chair when a reader opened the studio door. After so many months, I am accustomed to being at the office with Ginny, our Program Manager, or alone. I am glad that period is ending.
Several of the volunteers reading at home due to the pandemic plan to continue. Others are returning to prerecord in the studios, or to broadcast live. For those of you who want to broadcast live, I have some openings:
All Things History, Mondays at 3 p.m. – two readers for weeks 1, 3, and 5
An Older Voice, Mondays at 4 p.m. – two readers for every other week
Shoppers Guide, Tuesdays at 11 a.m. – one reader weekly
Community News-Fitchburg and Leominster, Wednesdays at 4 p.m. – one reader weekly
If your program is not listed or you haven’t heard from me, please be patient. It is going to take me some time to reach out to all 130 of our volunteers and coordinate a new schedule. And, just like everything else, there are some changes. If you want to call or email me to express your interest to return, I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me at 508-797-1117 or mary@audiojournal.org.

Volunteers are the heart of Audio Journal. We couldn’t do it without you!
New Website Launched!
Check out Audio Journal's new website at https://audiojournal.org
Any changes made to the website automatically go to the Audio Journal App. Big thank you to Jean Theurkauf, webmaster, for streamlining the process and creating the new website.

  • Stream live from the home page
  • Easy navigation to your favorite program
  • If you missed your favorite program, go to Podcast Archive under Listen
  • Program schedule by day
Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Event

On April 30, 2021, the members of the Massachusetts Audio Information Network (MAIN) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) held a virtual volunteer appreciation event. The one hour program included brief presentations by State Representatives and Senators, volunteers, and listeners. A slide show of volunteers included audio clips of readings demonstrating their dedication to quality broadcasts. Volunteers received a certificate and letter of thanks from David D’arcangelo, Commissioner, MCB.
According to Audio Journal listener, Jane Morin,
"What readers do is not just a straightforward read, it's communicating and being with us and sharing what you have and brightening up people's days. . .You are a gift. . .you have no idea what you do for people and how you make us feel."
If you missed the event, a video recording is available at https://youtu.be/HoClXKlBGWo. Skip to about the 12 minute mark to miss all the chatter while we were waiting for people to join the Zoom meeting.
Above: MAIN Logo, MCB Logo, Picture included in slide show

We like to hear from our listeners! Please call and tell us your favorite program or suggest a new one.
If you know listeners, but they never hear from us, it’s because we don’t have their contact information. There are so many ways to listen to Audio Journal without ever having to contact us. We want to know our listeners. Please encourage listeners to call and introduce themselves.
Call 508-797-1117 or email mary@audiojournal.org
Audio Journal App: Highlight of the IAAIS Conference

The International Association of Audio Information Services Conference, held virtually June 21-23, 2021, included a presentation by me about the Audio Journal App.
The man who presented before me, Mike Starling, from WHCP in Cambridge, MD, talked about how it would be great to have an app … and he was describing the capabilities of the Audio Journal App. Then I presented.
The positive response was overwhelming. People were impressed with the students’ accomplishments and that we worked through the pandemic to make it happen. One person referred to it as “the Holy Grail.”
Mike Starling and I met later in the week and talked about the possibility of the Audio Journal App becoming a template for other radio reading services. We intend to survey the members of the IAAIS to determine interest and meet with WPI professors, Dr. Rodica Neamtu and Dr. Lane Harrison, who will continue the project in the fall.

If Audio Journal and WPI could be part of making an app that is used throughout the nation by people who are visually impaired, that would be a wonderful outcome.

Below: Picture of presentation slide
WPI students help Audio Journal listeners connect
by developing first phone app

If you missed a great article about the Audio Journal App in Worcester Magazine on April 15th, you can read it here.
Speaking Volumes Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The April book discussion of Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey through Reservation Life by David Treuer included highlighting the 10 years of accomplishments of the Speaking Volumes radio book group. Former volunteer coordinator, Valerie Clapham, began the group, and now it is led by Carol Sarafconn.
Carol’s history of Speaking Volumes may be read here. I do need to note that she left out one very important fact. Oprah wrote about Speaking Volumes in her February 2019 issue of O Magazine.
Speaking Volumes airs the first and second Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m. The first Tuesday of the month is when the group discusses a new book. Live broadcasts of Speaking Volumes will resume October 5, 2021. To join the discussion via phone, call 508-752-0557 or 508-373-2343.
If you are interested in joining the book group, please contact me at mary@audiojournal.org or call 508-797-1117.
More Flexibility with Second Recording/Production studio

After attending the International Association of Audio Information Services Conference in 2019 where I learned that most radio reading services have multiple recording/production studios, I decided to “make it so” (as Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise said). It was all possible with special thanks for grants awarded by:

  • The Fred Harris Daniels Foundation
  • Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation
  • The George A. Ramlose Foundation
Working with our radio engineer, I purchased equipment, and he finished the installation in June. The funding paid for new chairs and sound proofing as well. Because the radio engineer located some used equipment, I was able to purchase new office computers too! It took two years to get it all done, but now it is ready for our returning volunteers.

Big thank you to volunteer, Mike Hauck, who installed the sound proofing and made bases for our protective shields in the live studio.

Below: Photos of Mike Hauck holding a hammer, the new studio, and protective shields in the live studio.

Vinyl Sale Success

On June 19th, Audio Journal and WICN held their second annual Vinyl Sale. Over 3,000 albums were available for purchase. Thank you to Curtis, intern at WICN, for categorizing and alphabetizing the albums making it easy for enthusiasts to find just the one they desired. 
Roaring at Lions Clubs

I am making the rounds at Lions Clubs meetings sharing everything Audio Journal. Thank you to the Lions Clubs of Barre, Bolton, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Oxford, and Shrewsbury for giving me the opportunity to present. At the meetings, I always enjoy learning about the good, kind work Lions Clubs are doing in their communities. I hope Lions are able to help Audio Journal identify new listeners, and Audio Journal is grateful for their financial support!
Annual Meeting

Thank you to Audio Journal’s dedicated Board of Directors! They are helping me move Audio Journal forward.
On June 14, 2021, the Audio Journal Board of Directors held its annual meeting. It was the first in-person meeting since the beginning of pandemic restrictions.
We have a new Board member, Grant Farrington, who has been researching blindness statistics using the American Community Survey and disability statistics from Cornell University.
Officers for the next year are:
  • President: Thomas Gittins
  • Vice President: Catherine Thornton
  • Treasurer: Ruth Pellegrino
  • Secretary: Katy Donahue
The Board is working with a consultant, Liz Pape, through ONE Worcester. Liz is assisting with drafting policies and procedures and an employee handbook. With her help, Audio Journal successfully updated its bylaws in January 2021. Thank you, Liz and ONE Worcester!
Thank you to our generous recent funders!

  • Individual Donors
  • Tideswell Charitable Giving Fund
  • David L. and Elizabeth O. Dean Fund of Greater Worcester Community Foundation
  • Lions Clubs of Ashburnham, Ashland, Bolton, Harvard, Millbury, Petersham, and Winchendon

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