The Story of Dial-a-Story
Started in 2018, Dial-a-Story is hosted through a traditional landline phone by our local telecommunications service. The library uses Grandstream brand phones but a similar line can be set up with any phone extension that has voicemail.
Users dial directly to (276) 676-6234 and stories are played on the voicemail greeting for that line. The voicemail box is disabled. The Grandstream limits recordings to 4 minutes, which makes selecting stories a challenge, but parents have commented that the stories are a good length for young listeners.
We use a special feature of the Grandstream phone to update the stories online instead of through the phone in the library. Our volunteer reader, actor Rick McVey, records his stories digitally and puts them in a Google Drive. His recording system captures WAV and MP3 versions of the story. Library staff access the drive and download stories to their computer. Stories are then uploaded to the phone system online. Phone system restrictions are listed as “valid formats are: G711 WAV (8-bit, ulaw / alaw, mono, 8kHz), 16-bit PCM WAV (16-bit, PCM, mono, 16kHz) greetings must be less than 240 seconds long.”
An MP3 version is uploaded of the story to our Dial-a-Story webpage. The process was approved by our county attorney and we were advised to include the name of the title, author and the disclaimer “all rights reserved” in each recording.