Talking Books — Gitlin’s latest project

Yvonne Verblun, Cynthia Maresky, Rosalie Wollach, Diane Bloch, Sara Pascall, Pauline Hoffman, Icky and Avril Kurgan, Janine Diamond.

Wednesday 18 November 2009 was a proud day for the former chief librarian of the Jacob Gitlin Library, Yvonne Verblun when she celebrated the completion of the first set of tapes produced from the collaborative efforts of the Gitlin Library and Tape Aids for the Blind.

At the Albow Centre, Dr David Scher, chairman of the Library, thanked her personally for her hard work in organising this project and thanked the volunteers who contributed their time and skills: the narrators, Avril and Icky Kurgan, Sarah Pascall, Cynthia Maresky and Prof Dudley Werner; the proofreaders, Rosalie Wallach, Diane Bloch and Chad Stolper and the monitor, Janine Diamond.

To them and the guests, including Z’mira Cohen, the social worker at Highlands House, Pauline Hoffman, the national director of Tape Aids for the Blind, presented an inspiring address. She described the importance of the tapes in the lives of the handicapped of our community and the new horizons opened to them through the books selected from the Jacob Gitlin Library.

She thanked the ‘Gitlin volunteers’ for their dedication and commitment to the project and presented the Library with the first set of tapes of this collaboration, ‘The Nazi Officer’s Wife’, narrated by Avril Kurgan. Obie Oberholzer, the director of the state-of-the-art recording studios for Tape Aids for the Blind in Mowbray, played an excerpt from Avril’s narrative.

This collaboration is an ongoing project and in the future ‘talking books’ will be available from Tape Aids for the Blind or the Jacob Gitlin Library. We welcome volunteers who would like to take part in this worthwhile project. Contact Yvonne Verblun, project co-ordinator: 021 439-1567 or email


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