I hadn’t seen statistics from RFB&D on the number of borrowers for some time, so I was interested to see the breakdown in the 2006 annual report: the organization reckons the total number of student listeners in the past year to be 147,000, of which 118.6 thousand are served through institutions and 28.3 thousand as individuals. 76.5% of our students have learning disabilities (including dyslexia), while 19.2% are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The education level brackets are 40.0% elementary school; 34.3% high school; 19.4% undergraduate; 6.2% graduate school and other. The numbers for college and graduate school surprise me, because most of what we record in the D.C. unit is at the college level.
Volunteer hours for the period were 390,021, resulting in 140,300 hours of recorded material and 5,831 new books produced. This fits with my micro experience: in a two-hour session, I can produce about 60 minutes of recording, covering 10 to 30 book pages. The organization-wide ratio of 2.8 hours of volunteer time per hour of material is pulled up by sessions that use both a reader and a director, and by the overhead of checking and production. Another way to look at these numbers is to figure 66.9 hours of volunteer time to produce one book on CD. Plus paid staff time, of course.