LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright) in the USA*, and make them available for free on the Internet. Practically, this means we record books published 95 full years ago or longer. All our recordings (including yours, if you volunteer for us) are also donated into the public domain.
We record books in all languages.
You do not need any prior experience to volunteer for LibriVox, nor do you need to audition or send us samples. All you need is your voice, some free software, your computer, and maybe an inexpensive microphone.
All LibriVox activity (book selection, project management, discussion, etc) happens on our Forum, and you’ll need to register there to join us. Our forum members are a friendly bunch, and questions will be answered there quickly (much more quickly than if you send us an email!).
We do suggest you read the document below, before registering and posting on the Forum, to get an idea of how everything works.
Many LibriVox volunteers have never recorded anything, certainly not audiobooks. If you are new to recording, you’ll find many helpful people on the forum who will help you get yourself set up. Here is an overview, About Recording for LibriVox.
LibriVox Project Types
We have a number of different types of projects:
- collaborative: many volunteers contribute chapters of a long text
- solo: one volunteer reads an entire book
- short works (prose and poetry): short works and poetry!
- dramatic works: “actors” record parts, all edited together.
- other languages: projects in languages other than English.
Navigating the Forum
The Forums are split into three main sections:
- About LibriVox
- info about LibriVox, including our FAQ
- Books (Volunteer for Reading & Other Things)
This section includes:
- Book Suggestions (discuss books you’d like to record)
- Readers Wanted (where projects needing readers are listed)
- Going Solo (you’ll need to do a collaborative recording first)
- Listeners & Editors Wanted (our proof-listening process)
- Volunteer for Other Projects (other types of projects)
- Help, Discussion, & Suggestions
- For your questions, news and general chatter.
Cast of Characters
We’re all volunteers, and we’ve flipped traditional hierarchy upside down. The most important people in LibriVox are the readers, and everyone else works hard to help them make more audiobooks. We encourage everyone to do as much or as little as they like, and new ideas are open to discussion. Here is a list of people you will run into and what they do:
- readers: record chapters of public domain books in group projects or whole books as soloists
- book coordinators (BCs): manage production of a particular book
- prooflisteners (PLs and DPLs): listen to recordings submitted by the readers and flag obvious errors that can be easily corrected before books are cataloged
In addition to our volunteer readers, prooflisteners and BCs, a few more experienced volunteers are called upon as needed to take on the following roles.
- meta coordinators (MCs): support the readers and BCs while books are in production and complete the cataloging tasks when they are complete
- moderators: help the forum run smoothly and keep the peace when necessary
- admins: Maintain the project records and catalog database and try to make sure everyone has what they need to keep making more public domain audiobooks
How it Works
Practically, here is how things work:
- a book coordinator posts a book in the New Projects Launch Pad Section.
- a meta coordinator claims the project and moves the thread to the appropriate forum.
- volunteers “claim” chapters to read.
- the readers record their chapters in digital format.
- the book coordinator collects all the files of all the chapters.
- the book coordinator sends the collected files to a meta coordinator.
- we check the files for technical problems in the Listeners Wanted section.
- the book coordinator sends the collected, corrected files to a meta coordinator.
- another public domain audiobook is made available for free.
There are many, many other things you can do to help, so please feel free to jump into the Forums.
See here for a Guides for Listeners & Volunteers (the LibriVox wiki).
Contact us by email at: info AT librivox DOT org
*(If you are outside of the USA, you must also follow the copyright laws of the country you are in.)