How to Volunteer

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This guide is also available in: French / Ce guide est également disponible en Français.

Types of Projects

LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books that are in the public domain in the US (meaning out of copyright - sorry, no Harry Potter, no Lord of the Rings, and no Da Vinci Code, though we'd love to do Da Vinci's notebooks). Then we make the files available on the Internet, for free. We have several types of projects:

  • short works (prose and poetry): short pieces of less than 1 hour read by individuals
  • collaborative projects: many volunteers contribute by reading sections of a long text
  • solo projects: one volunteer reads an entire book (we prefer if you contribute to some collaborative projects first)

Where to Start

Most of what you need to know about LibriVox can be found on the LibriVox Forum and the FAQ. LibriVox volunteers are helpful and friendly, and if you post a question anywhere on the forum you are likely to get an answer from someone, somewhere within an hour or so. So don't be shy! Many of our volunteers have never recorded anything before LibriVox.

Before you visit the Forum, you might want to read this guide. The Forum is split into three main sections:

  • About LibriVox
    • What is LibriVox & FAQ (info about LibriVox, including FAQ)
    • New Here? Introduce Yourself! (if you feel like saying hello yourself or greeting our latest addicts, ahem... volunteers)
    • Post Your 1-Minute Test Recording Here (where to post your test to check the tech settings)
  • Volunteer For Reading & Other LibriVox things (where most of the volunteering happens).
    • Book Suggestions (want to see a book in our catalog - suggest it here, best with a link to an online text)
    • Readers Wanted: Short Works (Poetry & Prose) (for our weekly/fortnightly poetry and collections - a good place for newbies)
    • Readers Wanted: Books (our collaborative works are posted here - find chapters needing readers)
    • Readers Wanted: Dramatic Works (plays and dramatic readings, [OPEN] ones with roles to fill)
    • Readers Wanted: Languages Other than English (collaborative works in all languages except English looking for readers)
    • Readers Found (ongoing projects with all chapters assigned)
    • Going Solo (projects read by one person ; we request you record some shorter works before taking on a solo project)
    • Listeners & Editors Wanted (look for projects in need of proof listeners/editors)
    • Volunteers Wanted: Other Projects (threads for cover makers, app developers, wikipedia entries... )
    • Completed Books (threads of completed and catalogued books go here for safekeeping)
  • Help, Discussion & Suggestions
    • Languages other than English: Help, Discussion, & Suggestions (ask anything here in any language - some have dedicated threads)
    • Need Help? Got Advice (ask anything LibriVox related here)
    • Suggestions, Comments, News & Discussion (Staff Picks, LV anniversaries, "in memoriam" thread and other LibriVox related discussion)
    • Error Reports (caught an error in one of our catalogued books - post it here. NOT for style/reading complaints!)
    • Off-Topic (everything except LibriVox - is there such a thing??)

There are many, many other things you can do to help, so just jump right into the Forum. We're a friendly bunch, and you'll receive an answer pretty quickly.

For an outline of the recording process, please see this section.

For more on recording, see the Newbie Guide to Recording.

Listeners & Editors

Not all volunteers read for LibriVox. If you would prefer not to lend your voice to LibriVox, you could lend us your ears instead!

All of our projects, whether short works, collaboratives or solos, go through a prooflistening (PLing) stage to catch any errors before they are catalogued. A DPL (Dedicated Proof Listener) signs up to listen to every recording of a project. Projects that are still looking for a DPL are marked with a ~ (tilde) in front of the title. In such projects, you can also offer to listen to individual files. Every bit helps! To find projects in need of proof listeners, either go through the book forums and look for the ~ (tilde), or check the Proof Listeners or Editors Wanted forum where we post projects that need help with PLing.

See our Guide for Proof-listeners for everything you need to know.

Another way to contribute to LibriVox is to become an editor.

In collaborative or solo projects, the readers usually edit their own recordings. However, our dramatic works - plays and dramatic readings (DR) - have become very popular over the years. Especially for dramatic readings editors for individual sections are always welcome. See our Readers Wanted: Dramatic Works forum for all our dramatic projects and simply ask in the thread if an editor is needed. Sometimes, the Proof Listeners or Editors Wanted forum also has posts asking for help with editing.