Do You Like Volunteering? If So, Then This May Interest You

libriVox audiobook

Just last week I saw a blog from a member at Wealthy Affiliate about a website called LibriVox and the fact that they have over 9000 free audio books available to be downloaded in an MP3 format.

As my website is all about Books and the different ways in how we can enjoy them, I decided to research this further and found out that this is a great website for anyone who loves audiobooks.

What is LibriVox

LibriVox is a website that specialises in changing books from written form into a spoken form and by doing this, there is a few side effects that can be classed as useful.

There are two sides to LibriVox, they are Read and Listen. The one I want to tell you about is the Section called Read.

What is Read about

This is the part where books that are no longer covered by copyright which are in the public domain are available for free, meaning that books published prior to 1923 are recorded and then put on the internet. These books are read by both Actors and members of the public.

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Who Reads for LibriVox

LibriVox uses  volunteers who read, plus record chapters of the books. They are always looking for new people to join them in becoming volunteers to read. They donate all their recordings (and would include yours as well, if you decided to volunteer for them) into the public domain.

The books are recorded in lots of languages.

If you make the decision that you want to volunteer for LibriVox, there is no need for an audition or the need to send any samples to us. There also no need for you to have any prior experience. The only things needed by you is free software, your computer, perhaps a cheap microphone and the most important thing you need is your voice.

How Do You Volunteer

To volunteer for LibriVox, you need to go to their Forum where you are then able to register to join them. All activity for LibriVox (like their project management, discussions, book selections among others) take place on the Forum. The Forum members are all said to be a friendly bunch and are more likely to answer any questions a lot quicker than if you are to send an email to them.

If you are interested in joining, then before registering or posting anything on to the Forum, I do strongly recommend that you read below so you can get an idea of how it all works.

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Important Information

Below is a list of information on the things you really should know about before you make your decision to register as a volunteer.

LibriVox Project Types
Navigating the Forum
Cast of Characters
How it Works
Other Info


As there are many of the volunteers at LibriVox who have never recorded things, especially things like audiobooks or if recording is a new thing for you then there will be lots of helpful members who are on the Forum that will be willing to help you get set up. This is an overview on Recording for LibriVox

Types of Projects on LibriVox

There is several types of projects that are available to you here and these are as listed below:

  • collaborativethis is when more than one volunteer provides chapters which are longer.
  • solothis is where just one volunteer reads a whole book by their self.
  • short works (prose and poetry)this is just as it says, short works and poetry!
  • dramatic works: here, it is all done by “actors” who record their own parts and then it is edited and put together.
  • other languagesthis is where they do projects that are in languages except for English.

Forum Navigating

There are three main parts to the Forums and these are:

  • About LibriVox
    • where we have our information on LibriVox, and this includes a FAQ about us.
  • Books (Volunteer for Reading & Other Things)
  • This section includes:
    • Book Suggestions (this is where we can discuss what books you want to record)
    • Readers Wanted ( this is where you find the list of projects that require readers)
    • Going Solo (This requires you to first do a collaborative recording)
    • Listeners & Editors Wanted (here is where we have our people who do the process of proof-listening)
    • Volunteer for Other Projects (this part is for volunteering for all other types of projects)
  • Help, Discussion, & Suggestions
    • This part is where you can go to to get news, general chatter plus any questions you may have.

Character Cast

As LibriVox is run by  volunteers, the readers are the most important people. Everyone else however, also works hard in helping more audio books to be made. Everyone is encouraged at LibriVox to do as little or as much as they want and if you have an idea that you would like to implement, you will find that there is a lot of support for you to go ahead and do it.

Below is a list of people that you will come into contact with and the jobs that they do (please note that these people are also volunteers):

  • Free Public Domain Audiobooks at Librivoxreaders: these people record the chapters of books in the public domain;
  • book coordinators: these are the people who manage the production of any particular book;
  • meta coordinators: these people catalog all the completed books that are on the web;
  • moderators: these are the people who help to make sure the forum runs smoothly;
  • admins: lastly, these are the ones who try to make sure that everyone has what they are needing.

How Things Work at LibriVox

Basically, this is a run down on how everything works:

  1. A book is posted in the New Projects Launch Pad Section by a Book Coordinator.
  2. The project is then claimed by a Meta Coordinator who then puts the thread into the appropriate forum.
  3. Volunteers are now able to “claim” what chapters the want to read.
  4. The chapters are now recorded in digital format by the readers.
  5. All the files containing all the chapters is now collected by the Book Coordinator.
  6. The collected files are then sent to a Meta Coordinator from the Book Coordinator,
  7. Now the files are all checked in the Listeners Wanted section for any technical problems.
  8. After the files have been checked, the corrected files which have been collected by the Book Coordinator are sent to a Meta Coordinator.
  9. Lastly, another free public domain audiobook becomes available.

librivox-listen-read-imageAdditional Information

As there are so many other things you can help with, feel free to go into the Forums and have a look for yourself to see what is needing to be done and what you could help with.

For a more detailed Guide for Listeners & Volunteers (this is the LibriVox wiki), then please visit the link below.

  • Guide (Listeners & Volunteers)

Alternatively, you can contact them by email at info AT librivox DOT org.


I really have to say that as I am an avid reader myself, this really drew in my attention and it is something that I think I will look into becoming a volunteer. It will be interesting to be able to read aloud for others as opposed to just reading to yourself quietly.

As I said at the beginning, there are two parts to LibriVox and the other part is Listen which I will also cover but in a separate post.

If you have any comments or feedback on this article, please leave them in the comment section bel0w or contact me at and I will be very happy to answer them.








  1. I’m a preschool teacher and I can definitely say reading to children is very important. Besides the obvious skills like language and imagination skills, many stories help the child develop socially and emotionally as well as help bonding occur between parent/teacher/guardian and the child. The stories my students like the best are the social//emotional ones. Books that teach a lesson and relate to what the children are actually going through and experiencing at the time (how to share, making friends, being kind, etc)

    1. Hi Katie thank you for your comment and totally agree with you in that it is very important to read to Children both for their development and also it is an excellent way in which to bond with your child. I always read books to all three of my children, especially at night time when they loved to hear a story. They are all avid readers now like myself.

  2. Good afternoon,

    I was blessed with a Mother who read all kinds of books to me while I was still small. Often these books were for children but she also read well know books of world literature. When I then went to school and had mastered the art of reading myself I continued reading a lot. I had a big vocabulary for my age but my grammar was never any good be it in my Mother tongue or all the other languages I studied later on in life. I grew up without TV, just as well as there was more time for reading. Now, at the age of 67, my house is full of books, many of them once belonged to my parents who sadly are not here anymore. I love to curl up on the sofa with a good glass of red wine and in front of the fireplace with of course a good book to read.

    Regards, Taetske

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