Tuesday, June 3, 2008
1500 Free Audio Books on LibriVox.org!
If you don't know about it already, lend me your ears! LibriVox is an amazing, globally sourced project of volunteers committed to recording every book that is certifiably in the public domain - either because it was published in the United States before 1923, or because it was otherwise created in the public domain at the outset. Started by a Canadian guy named Hugh in 2005, when he couldn't find inexpensive audiobooks for a long road trip, it has grown from a handful of his helpful friends to a worldwide volunteer base of hundreds of amateur (along with a few spirited pros) readers, editors, project coordinators, and proof listeners. Everybody just uses their computers at home, along with a microphone, to create mp3 files of themselves reading whatever eligible texts they sign on for.
The best part is that nobody puts any copyright or even creative commons restrictions on the resulting material. Whatever public domain texts are being recorded, the recording itself is dedicated to the public domain as well. It's pure cultural altruism, which makes it possible for anyone anywhere in the world with a connection to the internet to download "Jane Eyre", "Huckleberry Finn", "The Works of Tacitus, Vol. 1", or "The United States Bill of Rights" along with other titles in more than 100 languages other than English, and use them in schools, or for the illiterate, or while they knit, or to chop up into a video mash-up on YouTube. Free speech for anyone anywhere. Get it? If you do, please investigate, buy a USB microphone, and get started recording! There are thousands of public domain books yet to be done, and everyone is welcome to help.
Go to http://librivox.org/ and make your speech free. Or just take a listen! Oh, and uh, this photo was taken in the Willits Branch of the county library. We love them.