Aussie Voices – Reading Aloud for the Year of Reading

Happy Read Aloud Day!

So, we’re about three weeks into the Year of Reading, and it’s time to roll out one of our special projects for this year. Brace yourself for Aussie Voices!

So, what’s the point?

The project’s purpose is to demonstrate a few key ideas:

  • Reading aloud is a great way of enjoying text. Silent reading is relatively new, and its great, but many works read better aloud.
  • Supported reading is easy with web-based materials. Supported reading is a technique for developing skill as a reader. It is where the student reads a text while hearing the words spoken aloud.
  • NYR says the universe owes you an hour of reading a week at minimum.  I agree. While reading, why not record it, at least some of the time, and share it with people, as these volunteers have done?  Quality of performance does not matter: reading, even recorded reading like this, is for the reader. Listeners are welcome, but ancillary.
  • Australia’s history and literature are sources of endless, fascinating material for reading.

So how does it work?

Each fortnight for the rest of the Year of Reading,  I’ll point out a great piece of Australian writing, recorded into free audio, and discuss it with anyone who is interested.  Simple!  I don’t expect anyone to listen to all of the audiobooks, although I, myself, intend to.

Many of the recordings come from Librviox. Librivox are a community group which reads public domain books, and then releases the recordings back into the public domain. The Library Service will have training in this sort of cheap voice recording and distribution technology later in the year, but it’s not difficult to set it up yourself. If you want to join the fun, LV volunteers have set up a new anthology for reader-selected brief works from Australia. We’ll be discussing the recordings once the anthology is complete.

A lot of other recordings will come from Bolinda, a commercial audiobook publisher. GCCC Libraries have a contract with Bolinda that allows our members to access material through a special website. If you are visiting book coasters from elsewhere in Australia, check if your library also subscribes: many do.

So, at the end of the year we’ll have

  • had discussions about great Aussie audiobooks
  • a new anthology of short Aussie works (thanks to the volunteers on LV).
  • some training in Gold Coast Branch Libraries.
  • a book, title to be voted on by book coasters fans, recorded into the public domain and distributed for free, by library staff (in our spare time)

What do you mean by “free”?

I mean “You do not need to pay me, Librivox, or Bolinda to download these works.” and yes, it’s legal.

Librivox works are copyright free.  Their authors have been dead so long their rights have expired. The readers in these recordings have surrendered their rights, so that these works are in the public domain.  Many other recordings will come from Bolinda, a commercial provider that library has a contract with to allow free access by our members.

So, what’s the first book?

See you in two weeks for some CJ Dennis.