Saturday, January 27, 2007

Feeling Happy

It's been a good day.
As long-time readers know, I feel that volunteering, finding some way to give back is one of the best things you can do for yourself, particularly if you have physical or other challenges. Not only does it benefit the organization or person to whom you are giving your time and energy, but it can provide much-needed self respect and a feeling of empowerment that can become threatened when life trips you up with a debilitating illness.
One of the things I most wanted to do was to become involved with adult literacy. Books have been such a large part of my life. Fellow bibliophiles will know what I mean when I say some books have been very good friends to me.
Unfortunately, to become involved in any meaningful way with the local (very fine) program it required that I be able to promise my presence at specified places and times. That's a commitment I am not always able to keep any more.
Then I thought of contributing my vocal talents to Books on Tape. I have a very good speaking voice, and acting talent, it seemed a good thing to do.. but that would require traveling to Grand Rapids. Other programs (like reading for the blind) again required that I know exactly when I would be available.
Today, I found something I CAN do to fulfill that desire to bring more books to more people.
While Lynnie and I were both sick, she told me about a wonderful knitting podcast. CAST ON
hosted by Brenda Dayne, who is an American living in Wales with her partner and family. I've been listening to the archives, from episode #1 on. Today I reached #8 (it feels remarkably like time travel to span from October 2005 to January 2 006 within a few weeks) where she mentioned LIBRIVOX (acoustical liberation of books in the public domain)
"LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project."

And Audio books can be an important tool for teaching adult literacy

And Librivox needs readers.

And all I needed was a free download or two, and a microphone (Oscar will find one of the 2 microphones we have when he gets home tonight) I already did the download and installation of the programs I'll need.

Tomorrow, I'll start reading to the world. From my recliner.
(image: Kitsune on a happy happy day)


Lynx said...

SWEET! Finally, something for those of us who are definitely *not* teachers! I used to be a literacy tutor for adults, but some people are just not meant to be teachers, and I am number two on that list! Now if only I could stand to read out loud... but at least the knowledge is now here in my quirky little brain, and I can share the info with others. Bibliophiles rock!

Dawna--aka Elayne said...

Diana, I just happened through because while I've been a regular voyeur, I haven't commented. This program is awesome! I know exactly what you mean about not being able to commit to a regular time, but this is a fantastic way to give back. The heart of volunteerism is love for our fellow man. You obviously have a heart of gold! I want to know more about your work with this program. Please keep us posted!