If you're new to "Building a Better Digital Librarian" check out how it all started.
Ever listened to an audio book and thought, "Pfft, I could do that!". Narrating an audio book seems simple enough: show up and read a book. Easy peasy, right?
Challenge #4: Become a volunteer narrator
Did you know we record most of our own books here at the CNIB? We have over 200 volunteer narrators who help us turn out over 500 books and magazines a year.
I asked the people in our recording studio if I could go through the two part audition process to see how I'd do. The first part involves reading from a list of words you might encounter from time to time in print but you probably never say out loud. I actually did a lot better than I thought on the word list. I didn't get them all right but my score was good enough to move on to part two of the audition process: reading some prepared pieces.
Potential narrators are given a couple of pages of fiction and non-fiction to study prior to their audition. At the audition they are also given a third piece they haven't had the opportunity to read over. They record your reading which is then judged by staff on ten different qualities. When the judging is over the CNIB calls you with the good / bad news. Since I was just doing this for fun I got the bad news immediately.
I didn't get in to librarianship because I had a gift for the gab so I wasn't surprised to learn I have a strong tendency to under project. Given how little I project to begin with it sort of makes sense.
Am I narrator material? No, but that's okay. It takes a special kind of person to become a volunteer narrator. The time and effort they put in to bringing these books to life for our clients is truly admirable. Thanks volunteers!
Do you think you have what it takes to become a narrator? Check out our volunteer with the CNIB Library page for more information on how to audition.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season! Look for more challenges in the new year and, three months from now, a brand new CNIB Digital Library!