Audio Book Reviewer Volunteer

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California State Library

  • 45 people are interested
State Library

Love to read? Always wanted to be a New York Times Book Review Critic but with a lower profile? Join us as a Talking Book behind-the-scenes reviewer mastermind!

As part of the California Braille and Talking Book Library studio team, the Reviewer examines audio or "Talking Book" recorded audio files in process over the course of a book’s narration, noting pronunciation, text omissions, other hiccups, and other technical errors. Delivers notes to original narration team for revisions to audio books about California or by California authors created for the blind or otherwise print disabled.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Audibly review digital book file from start to finish and/or in sections, referring to print copy for guidance.
  2. Maintain error log for use by narration team.
  3. Familiarize oneself with library audio production standards to ensure quality.
  4. Provide constructive criticism through invaluable feedback for improvements to recording by narration team.


  • A love of reading and excellent command of the English language.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team
  • Able to work on a computer and learn how to use specific software; Knowledge of how digital audio recording works is a plus, but not required.

Training and Support Provided: You will be trained to use the equipment, and informed of library standards. You will also be introduced to staff and volunteers with whom you will be working, and have access to them as needed.

Location Commitment: All studio volunteer opportunities occur on site at BTBL Headquarters, 900 N Street in Sacramento across from the State Capitol. At this time there are no remote volunteer opportunities, though that could change in coming years.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours or more per week, or 4-8 hours or more per month through completion of at least one Talking Book. Volunteer shifts occur during business hours, Monday through Friday 9AM to 5 PM.

Length of Commitment: For consistency, reviewer should complete entire book once begun. Pace of book completion will depend on the pace of the book narration team (progress is usually made by the team at the rate of 10-30 pages per hour). Time will vary with the length and complexity of the book being prepared, but an average book will usually take a few to several months. Reviewer may have more than one book project going at one time.

* Willingness to volunteer as either audio Book Narrator or Audio Book Monitor at various times is optional but appreciated.

Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Enhance the collection of accessible books for Californians unable to read conventional print in California and nationwide.
  • Opportunity to learn or increase computer skills.
  • Meet talented and dedicated people who share similar interests.
  • Gain translateable audio production experience.

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About California State Library


900 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, US

Mission Statement

The California State Library is the state's information hub, preserving California's cultural heritage and connecting people, libraries and government to the resources and tools they need to succeed and to build a strong California.


The 160-year old California State Library serves the people of California in several ways: It is the central reference and research library for state government and the Legislature. It provides non-partisan research to the Legislature and the Governor. It collects, preserves, generates and disseminates information ranging from California's priceless historical items to today's online texts. It advises, consults with, and provides technical assistance to California's public libraries, and it directs state and federal funds to support local public libraries and statewide library programs, and services. It houses the Braille and Talking Book Library which loans braille, cassette and talking books, magazines and playback equipment to northern Californians unable to read conventional print.


We'll work with your schedule.


900 N StreetSacramento, CA 95814



  • Literacy / Reading
  • Special Needs
  • Program Management
  • Basic Computer Skills
  • Storytelling
  • Reading Comprehension




  • Must be at least 18
  • 2-4 hours per week/4-8 hours per month
  • Volunteer shifts occur during business hours, Monday through Friday 9AM to 5 PM.

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