LibriVox – Audiobooks in the Public Domain

Picture of a cartoon person listening to an audiobook.

Audiobooks have become a very popular method of “reading” literature. They have opened the door for commuters, truckers, athletes, and more to engage in literature more than ever before. While many best-sellers today come out with an audiobook version close to their initial release, many older books do not get revisited with an audiobook option. This leaves a lot of the old writings that led to modern literature in a hard-to-reach position for many readers.

To solve this issue, Canal Fulton Public Library provides audiobooks on CD, on OverDrive, and on Hoopla. While the selection on these platforms is great, audiobook format availability is still sometimes insufficient when it comes to older materials.

One solution to this problem is the community-run website LibriVox is a website where visitors can freely download over 13,000 audiobooks voiced by other LibriVox community members. All of the audiobooks on LibriVox are in the Public Domain as defined by US copyright laws. This means that the literature on the site is from before the year 1923, where current US copyright laws have drawn the line on what is to be considered in the Public Domain.

If you cannot find the audiobook you are looking for in Canal Fulton Public Library’s catalog and it isn’t available via the library’s Interlibrary Loan Services, go ahead and check out LibriVox. If it isn’t listed in LibriVox’s catalog, you can reach out on their forum to see if anyone would be willing to record it for you. Or, if you’re adventurous, you can even volunteer to read it yourself!