Earlier this morning, I uploaded my first contribution to the LibriVox public domain audiobook library, The LibriVox administrators (also volunteers) will soon add my recording (a poem in the public domain by Henry Cuyler Bunner entitled "She Was a Beauty") to the monthly compilation of short poetry. Until then - and I don't know if my Blogger blog will embed the mp3 correctly - you can listen to my recording at my Posterous page.
I've been a fan of LibriVox audiobooks (free to download and in the public domain) since early 2007. The volunteers (LibriVoxateers) - from the readers to the proof-listeners to the website administrators and every position in between - do magnificent work. I've felt that way even before I signed up to volunteer (in early May 2009) and eventually put electrons to hard drive and read a poem (in late June 2009).
If you are an aspiring (or even established?) voice artist, you can practice (or show off!) your chops and help us bring history to the digital age. If the microphone isn't your thing, proof-listeners are needed to compare what is recorded to what the text says. If you are a proofreader or copy editor, LibriVox is just a stone throw's away from Project Gutenberg-related, text-based, public domain book digitizing projects. If you are neither/nor and just want to read - that's the best kind of volunteerism: With minimal ulterior motives!
If you don't want to volunteer (yet!), please check out http://librivox.org and download your pick of their - or dare I say our - extensive library of novels, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, and other forms of the written word in the public domain. If you don't know where to start, I recommend either David Barnes' (slow and deliberate male BBC English) or Cori Samuel's (warm and friendly female Home Counties accent) recordings. Be warned, however: The reading voice inside your head may never be the same.
In any case, please spread the word about LibriVox to as many people as possible - people with failing eyesight, multitaskers who want to listen to good literature, and students who don't want to read their English homework (I must avoid making a cynical comment about the state of education). If you help spread the word about LibriVox, you'll, in turn, help spread exponentially more words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, books, and bibliographies!