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The NARRATE! Project

NARRATE! Project Guide

Project Coordinator: Pamela Hart
pamela.hart@bc.libraries.coop

Following the success of The NARRATE! Pilot, NNELS is continuing to connect with libraries across Canada, training and guiding their staff and volunteers in the creation of accessible audiobooks.  We now have 10 portable recording kits that include a USB microphone, headphones and adaptors to connect the microphone to PC's, MACs, Iphones and Ipads.  We offer training resources and one on one guidance over video call.  If your library is interested in running a NARRATE! volunteer program or offering this opportunity directly to your volunteers or staff please apply at this link: Library Sign-up

Note, due to the pandemic we are allowing recording kits to go home with library staff or volunteers that would like to participate in the project. Please also note that the library lending out the equipment is responsible for mailing the kit back to the Project Coordinator at 3846 Highway 331, LaHave, Nova Scotia, B0R 1C0

Step by Step guide through the NARRATE! project:

Step One:

Step Two:

  • Recruit staff and volunteers

Step three:

  • Have participants watch our training videos to learn some basic recording and narration skills.  NNELS YouTube channel

Step Four:

  • Each interested volunteer should record a small sample and send it to the project coordinator . She will email the volunteer back swiftly with any feedback that could be helpful for your audiobook recording and narration techniques.

Step Five:

  • Narrator will share their genre preferences with the Project coordinator and be given some book options

Step Six:

Additional information:

Formatting information

  • Each chapter or section of the book should be its own audio file:
    • For example: about this digital book, title page, copyright, epigraph, dedication, acknowledgment, chapters, etc.
  • Each audio file should be saved with the following information:
    • Chronologically by number, followed by the title of the section (see image).
    • For example: "02 About This Digital Book.mp3".
  • Record yourself naming each audio file at the beginning of said section; for example, “Chapter one” followed by chapter one.
  • Record the "About this digital book" text after the title page.

Recording details

  • Record and export your files at a 44.1khz sample rate, at 16bit or 24bit (choose this in your software preferences under 'quality' in Audactiy)
  • Export your files as MP3 files at 192kbps (choose this when exporting your file after you have finished recording and editing).
  • Record with peaks hitting between minus 12 and  minus 3dbs Your average levels (RMS) should be between minus 23 and minus 18 decibels (see training videos!).
  • Noise floor shouldn't be higher than minus 60 decibels (record in a quiet room and get the “optimum input recording level” - see training videos!).

Text to be read after title page

About this digital book

This book is from the National Network for Equitable Library Service, or NNELS, and may only be read by or shared with individuals with perceptual disabilities as defined by Canada's Copyright Act.

Any individual with a perceptual disability and a library card is eligible for a NNELS account with full access to our online collection of books in accessible formats.

This book was recorded thanks to support from the Government of Canada's Social Development Partnerships Program - Disability Component.

Thank you to our funding and community partners for making this book a part of our collection.

If you experience any problems with this book, have suggestions for how we could improve it, or have any questions about this service, please call or write to us. We love to hear from readers and you can find our contact information through your public library or from our website, N N E L S dot C A. Thank you for reading.


You can contact the project coordinator at any time if you have questions, comments or need support. pamela.hart@bc.libraries.coop