Download the Volunteer's User Guide and FAQ's

What Book Should I Scan?

You may scan any book you choose, within the following parameters:

  • Check to see if the book is already available in the collection
  • It must be a physical copy of a book that is available in your country
  • It must contain copyright information or Public Domain/Creative Commons documentation
  • It must have a title page
  • Pages must be numbered (unless it is a children’s picture book with 35 pages or less)

What Types of Books are Not Allowed in The Dubai Audiobook Library?

The Dubai Audiobook Library cannot accept:

  • eBooks (even if they have been printed and scanned)
  • standardized tests
  • teacher editions of textbooks

Do I Need My Own Scanner to Scan Books for the Dubai Audiobook Library?

Yes. Volunteers will need access to a scanner and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. The scanner may have built-in OCR software, or the person scanning may have separate OCR software. The Dubai Audiobook Library staff may have scanners available for use by volunteers, Contact Staff if you have questions or need access to a scanner.


How Can I Volunteer to Scan or Proofread Books?

It is easy to volunteer for the Dubai Audiobook Library!



You can make almost any book accessible if you are willing to scan the file and submit it to The Dubai Audiobook Library. If you have a computer with internet access, a scanner with scan-to-text software, basic computer skills, and a desire to share your love of books, you can get started scanning today!



When books are scanned and converted to text, there are always errors (also called "scannos") that result. Dubai Audiobook Library volunteers detect and correct errors and formatting so that books are usable with a variety of assistive devices--from screen readers to digital braille displays. A computer with internet access, word processing software and an eye for detail are all you need!


Sign up

Visit the Dubai Audiobook Library Volunteer Home page where you can connect with the volunteer community and find guidelines and tools to help you get started.


When Will My Scanned Book be Proofread?

The time needed for proofreading can vary based upon several factors. Proofreaders are free to choose any book to proofread, just like scanners may choose any book to scan. The time in which your book will be proofread will depend on how well the book is scanned, how long or complicated the book is, and whether or not a proofreader finds the content interesting. You can reduce the time required for proofreading your book by double checking your scan for errors. If your book is especially long or complex, i.e. it contains lots of graphics, or footnotes and endnotes, it may be a bit daunting to a proofreader. If no one selects your book for proofreading after a few weeks, you may want to Contact Staff.


When Will My Proofread Book be Added to the Dubai Audiobook Library?

Once you have proofread your book, you must check it in for approval. A staff member or qualified volunteer will review it and either approve it or return it for more editing with notes about what to fix. Your book will typically be reviewed within 7 business days of checking it in, but may take longer depending on the volume of submissions.


If your book requires more editing, you will be notified by email. You will need to re-check out the book from the Checkout Queue, make the changes noted, and then check the book back in. Staff will then review your updated book and hopefully approve it to be published in the Dubai Audiobook Library.


Do I Have to Proofread a Book I Checked Out?

No – If you have checked out a book and no longer want to proofread it, you are welcome to release it back to the Checkout Queue for someone else to proofread.


To release a book, go to "Check In a Book." You can get there by logging in to the Volunteer Home page, clicking the link for Proofread a Book and then clicking on Check in a Book.


Once there, find the title you no longer want to proofread and click the "Release" link in the "Action" column.


Can I Proofread a Book That I Scanned?

For quality control, we ask that different people scan and proofread each book.


How Do I Renew My Book?

Proofreaders have two weeks to proofread a book. At the end of two weeks you will receive an email notification with a few options. At that point, you can either check in the book, or renew it to allow yourself more time for proofing. If no action is taken, the book will automatically be returned to the Checkout Queue for another volunteer to proofread.


Note that you can only renew your book at the end of the two-week period and you will only have a limited time to do so (which will be noted in the email). If you click on the link in your notification email and do not see the "Renew" option next to the book's title, please be patient – the link should show up within twenty-four hours.


Can I Leave a Note When Scanning a Book?

Yes – we encourage you to leave notes for the proofreader within the text of your scanned book, particularly if there are intentional mis-spellings in the print book. This will prevent the proofreader from correcting a typo that they thought was a result of a scanno. Make sure to do so by writing "Scanner's Note" in brackets though so the proofreader knows what it is!


Note: The proofreader must delete these notes before checking in the final file.


Example: [Scanner's note: The following pages are paragraphs but the pages are not numbered.]


What does "OCR" stand for?

OCR is short for Optical Character Recognition, a technology that enables the conversion of different types of documents, such as scanned books, into editable and searchable text. This allows our books to be converted and read in different accessible formats.