Friday, October 19, 2012

How to Organise a Read Fest - Part 2

Organising – Preparatory Work

1.      Take permission from IT and other relevant departments for the infrastructure requirement:

a.       Meeting rooms, with as little ambient noise as possible. These will be used as recording rooms. If you are choosing adjacent meeting rooms, it makes sense to leave one room empty between 2 recording rooms.

b.      Each meeting room needs a laptop / desktop with a working mic(internal or external mic is fine)  . This computer must have “Audacity” installed. Audacity is freely downloadable from Just search for Audacity and download. After this, try to save a test file as mp3 format. The system will prompt you to download a dll file by pressing a button. This button takes you to the dll file download site. It is safe. Please download dll and then save the file as mp3 once more. All Audacity computers should be able to save mp3 formats.

c.       Each recording room will also need water bottles / glass for the recording volunteer.

d.      You need to put up posters and also do some internal marketing to generate awareness about the event.

e.       Content: If you are a school / college, please request your teachers to contribute their papers / question banks for the Read Fest. They are an invaluable resource. If you are a student, please record your notes for all subjects if they are not already available in the catalog. If you are an office, record experiences of your profession so that other people can take a more informed career decision. The blind do not get career counselling or a chance to interact with professionals in this way. You can also record interview facing tips.

f.       All computers must be usb enabled. The content, once done, will be taken by the organiser in a pen drive.

g.      If any permission is required to send a pen drive / import a pen drive into office, please take such permissions.

h.      Arrange for visitor management to be approved if you are expecting any visitors – either from Esha or external for recording.

i.        All computers must also have unrestricted net access to Wikipedia, blogs and all other sites.

j.        If the requirement is of sample question papers and you have found some free ones offline, do save the link in favourites and ask the site administrator for permission. It is not always possible to find it last minute.

k.      Load the following documents on all machines:

                                                              i.      How to record for CLABIL (audacity user manual)

                                                            ii.      Read Fest FAQs

                                                          iii.      How to record (audio file)

l.        At some distance from the recording rooms, but close enough to be able to see them, is a control center. You need 3 volunteers are the control desk at all times. These volunteers will play the following roles:

                                                              i.      Content management – what has been recorded and what needs to be done yet. The content manager also does on the spot cataloguing as the files get recorded, or makes the catalog at the end of the read fest. But a record of what is being done by whom is kept by this person.

                                                            ii.      Queue management – who goes in in what order, who has practiced what they are going to record, who is ready to go in, how long is each one’s slot et al. The queue manager co-ordinates with the content manager to give content to volunteers and with the meeting room manager to send ppl when rooms get free.

                                                          iii.      Recording room management – This person is responsible for managing which meeting room is empty, guiding the volunteers to the meeting room, ensuring there is a glass of water there for them, then giving them a tutorial on audacity, explaining :

1.      How to record

2.      How to pause and resume recording

3.      How to stop and listen back if they doubt correct recording.

4.      How to check recording.

5.      How to correct by deleting the wrong parts.

6.      How to start a new segment.

7.      How to save as mp3 file and at what location.

8.      How to name the file for easy cataloguing.

9.      How to check your voice recording and correct before starting the final recording.

When the volunteer finishes, this person checks that the file has been saved correctly (mp3 format, naming convention, location of file) and then asks the queue manager for the next person who will come in.

All these 3 are full time roles with a lot of running around and 3 volunteers are mandatory for the control desk. Otherwise no one has a good experience.

2.      Complete the set up et al.

3.      Circulate a mail / communication asking for volunteers to pre register, with the Indian language that they can record in. This will help you prepare content.

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