How do I get audiobooks, or text-to-speech audio access to readings?


Below are some options for listening to library texts such as textbooks and other e-books, PDFs, and more:


1. Check Scholar OneSearch, available on the library's home page.  The library offers some audiobooks through Overdrive, or through the open access Gutenberg site, and those will be listed there.   For help with Overdrive audiobooks, see this FAQ.


2. Some of the library's publisher/vendors offer a built-in listening feature right on the e-book or article website. When you connect from Scholar OneSearch to the e-book or article, look for a "Listen" feature.  For example:

Because each publisher and vendor may have different web platforms, you can get tips on text-to-speech options for each e-book vendor using the library's e-book support FAQs.

3. If you use a text-to-speech app in your browser*, and your book is supplied by Proquest (one of the Northeastern library's main e-book suppliers), turn on text-only mode on Ebrary, Proquest's e-book website. In Ebrary, go to "settings-->profile" and "turn on text-only mode".  This will allow your text-to-speech app to work in the browser.  A video explaining this process is available on YouTube here.

4. Install text-to-speech software on your computer.  Because not every website that the library licenses will have a built-in text-to-speech "Listen" feature, installing software expands your ability to listen to library books.  It will work on any file on your computer that's text based, such as PDFs, web pages, and other text including files in Adobe Reader or a library e-book in Adobe Digital Editions.   Two free options are:


You can also contact the Disability Research Center at Northeastern.  For students registered with them, there are additional resources to ensure you have the accommodations you need for reading.  


*If you want text-to-speech functionality, to read aloud while you browse, you can try the NaturalReader extension (add-on) for the Chrome browser.  This will read web pages and PDFs in more natural sounding voices.  If you like the free online version, you can upgrade to a paid version that allows OCR and downloaded mp3 files, as well as a large selection of voices and accents. 




  • Last Updated Jan 19, 2024
  • Views 1
  • Answered By Karen Merguerian

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