About BARD
(Braille & Audio Reading Download)

BARD is a free website where you can download audio and electronic braille books, magazines, and more!

BARD Benefits

  • Absolutely free
  • No limit on number of downloads
  • Downloads do not need to be returned
  • It's OK to have a friend or family member help you download
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • You can still get books by mail
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Equipment Needed:

  1. Access to a computer with high-speed internet connection and a valid email address.
  2. You cannot listen to audio downloads directly from your computer. To listen to audio downloads you need
    1. Library's loaned Digital Book Machine – OR – NLS-compatible Third Party Player
    2. Standard USB flash (thumb) drive – OR – Blank book cartridge and cable
  3. To use braille downloads you need
    1. Braille display, braille-aware notetaker, or braille embosser (see Third Party Player)
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Getting Started

  1. To download books, you must first Sign-Up for BARD
  2. Once you have submitted your completed application, you will receive an email with further instructions within the next few business days.
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BARD Express

BARD Express is designed to assist users who have personal computers which run on Windows operating systems (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10) to download books. The goal of the application is to simplify logging in, searching, browsing, downloading, and transferring audio reading material from the BARD website to a cartridge or USB drive. The BARD Express application and more information about it is now available on your BARD Main Page under Additional Links, then BARD Express.

NLS has also produced a set of tutorial videos, called the BARD Express How-To Series which are linked from the Frequently Asked Questions pages found in the BARD Express Documentation link. (BARD Express is *NOT* a replacement for the BARD Mobile app which is meant for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.)

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BARD Tutorials

*Some tutorials have been compiled by other libraries and include customized instructions or references. These tutorials are meant to be general BARD guides and not step-by-step instructions for our library.

From NLS: BARD Instructions (HTML)


From North Carolina: Digital Book Downloading Tips (HTML, RTF, BRF)

From North Carolina: All About BARD (MP3)

From Minnesota: How to Download and Play a Talking Book from MN BARD using Windows XP (PDF)

From Oregon: Talking Book and Braille Services BARD Information (HTML)

From Oregon: BARD Download Instructions (HTML)

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BARD Mobile Tutorials

From NLS: BARD Mobile iOS Application User Guide (HTML)

From NLS: BARD Mobile iOS 'How-To Series' (YouTube)

From North Carolina: BARD Mobile iOS (HTML)

From NLS: BARD Mobile Android Application User Guide (HTML)

From NLS: BARD Mobile Android 'How-To Series' (YouTube)

From SAS Institute Inc: Quick reference guide for voiceover on iOS (HTML)

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