Braille & Audio Reading Download (BARD)

BARD Download

Library patrons with NLS Digital Talking Book Machines (DTBM) eager to read digital books not yet available on digital cartridge, or who have their own NLS-compatible commercial player, are encouraged to download books from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). Tens of thousands of books and dozens of magazines are available for download, with more added every week!

In order to download books from BARD, you must first apply for a login and password. Only patrons actively registered for service through WLBPD, or through another library within the National Library Service network, are eligible to download from BARD.

Downloading from BARD requires an email address, a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a digital cartridge or USB/flash/thumb drive, and an NLS-issued or NLS-compatible DTBM. Books must first be downloaded to a computer as a .zip file. Once the book is downloaded as a .zip file, it can be unzipped and copied to a digital cartridge or USB/flash/thumb drive. To read multiple titles downloaded onto one digital cartridge or flash drive, use the bookshelf feature on your DTBM. Digital Talking Book Machine "Bookshelf" Audio Instructions.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about BARD.


BARD iOS App is now available through the Apple App Store. The free app allows readers to download audio and Braille books from their NLS BARD accounts directly to their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch device.

BARD Mobile will work on any iOS device running iOS 4.3.3 or later. This includes the iPhone 3GS and all later iPhones, all iPads, and fourth generation or later iPod touches. If you have one of these devices, be sure it is running iOS 4.3.3 or later.

To access BARD Mobile, you must have an active BARD account with a working username and permanent password. To apply for a BARD account click here.

Once you've established your BARD account and you've agreed to the BARD pledge, you can get started with BARD Mobile. Search for BARD Mobile in the App Store, and download it to your device. The BARD Mobile app may be downloaded to up to 5 devices with a single login and password.

The BARD Mobile app allows you to download items from the Recently Added Books and Recently Added Magazines sections of the BARD site and also from your Wish List. So if there are books you know you're going to want to read right away, add them to your Wish List. It is also easy to add books to your Wish List from within BARD Mobile because when you browse the site, either from within the app or from Safari on your iOS device, the Download link following every book title changes to an Add to Wish List link.

BARD Mobile must be open while books are downloading; if you switch to a different app, downloading will stop; and the screen must be unlocked throughout the download.

Please refer to the BARD Mobile User Guide here, or from within the app itself, in the Help section of the BARD Mobile bookshelf.

Or, click here to view the BARD Mobile 'How-To Series' in video format.

If you have any questions, or need help using BARD, please email us at, or call (734) 327-4224.