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Patron Engagement Section

The Patron Engagement Section provides resources, services, and support to the network libraries that are designed specifically to address patron needs. Patron Engagement also offers programming that patrons can access directly to enrich their NLS experience. The following programs are currently available to patrons:

  • Patron Corner, presented the second Monday of the third month of the quarter, shares specific information of interest to patrons regarding an announced topic. To learn more about the next Patron Corner, visit
  • The Many Faces of BARD, presented the second Thursday each month, engages patrons with a training on a specific feature of Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and offers a platform for patron questions regarding the BARD service. To learn more about the next Many Faces of BARD, visit
  • Braille on Demand pilot project, provides patrons an opportunity to request, receive, and retain up to five hard copy braille books of their choice per month. Click on the Braille-on-Demand Request Form to learn more or to request a title now.
  • Want to get the latest news and updates from NLS including information upcoming events and projects? Introducing Patron Announce, a regular email service from your Patron Engagement team which includes timely information about NLS program, services, and products. New announcements arrive straight in your inbox a few times a week. If you are interested in signing up, please send your name and email address to the Patron Engagement Section at [email protected]. You can unsubscribe yourself from the list at any time.

BARD (Braille & Audio Reading Download) and BARD Mobile

Learn how to download braille and audio books on BARD and read them on a braille display, listen to them on free or commercially available talking-book players, and use the BARD Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of braille and encrypted audio books, magazines, and music scores available from NLS. The service is available to registered users of the braille and talking book program.

Register for BARD and Get BARD Mobile

Music Instructional Materials & Scores and talking book library

Learn how to access a collection of braille, large-print, and recorded instructional materials about music and musicians. Patrons may access a collection of braille, large-print, and recorded instructional materials about music and musicians, as well as free subscriptions to magazines produced in audio, braille, and large print. All materials are circulated postage free, and some digital audio and ebraille materials are available for download over the Internet. Machines needed to use the audio cartridges are provided to eligible users without charge. Musical recordings intended solely for listening are not included in the music collection as they are readily available commercially and from public libraries.

Music Services for Individuals Who Are Blind or Have a Physical Disability

Overseas Services

Learn how American citizens living overseas who cannot use standard print materials may access the braille and talking book program. Service is provided directly from NLS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Overseas Services

Contact the Overseas Service librarian

Information Services Section

Explore the variety of publications on issues about or related to blindness, visual impairment, or physical disabilities produced by the NLS Information Services Section. Information Services can help answer questions related to NLS service. Email [email protected] for help.

Information Services Publications

Braille Transcription & Proofreading Courses

Learn more about braille and how to become a braille transcriber or proofreader or receive certification or updates. The Librarian of Congress and the NLS director continue to authorize and issue certifications for braille transcribers and proofreaders.

Braille Transcription & Proofreading Courses

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