Sign up for BARD and BARD Mobile

BARD, the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download service, provides instant access to hundreds of thousands of books, magazines, and music materials in audio and electronic braille (ebraille). You’ll find current bestsellers, literary classics, mysteries, westerns, romances, and more; a wide selection of books for school-age children and teens; and books in Spanish and other world languages. Dozens of titles are added each week! And you can subscribe to magazines automatically and easily through BARD. This page helps you get started with BARD and helps you use BARD.

Ready to get started?

First—if you’re not one already—become an NLS patron. Submit this online form to get information on how to become a patron from the NLS network library that serves your state or locality. If you are approved to participate you will receive an email message with sign-on information. If there is a problem you will receive a message explaining the problem.

Second, register for BARD. You’ll input your network library and then complete a short online form.

Third, use your own smart device or use an NLS player. You can get a free talking-book player on long-term loan from your network library or buy a commercial model that you've confirmed can play NLS-produced talking books and magazines. If you plan to use your own smart device, download the free BARD Mobile app available at the App Store External for iOS or the Play Store External or Amazon Kindle Appstore External for Android. You’ll need a refreshable braille display to read ebraille books downloaded from BARD. NLS has been authorized to loan refreshable braille displays to eligible readers. Distribution of these units is underway. Ask your network library for more information about NLS refreshable braille displays.

If you’re using BARD on a Windows-based computer, BARD Express makes it easy to download books and transfer them to an NLS digital cartridge or USB drive for use in your NLS talking book player.

Being able to download titles and manage my reading list independently has made an outstanding service so much better. The BARD Mobile app for the iPhone has also been so wonderful since it makes it so easy to take books with you anywhere. I truly cannot imagine my life without the NLS program.

– NLS patron

Using BARD, BARD Mobile, and BARD Express

Once you’ve enrolled for BARD, there are many resources to help you. Also check for updates to BARD, BARD Mobile, and BARD Express on out BARD and BARD Mobile Update page.

BARD

The Welcome to BARD and NLS BARD Frequently Asked Questions pages have answers to most of the questions newcomers ask.

Learn more by listening to the BARD Basics MP3 audio file while reviewing the short BARD Basics Handout [PDF].

Attend The Many Faces of BARD online events.

Or subscribe to the NLS BARD support list to receive the latest new about BARD.

BARD Mobile

For help with iOS, access the BARD Mobile User Manual for iOS [HTML] or BARD Mobile User Manual for iOS in ebraille [BRF],

For help with Android, access the BARD Mobile User Manual for Android [HTML] or BARD Mobile User Manual for Android v1.3 in ebraille [BRF]

For help with a Fire Tablets, access BARD Mobile User Manual for Fire Tablets [HTML].

You can also watch videos on How to Use BARD Mobile for iOS External or How to Use BARD Mobile for Android External.

BARD Express

PC-users can learn more about BARD Express for downloading and transferring to players by browsing the Frequently Asked Questions about BARD Express page or reviewing the BARD Express User Guide page. You can also watch videos on How to Use BARD Express External.

Still need help? You can send a detailed email to [email protected] with your specific questions.

The BARD Mobile app is easy to use. The narrators are superb.

– NLS patron
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