BARD - Braille and Audio Reading Download

To download books go to:

NLS has a site where patrons of the Talking Book Library can download digital books and electronic Braille files from the NLS collection. There are over 80,000 digital titles and more than 13,000 Braille titles available for download with new titles being added weekly. Books from local libraries have recently become available on BARD. Most of the NLS produced magazines in audio or Braille are also available in a downloadable format.

NLS offers two types of accounts on BARD: one for individual patrons and one for institutional accounts. The individual patron account is available to active patrons of the library and has full access to download any book or magazine on the BARD website.

The institutional account is for organizations with an account through the library. Organizational accounts can either have full access to the BARD site or be a demo only account. Demo accounts are only able to download 4 titles from the website so they can teach patrons how to use BARD. Public libraries with CTBL accounts can only get a demo BARD account.

Downloaded books can be played on the new digital player patrons have received. When filling out the application for BARD, select NLS digital talking book machine from the list of available players. The recommended method for listening to BARD books on the NLS player is to download the books to a blank cartridge. To see a list of places to purchase a blank digital cartridge go to the NLS Equipment page.

In addition to the NLS machines there are third party playback devices that can also be used to play books downloaded from the BARD website. A full list of compatible players is available through NLS Digital Audiobook Players page. In addition to these third party players, BARD Mobile is an app you can download to use on your smart phone or tablet. Use the following links to learn more: BARD Mobile for iOS devices; BARD Mobile for Android and BARD Mobile for Kindle (only works on certain devices).

If you have a compatible playback machine and would like to participate, please fill out the application located at: (opens in another window). Once on that page make sure you select the appropriate application for either an individual or institutional account.

For those that need extra assistance downloading books from BARD, NLS offers the BARD Express App for computers running on a Windows based operating system. More information on is on the NLS BARD Express FAQ page.

For those interested in finding new authors and books, there is a national email list that reviews the books available on BARD. To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit or, via email