Patron Handbook - BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Downloads)

Audio file for this page.

A service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), BARD contains nearly 126,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily. The advantage of BARD over traditional delivery of library material is that BARD is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No more waiting for your books to be delivered through the Post Office. Many patrons that do not have access to a computer or the internet have family members download books for them.

To use BARD, you will need the following:

To sign up for BARD, either fill out an application at: or contact CTBL and we will complete the application for you. Library contact information: 303-727-9277, 1-800-685-2136, or

To sign into BARD the very first time, you must do this through a web browser. If you are only going to use BARD Mobile, you will still need to do your first sign in via a web browser.

Notes on using BARD:

  • Try to download at least one book every 6 months, since NLS will make any BARD account that hasn’t been used in 180 days inactive.
  • There is a limit of 500 downloads in any 30-day period (BARD Mobile limit is 100 downloads).

For those needing a little extra help in downloading, refer to the next section on BARD Express.

Web Braille files are in grade 2 (contracted) Braille ASCII and UEB formats. Files can be read online or downloaded for viewing off-line or embossing with a Braille display, Braille-aware note taker, or Braille embosser. Files created after January 2016 use the UEB code.

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