National Library Service BARD

NLS: National Library Service for the Bling and Print Disabled - Library of Congress logo

Must be enrolled in the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress to access. Provides access to tens of thousands of books—from current best sellers to much-loved classics, popular magazines, and music instruction and scores—in audio and electronic braille, with new selections added daily.

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.

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 for iOS or the Play Store or Amazon Kindle Appstore 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.

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