Screenshot of Bard appBraille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) is a service from the National Library Service and Braille Institute that allows patrons to digitally download both braille titles and audio books for vision impaired from an extensive collection of titles. The program has quickly become very popular and offers many benefits, including:

  • Books that are available as soon as they are released by the Library of Congress;
  • High-quality, professional voice narration;
  • No waitlists;
  • No returns.

You can use BARD on your computer, and with the BARD Mobile app, you can even download books directly onto your smartphone or tablet! Many of our patrons are already enjoying BARD, but other patrons still have not given the program a try and may need help setting it up. That’s why we’re here!

Let’s get started with what you need to have and what you need to do before you can use BARD.

  • To use BARD, you must be a Braille Institute Library patron.
  • After you have a library account, you must also obtain an account at the BARD website (call us if you need help with this part).
  • You will need a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • You will also need regular Internet access!

After you have set up your accounts, you are ready to start downloading books! Here are instructions on getting started with BARD Mobile:

  • Search the App Store for and download the “BARD Mobile” app.
  • Once you download it onto your device, enter your username and password that were assigned to you when you registered.
  • Search the app for titles, authors or subjects.
  • When you find something you like, add it to your “Wishlist.”
  • Then, when are ready to listen to a book or magazine, go to your Wishlist and download it!

For more information, please call Braille Institute Library at 1-800-808-2555.