BARD: Braille Audio Reading Download Services

BARD: Braille Audio Reading Download Services

BARD is a free braille and audiobook download service for active patrons of the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The BARD program site offers over 15,000 books and more than 40 magazine titles, and more books are added weekly.

Active patrons of the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped can go to the application Instructions to apply for a BARD log in. Note that you must have an email address and be comfortable using a computer in order to use the BARD service. Downloading from BARD requires basic computer skills, including navigating the Web, filling out online forms, and downloading, unzipping, and transferring files. If you have experience with these processes, downloading from BARD is not difficult. High-speed Internet access is also a necessity in order to successfully download braille and audio books and magazines through BARD.

You cannot play downloaded BARD materials on your computer; you must use the audiobook player provided to all active patrons of the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, or download the free BARD app from the iTunes store. There are also currently many commercially produced audiobook players that play BARD audiobook downloads. We do not sell or lend these players.

Because computer software and configuration vary widely, as well as any screen readers or other assistive technologies you may use, staff offer limited download support. 

For patrons who are already using BARD, questions may be answered by the BARD online instructions and FAQs, or you may contact NLSDownload@loc.gov. Specific questions about your commercial machine may be answered by your machine’s user guide or information provided on the manufacturer’s website. For specific questions about the audiobook player provided by the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped you can contact us at:

District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Center for Accessibility
901 G St. N.W.,  Room 215
Washington, DC  20017
Phone: 202-727-2142
Email: lbph.dcpl@dc.gov