Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

BARD Download Instructions

What you need to get started
Apply for BARD
How to Download from BARD
Listening to Audio Files on your NLS player
Where can I get help?

Library patrons with NLS Digital Talking Book Machines or who have their own NLS-compatible commercial player are encouraged to download books from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). There are thousands of books and magazines available for download, with more added every week.

What you need to download books and magazines:

Downloading from BARD requires:

Downloading from BARD does require some basic computer skills including navigating the Web, filling out online forms, downloading, unzipping, and transferring files. If you have experience with these processes, downloading from BARD is not difficult.

While you may download books and magazines to a USB Flash Drive and listen by inserting the drive into the USB port on the side of the NLS player, it is more convenient to download audio files directly to a blank NLS Digital Cartridge that can be purchased from the American Printing House for the Blind or Perkins Products Adaptive Technology. You will also need a USB cable that may be purchased along with the cartridge.

Apply for BARD:

In order to download books from BARD, you must first apply for a login and password. Only patrons who are registered for library service are eligible to download from BARD.

Go to nlsbard.loc.gov which is the BARD login page. Click on BARD application instructions, then to Link to BARD Application for Individuals. This will take you to an online form that you fill out and Submit. You will receive an email saying you are approved for the service, then an email with a one-time temporary password. Use this password to log on to the site, after which you will be prompted to change your password.

Once your BARD application has been processed and your login and password are set, you may go to nlsbard.loc.gov to browse and download books and magazines.

If you are planning to use a purchased digital talking-book player, you must register it once you have access to the BARD site.

How to Download from BARD:

Login to BARD by entering your email and password.

Search the database and find a book you would like to download and read.

At the end of each book description is a link labeled "Download_Book Title_Book Number." Click on or press Enter on this link for the desired book or magazine issue.

When asked whether to SAVE or OPEN, choose OPEN. Once the book has opened, you will need to extract the zipped files and choose where to save the file. Choose to "unzip" or "extract" files.

The next screen that pops up allows you to select where you want to unpack, extract or unzip the file. Select the letter of the computer drive where you want the files to be saved, whether it is to a USB flash drive or a blank NLS digital cartridge and select the "Make New Folder" button to create and name the book folder where you will save the book. It is a good idea to name this folder with the book title, so that all the book files for that book are together in one folder. Choose the NEXT button and the computer will unzip and save all the book files into the folder.

When this is complete, a screen will pop up asking if you want to see the extracted files, and this item is a checkbox, and is checked by default. If you would rather not see the files, press the spacebar on the checkbox, to uncheck this option and tab once and press Enter on the "Finish" button.

Listening to Audio Files on your NLS digital player:

Several books can be saved either to a USB flash drive or a blank NLS digital cartridge. To navigate to the different books when using the standard player, you will need to press and hold the PLAY/STOP button until it says BOOKSHELF. Then use the Fast Forward and Rewind buttons to move forward and backward between titles. When you reach the title you want, press PLAY.

On the advanced player, you can navigate between book folders by using the Bookmark Forward or Back buttons.

Where Can I Get Help?

BARD-specific questions may be answered by the BARD online instructions and FAQs, or you may contact NLS at NLSDownload@loc.gov.

Since computer software and configuration vary widely, as well as any screen readers or other assistive technologies you may be using, library staff can offer limited download support. For further assistance you may visit the Division of Services for the Visually Impaired (DSVBI) located in our same building, or call for an appointment (801) 323-4343. You may also consider calling on your personal technical supports, such as friends, family members, or other knowledgeable people you may know. Additionally, there are several BARD tutorials available on YouTube and other websites.

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