The BARD – Braille and Audio Reading Download – program is the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped's free digital book download service. More than 21,000 digital books and over 40 digital magazine titles are available in BARD with new items added weekly.
To qualify for BARD, you must first have active TBBL library service, be in good standing, have an e-mail address, and a high-speed Internet connection. Downloading books or magazines from BARD also requires some computer expertise.
To register for BARD, you must first fill out the BARD Application Instructions.
You cannot play downloaded BARD materials on your computer. You must use an authorized player. If you received your NLS Digital Talking Book Machine, either the Standard or the Advanced model, you can play BARD downloads on it. There are also currently five commercial machines that are able to play BARD downloads. TBBL does not sell or loan commercial machines.
Depending on which machine you are using, you may store a book or magazine on a digital cartridge or a USB flash drive. If you are using the NLS Digital Talking Book Machine, then use either an NLS-type digital cartridge or a standard USB flash drive (also called thumb drive or jump drive). If using a commercial machine, check the documentation to see which option is best. TBBL does not supply any of these storage media; you will need to purchase them yourself.
NLS compatible digital talking-book players for purchase include:
APH Book Port Plus
APH Braille Plus Mobile Manager
HIMS BookSense DS
HIMS BookSense XT
HIMS Sense Notetakers (includes Braille Sense and Voice Sense)
Humanware Victor Reader Stratus
Humanware Victor Reader Stream
Plextalk Pocket PTP1