Special BARD edition - Spring 2012

NLS BARD (Braille And Audio Reading Download)


What is BARD?

BARD is the NLS free download service. There are currently over 20,000 books and 45 magazine titles available, with new titles added weekly. This service is available to any active Talking Book patron and is a second way to receive digital books, in addition to getting them through the mail.

How do I register?

Go to https://nlsbard.loc.gov. Click on "Application Instructions" to complete the application. (Choose the Atlanta Library as your library). You must have an active email address to apply, as your BARD login will be sent to you via email.

Where can I get help?

  • Online instructions and FAQs: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/support.html.
  • Email support: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Contact your players' manufacturer for third-party machine help
  • Join the BARD-Support mailing list by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask to be added to this moderated list
  • Contact the Talking Book Center at 1-800-531-2063

How To Download a Book from BARD

NLSBARD F.A.Q. website

NLSBARD instructions website

  1. Log into your BARD account and find the book you would like to download.
  2. Click on the download link.
  3. Click "Save File"
  4. After the file downloads, find it on your computer (it usually saves to the desktop, but may be different on your computer). The file will be named the same as the book, and the icon will be a folder with a closed zipper.
  5. Click on the folder to open it.
  6. Click "Extract all files." (You may need to click "next" on the Extraction Wizard until the progress bar finishes). Click "Finish"
  7. Close any error messages that may pop up.
  8. Now there should be a duplicate book file next to the original one. It will also be named the same as the book, but this one will have a folder icon without the zipper. Click on this file to open it.
  9. Insert your flash drive into the computer.
  10. Click on "My Computer," then "Removable Disk" to open the flash drive.
  11. Click "File," then "New," then "Folder." A new folder will appear on the flash drive. Name it the title of the book. Click on this folder to open it.
  12. Copy all the files from the open (non-zippered) book file. Paste them into the flash drive file.
  13. Remove the flash drive from the computer and plug it into the USB port on the side of the player (next to the headphone jack). The book should begin playing.
  14. To remove a book, insert the flash drive into your computer. Click "My Computer," then "Removable Disk." Highlight the folder of the book you wish to delete, then hit the delete key.

Bookshelf Feature

The Bookshelf feature allows you to put multiple books on one flash drive. Follow these instructions to use the Bookshelf.

  1. Download all the titles you would like to listen to.
  2. Unzip all the files.
  3. Copy all the unzipped book file folders to the flash drive (it is generally preferable to keep the files inside the labeled folders rather than transfer the files individually because this allows you to delete individual books without having to delete all the books on the flash drive).
  4. Plug the flash drive into the Digital Talking Book Player.
  5. Press and hold the green "play/stop" button until the player announces "Bookshelf."
  6. Use the fast-forward and rewind buttons to scroll through available titles.
  7. Press the green "play/stop" button again to begin listening to a title.