Download Books and Magazines

The Library offers downloadable talking books, magazines and braille through two services.

1. BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a national program through which users can borrow braille and audio books. You must apply for this service. Format: digital talking books and braille

2. NOBLE (North Carolina BARD Local) is a local service through which users can download braille and audio books, magazines, and podcasts. No application is necessary. Format: digital talking book, podcasts, digital braille



All About BARD - a simple audio guide to getting started downloading books.

BARD is a convenient way to download and listen to talking books on an approved talking book player and read braille from a computer or compatible device. To apply:

  1. Go to the BARD application site - and read the instructions carefully.
  2. Make sure you are an active NLS user. Being active means that you are active in cassette, digital book, braille or you subscribe to magazines. NLS does not recognize patrons who are solely large print readers as active.
  3. Contact us to verify we have your correct information, to avoid delays in approving your application.
  4. Fill out the application, using the same name and address you have listed with us.
  5. If you are a new NLS patron, please allow at least 7 days before applying to make sure that all of your information is on file with NLS.

Understanding the Technology

BARD Mobile

To download digital books using the Free BARD Mobile app, users should have:

  1. An active BARD account
  2. An iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (IOS version 4.3 and up), Android, or Amazon Kindle Fire device
  3. The BARD Mobile app on their mobile device, available from the iTunes Store, Google Play Store, or Amazon Kindle Fire Store
  4. Check here to get started with BARD Mobile

Using a Computer

To download digital books using your computer and a digital talking book player, users should have:

  1. An individual email account. Each BARD account requires a unique email address.
  2. High-speed Internet connection
  3. Digital talking book player (for BARD and some NOBLE items)
  4. Blank digital talking book cartridge

Users should also have the following technology skills:

  1. How to unzip files
  2. Moving files from a computer to another device
  3. Understanding how the player they will use works

BARD Express

This free Windows-based tool makes searching, downloading and playing BARD books and magazines easy. Install the BARD Express tool on your computer and you're ready to go -

Questions about BARD Express? -

More tips for downloading titles

Technical support at this time is provided by sending email to