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BARD General Use

In this section are some of the most frequently asked general questions about BARD. The intention of this section is to have answers readily available to the more common questions asked by patrons. Note we provide these as reference only and we assume a certain level of understanding of your own equipment.

BARD General Use Questions

What does BARD stand for?  

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download. It is a free service that allows patrons to download books and magazines in digital braille or audio.

Can BARD audio books and magazines be played on a computer?

No. Due to publisher copyright restrictions the audio books and magazines available for download through BARD have to be put into a special format for playback. Due to issues with security and such a software-based audio computer player is not available at this time. Therefore BARD audio books and magazines can only be played on a library provided or approved digital talking book player or by using the BARD Mobile app.

Can BARD braille books and magazines be read on a computer?

Yes. As long as you have braille display attached to your computer you can read braille downloaded books and magazines on your computer without restrictions.

How can I use the BARD download service to get my books and magazines?

To use BARD, go online from a computer Web Browser and sign up for the service at https://nlsbard.loc.gov. You will need to have an email address.

I don't have a home computer. I only have a tablet or smartphone. Can I apply for BARD using my device?

Yes. From your device open a web browser (Chrome or Safari) and go to - nlsbard.loc.gov. Select the link to the BARD application instructions. From the BARD application instructions page select Link to BARD application for individuals. You will be presented with a drop-down list of network libraries. Choose your library from the list and then select the Submit button.
Fill in all of the information in the application. Note that the field labeled “Please select the type of player you will be using” is for users of 3rd party talking-book players and/or braille notetakers. You do not need to select anything from this list. Submit your application.

Once your application is processed by your network library, you will be e-mailed a temporary password. You must login to BARD, using a web browser and change your password before logging into BARD Mobile.

How many downloaded BARD Audio books and magazines can my device hold?

The amount of books and magazines that your device (or flash drive) can hold depends on the amount of storage space and the length of the recording, which determines that amount of space it takes up. The rule for space is that for every 1 hour of audio recorded you need 10 MB of space. This means an average length recording of 14 hours takes 140 MB of space to store. For a typical mobile device with 16 GB of space (GB is 1000 times larger than an MB) you have room for approximately 1600 hours of audio or roughly 114 average length books.

I keep losing my BARD downloads after I've downloaded them. I know that it goes somewhere, but is there anyway I can pick where I want my BARD downloads to go on my computer?

Yes there is a way to do this. These videos describe how to set your download folder from BARD for the the 3 major web browsers, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

I can't remember my password. I'd like to reset it myself, but BARD is asking for a security question. What is a security question?

  1. To reset your password yourself, you will need to set up a security question on your BARD account from the main page under the "Additional Links" section. From here select the option "Update Account Settings". Near the bottom of this page find the password instruction are and fill in the two boxes. The first one is for the question. The second one is for the answer. Once finished, click on the "Update" button. With this is set, you can now reset your password by selecting the reset password option on the BARD main screen. Then you correctly answer your security question and BARD will email you a new one-time temporary password.
  2. If resetting your password yourself does not work, we can reset it for you. Give us a call (919-733-4376) or email us and we do you'll be sent a temporary one-time password so that you can log in and change it. Follow the instructions and you'll be back on BARD quickly.

I just had to change my password, because it was lost. So I went online and did it, but now BARD keeps putting in the old password in the login box automatically. Is there any way I can have BARD "forget" my old password?

Yes. What has happened is that at some point the password was saved in the box and BARD keeps remembering it. To stop this from happening you have to clear out this cached information from the browser you use. The following is explained in some helpful YouTube videos that explain and show you how to do this by each of the 3 major browsers.

When I download from BARD using Internet Explorer 10 it doesn't tell me that my download is complete by making a sound to let me know. Is there way to do this?

Yes, you can have Internet Explorer 10 and 11 you can turn this on. In Internet Explorer you need to go into the Settings then Internet Options. Find the Advanced tab and navigate the tree view with the Tab key. Arrow down to find the section called Accessibility. Arrow down until you find an option that says "Play system sounds". Set this to On by pressing the space bar to toggle it on and off. Then use the Tab key to go to Apply and press Enter. This will apply your settings and set System Sounds to On.