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Download Books and Magazines

a person sits searching BARD on their office computer. Next to their keyboards sits a mobile phone and a tablet with BARD Mobile

Download Services

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. Here's a short overview audio of the service titled All About BARD

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

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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 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.

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Understanding the Technology

BARD can be accessed in two ways:

  1. By Computer
  2. By BARD Express
  3. By BARD Mobile App

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 NOBLE items)
  4. Blank digital talking book cartridge or flash drive (available from local retailers)

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 on your digital talking book player easy. Install the BARD Express tool on your computer and you're ready to go -

Questions about BARD Express? - Check here

More tips for downloading titles

BARD Mobile App

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 StoreGoogle Play Store, or Amazon Kindle Fire Store 

To get started using BARD Mobile - Check here -

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BARD Mobile Vs. BARD Express

Not sure which is better for you? If you've been debating which of these approaches is better for you, take a look at this article and see for yourself which will work better for you.

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Need Help?

If you have basic questions related to using BARD, such as how to use the service, download a book or magazine, or issues with your library provided Digital Talking Book player or items downloaded. Contact the library at - or phone 1-888-388-2460.

Also the library has a Frequently Asked Questions section on the website that answers some common questions about BARD.

For other issues with BARD specifically contact BARD National Technical support by sending email to

Note, the library offers no support for issues related to operation of third party for purchase devices and mobile devices. For these issues consult the manufacturer and/or their technical support.

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Download Tips and Tricks

New to downloading books? Want to do it better? Here are some quick tips to help you.

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