BARD: Braille and Audio Reading Downloads

BARD: Braille and Audio Reading Downloads

BARD is a free braille and audiobook download service for active patrons of the DC Talking Book and Braille Library. The BARD program offers over 15,000 books and more than 40 magazine titles for download, and more books are added weekly.

Active patrons of the DC Talking Book and Braille Library can go to the application instructions to apply for a BARD login. You must have an email address and be comfortable using a computer in order to use BARD. Downloading from BARD requires basic computer skills, including navigating the Web, filling out online forms, downloading, unzipping, and transferring files. High-speed Internet access is also a necessity in order to successfully download materials from BARD.

You cannot play downloaded BARD materials on your computer; you must use the audiobook player provided to active patrons of the DC Talking Book and Braille Library, or download the free BARD for iPhone app from the iTunes store or BARD for Android from Google Play. 

For patrons who are already using BARD, questions may be answered by the BARD online instructions and FAQs, or you may contact For specific questions about the audiobook player provided by the DC Talking Book and Braille Library, call 202-727-2142 or email Please note that because computer software and configuration vary widely, staff offer limited download support.

There are commercially produced audiobook players that play BARD audiobook downloads, but we do not sell or lend these players. Specific questions about your commercial machine may be answered by your machine’s user guide or information provided on the manufacturer’s website.