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Indiana State Library

Indiana State Library

Library > Talking Book & Braille Library > BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library provides downloadable Braille and audio books to interested patrons through the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). BARD gives registered users instant access to over 40,000 digital audio book titles and over 13,000 Braille titles; the books can be read on NLS digital talking book players, iOS devices, or other approved playback equipment.

Anyone registered as an Indiana Talking Book patron can have access to BARD after completing the online application. The service does require a high-speed internet connection from home or through the patron’s local publi c library and a NLS-authorized digital book player and flash drive cartridge. Most, but not all, commercial USB flash drives are also compatible. 

BARD website
BARD Factsheet
Digital Machine Upgrade

Register for BARD

Patrons of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille library who wish to gain access to BARD must fill out an application at  Patrons must have an active email address; access to a high speed internet connection is also recommended.  Within a few days of submitting your BARD application, the library will confirm your eligibility and issue you a temporary password. .

BARD Mobile

The BARD Mobile app provides instant access to the 50,000 Braille and audio books available through the BARD website.  BARD Mobile will allow you to download and play books directly from your registered iOS device.  If your device is connected to refreshable Braille display, you can also read the Braille materials available on BARD.  The BARD Mobile app is available free of charge through the iTunes App store.

Download BARD Mobile
BARD Mobile Video Tutorials 

Downloading Instructions:

A visual guide to downloading a book.

Connect a blank NLS cartridge to your computer’s USB port by using a short connecter cable, or plug a flash drive directly into the port.  Kingston and Verbatim drives are recommended.  These drives do not contain the U3 technology files that prevent the digital player from recognizing NLS books and magazines. 

Go to the BARD site and enter your login ID and password. 

You may browse a list of the most recently added books, the most popular books during the past 90 days, available magazines, or you may search the entire collection by author, title, subject, or keyword. 

Select the book or magazine you wish to download and press enter (or click) on the link at the bottom of the annotation.  You will be asked if you wish to save or open the file.  Select open.  You will be prompted when the download process has been completed.

To transfer book to cartridge of flash drive:

  1. Select the downloaded book files by pressing Control A (Select all).  Press Control X or Control C to cut or copy the files.
  2. Now open My Computer on the desktop.
  3. Open the removable disc drive, the location for your cartridge or flash drive.
  4. To make a folder for your book, tab to Expanded File and Folder Tasks.  Down arrow once and select Make a New Folder.
  5. An edit box will appear.  Name the folder by using one or more words from the book title.
  6. Press enter to close the edit box, and then press enter again to open the empty folder.
  7. Press control V to paste the book into the folder.

When the transfer has been completed, cut files will automatically be deleted from your computer.  If you have copied the files, you will need to delete them from your hard drive.  Close the book folder and remove the cartridge or flash drive from the computer.  Insert into your digital player and enjoy.

You may download more than one title onto a removable drive simply by connecting it to your computer and repeating the download process.  You do not need to disengage the removable drive until you have downloaded your selected number of books.

If you would rather not make a folder for each book, you may simply paste your books onto the removable drive without selecting the folder option.  Near the end of each transfer, you will be prompted with a message to which you will respond by selecting the letter A (Yes to All.)  Creating folders separates the book files, letting you delete each title after it has been read.  Books not in folders cannot be deleted until all titles on the removable drive have been read.

Using Bookshelf Mode

To read cartridges or flash drives with multiple books, go to bookshelf mode.

1.  Insert cartridge or flash drive in player.
2.  Press and hold “Play/Stop” to enter bookshelf mode.
3.  Press “Rewind” or “Fast Forward” buttons to select the desired book.

Digital talking-book cartridges

Digital talking-book cartridges may be purchased from the two vendors listed below.  Commercial USB flash drives are often compatible as well and may be purchased at local retailers carrying basic computer supplies.

American Printing House 

2GB digital talking-book cartridges, designed to be used with the NLS digital-talking book machine, for $11.99. To place an order, contact the American Printing House for the Blind at or by phone 1-800-223-1839. Customer service questions may be sent by e-mail to

Adaptive Technology (a division of Perkins Products)

1 GB digital talking-book cartridges and compatible USB cables, designed to be used with NLS digital talking-book machines. Blank 1GB cartridges are $14.95, while blank 1GB cartridges bundled with a compatible 36-inch USB cable are $17.95. The USB cable may also be purchased separately for $3.95. To place an order, contact Adaptive Technology online at (go to Talking Book Accessories) or by phone (978) 462-3817.

Compatible Flash Drives – 1 GB to 4GB recommended



Digital Player Carrying Case

e-mail at  or call Toll Free at 818-833-8822

Description Executive NLS/BPH Case
Executive Products has created a new soft form-fitted custom EXECUTIVE NLS/BPH CASE for the NLS/BPH digital talking book player.  The case is made of a water-resistant and durable Italia faux leather. This case fits snuggly around your unit, and has a storage zipper compartment for your cartridges. The case has been designed to enable the user to easily utilize all keys, ports and accesses while on the unit. The unit can be carried on a comfortable shoulder strap or a hand carry strap. The unit may be used while walking, sitting or simply standing. The case is designed to allow easy access to load your cartridges, access buttons, USB port, headset jack and all
other components of the reader. It comes with a large zippered pocket/flap that can accommodate up to three cartridges, and other accessories. The pocket/flap can be secured in an open position by fastening the flap under the unit. In the closed position, the pocket/flap protects the keys, covers the cartridge area, covers the power cord area in the rear and protects the overall unit. The case comes with a shoulder strap and a handle strap. This case fits both the standard and advance NLS units.

TB MA 8-22-2013