Welcome to BARD, Braille and Audio Reading Download,
from The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
Web site: https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/nlsbardpractice/index.html
On the Web:
Index to this document
Eligible users may download and read any book or magazine found on the BARD web
You may not share any materials downloaded from this site.
It is also strictly forbidden to share your user ID and password. Doing either is grounds for your removal from the service.
You may be tempted to download
as many books as possible right at the start. There is no need to
do that - the books are not going away. Please
download a book or two as you need them.
Using the web BARD site
The address for the BARD web site is https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/nlsbardpractice/index.html.
The site has been tested
with Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers. If you are using
a different browser or accessibility, please report them. We are
especially concerned with accessibility..
Once at the web site, you will be asked for your user
ID and password. Your user ID is your e-mail address. Your
user ID and password are case-sensitive, so be sure to enter them
exactly as they were sent to you.
The first time you log in you will be required to choose a new
password. You will also be given the opportunity to set a
question and secret answer that can be used later to recover a lost or
To recover a lost or forgotten password yourself, direct your web
browser to https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/cgi-bin/public/nlsbardpractice/recoverpw.cgi?XXblibcode=NLS and fill in
the form. You will receive an e-mail message with a new,
temporary password. That password will be a one-time-use
password. You will need to choose a new one when you first log in.
If you have not set a question and secret answer, you will need to send
an e-mail to NLSDownload@loc.gov asking for your password to
reset. You will receive an e-mail message with a temporary
Do not share your user ID and password with anybody.
When you first enter your user ID and password, a
BARD user pledge will appear. You must select “I agree” in order to use the web site.
Should you inadvertently select: ”I do not agree” you will be given the opportunity
to reconsider and the pledge will appear again.
The BARD user pledge will appear any time you change your user ID or password, and
will also appear periodically to remind users of BARD practices and copyright laws.
The BARD main page
Once you have successfully logged in, you will be presented with the BARD main page,
which is also its main menu. This page contains links to the books and magazines and to some other helpful pages.
Following the BARD main page's heading there are five links to access books
available for download.
Recently added books: The first
link, called "Recently added books," lists the books by the date on
which they were added to the collection, with newer additions appearing
the top. Once you are familiar with the list of available books,
you will most likely use this link to access books listed in the new
book announcement message or to see what books were added since the
last time you browsed the list.
Search the collection: The next item
on the main page is an entry field labeled "Search the collection."
This is the best way to find a specific book in the collection.
Entering a search term in this field and then selecting the "Go"
button that follows it will search for the term in the author, narrator,
subject, annotation, and book number of all of the books.
You will be presented with a list of these results.
- To search by author or narrator, type the last name or
full name in the search box
- To search by title, type the entire or partial title into the
- To search by subject, type the subject into the search box
- To search by annotation, type one or more keywords into
the search box
- To search by book number, type the five-digit book number
into the search box - do not include the “DB,” “RC,” or “BR” prefix.
Browsing options: Following the “Search
the collection” link
are three drop-down lists (sometimes called "combo boxes") that allow
you to browse through the books in the collection.
The “Browse by author’s last name” and “Browse by title” options allow
you to browse through the book listings ordered by the first letter of the author’s
last name or through the book listings ordered by the first
letter of the title (the first word in a title after the
article - “the,” “a,” and “an” - will be the word representing the letter you have selected).
Choose a letter
from the drop-down list and then select the "Go" button that follows
the list to go to that section of the book listings.
“Browse by subject” option lists all available books grouped by a subject. To browse the
books in a particular subject, choose the subject from the list and
then select the "Go" button that
follows the list.
Note that these lists do not work in combination, so you cannot
search for, say, titles beginning with N on the subject of “The West.”
Magazines: Following the links to
the browsing options are two options to list magazine entries.
The “Recently added magazine issues”
option connects to a list of the most
recent issues of each available magazine.
The "Magazines by title," option is followed by a drop-down box
listing all of the available magazines. Selecting one of these
and then the "Go" button that follows it will take you to a list of the
available issues for that magazine.
Navigating the book lists
The book and magazine lists have been designed to be easily navigable
both with screen readers and visually. Each entry includes the
book's title, author, subject, narrator, a description, and a link to
download the book. The download link is always the last item in
On all pages, book titles are listed at heading level 4. JAWS
users can jump from title to title by pressing the 4 key, and
Window-Eyes users can press the key sequence 4-H.
Similarly, heading level 3 is used for each page's main grouping.
On the Books by Author page, the author names are at level 3. On
the Books by Subject page, the subjects are at level 3. And on
Recently Added Books page, the dates are at level 3. (Books by
Title has no level 3 headings, because titles are always at level
4.) JAWS users can jump from one to the next by pressing the 3
key, and Window-Eyes users can press the key sequence 3-H.
Index letters, where available, are at level 2. On the Books by
Author and Books by Title pages, there is an index letter for each
letter of the alphabet. JAWS users can jump from section to
section by pressing the 2 key, and Window-Eyes users can press the key
In summary: Index letters are at level 2, the main grouping is at level
3, and individual titles are at level 4.
How to download a book or
After you have found the item you wish to download, use the download link
to initiate transfer of the item to your computer. During the download process you will be given the opportunity to save the file to a specified location.
Where to save the file is your decision.
To help with finding the files later, each book file starts with the letters DB and
contains as much of the author's name and title as is possible.
All files end in .zip.
Transferring a downloaded file to your player
The file you download from the web site is a single .zip file.
Once the download is complete, use the software of your choice to unzip the contents of the .zip file onto a blank cartridge.
You can also unzip to your hard drive, and then transfer the files to a
blank cartridge, which may then be inserted into your digital talking-book player.
Navigational features of the downloaded books
The number and placement of navigational markers in the books themselves (e.g., chapter boundaries) will vary according to the type of book, its production date, and the book’s anticipated use. The books do not carry the text of the print book, only a narrated version that adheres to the print book’s contents as closely as possible.
Update account settings
Changing your password
Use the "Update account settings" link on the BARD main page. Select “Change your password.”
A form will be displayed into which you may enter a new
password. You will need to enter it twice to confirm it.
The two entries must match exactly.
Your new password should be at least eight characters in length and contain
at least one lower case letter and at
least one number.
Once your new password is accepted, you will receive an e-mail message
confirming that you have changed your password.
Changing your e-mail address
Use the "Update account settings" link on the BARD main page.
Select “Change your e-mail
A form will be displayed into which you can enter a new e-mail
address. You must enter it twice to confirm it.
The two entries must match exactly.
Your new e-mail address becomes your user ID. A new temporary
password will be sent to this address, so make sure you use an e-mail
address to which you have immediate access.
BARD will accept only one e-mail address per patron.
You must log in again with your temporary password to create a permanent password.
Enable a purchased player (not for digital talking-book players borrowed from your library)
If you have purchased a digital talking-book player, you must enable it
for use with the BARD download and NLS DB's. Use the "Update account
settings" link on the BARD main
page. Select "Add a new player" and then fill out the
form on the resulting page. Notifications will be sent to your
player's manufacturer to authorize the manufacturer to enable your player for use
with NLS materials.
On the "Update account settings" page you have the option to set the
number of books per page displayed as a result of searches.
You also have the option to set a question and secret answer for password maintenance.
BARD Mailing List for Announcements
All program participants have the option of subscribing to an
e-mail-based list called BARD-Support. This is a closed, one-way list to which NLS will post information of interest to the BARD community. Replies to BARD-Support messages will not reach us. If you have questions, please feel free to contact your local or regional NLS cooperating library or NLSDownload@loc.gov.
If you would like to subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message including your e-mail address and your first and last name to
1) If you have any technical problems using the BARD web
site or NLS digital talking-book player, check these instructions and
the FAQ page of the BARD web site to determine if a solution to the problem has
already been posted:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
2) If you do not find a solution, please contact your library for
help. You can e-mail your library at NLSDownload@loc.gov
or call . The
library will try to
answer all e-mails as quickly as possible, but cannot guarantee a
specific turnaround time for problem resolution.
Be sure to include a complete description of the problem and of your
computing environment, including any assistive technology products
you are using. Remember that this e-mail address
is only monitored during library business hours.
If you have a purchased digital talking-book player, technical problems with your player
should be directed to its manufacturer.
Canceling your BARD
If for any reason you would like to cancel your
account, please contact your library at
or NLSDownload@loc.gov. Your
and password will be deactivated.
For support, please e-mail NLSDownload@loc.gov.
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