Signing up for BARD – another way to celebrate Library Card Signup Month!

Signing Up for BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

BARD is a free library service of downloadable braille and audio reading material for those who are unable to read or use standard printed material because of visual,  physical or reading disabilities. 

BARD provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores. The site is password-protected. All files are downloadable as compressed audio or formatted ebraille files. BARD is a partnership between NLS and its network of cooperating libraries. NLS maintains the website, uploads titles, and supplies libraries with circulation statistics.

Three steps to begin using BARD

Step 1) Become an NLS patron.

Step 2) Register for BARD. Access the instructions to do so at the NLS website:, OR call or email Anita Chouinard at Traverse Area District Library. You can also call us at 231-932-8558 or 1-877-931-8558.

  • When asked which application you would like to fill out, you will want the Individual Application. Then, the library you will choose is the MI- Grand Traverse Area Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (in Traverse City, Michigan).

Step 3) Get a device that will play the books. You can get a free talking-book player on long-term loan from your network library, buy a commercial model on your own if there are features you prefer, or download the free app to your smart device. BARD Mobile is available at the App Store for iOS or the Play Store or Amazon Appstore for Android.