A service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress

The BARD Mobile app provides access to braille and talking books directly from the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). BARD contains nearly 80,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.

With BARD Mobile, you can play the audio materials on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If your device is connected to a refreshable braille display through Bluetooth, you can also read the braille materials available on BARD.

Before you can use this BARD Mobile app, you must be registered with a braille and talking-book library in the NLS network of cooperating libraries. If you aren’t registered but think you qualify for this service because you cannot read regular print as a result of a visual or physical disability, locate your local library for the blind and physically handicapped at or call 1-800-NLS-READ to apply for service.

Once you are registered, you may then sign up for a BARD account and receive your BARD user name and password. Download the free app and sign in with your BARD user name and password to get started. You’ll only need to do this the first time you use the app. The app contains a user manual that you may access through the Help feature.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, administers the braille and talking-book program, a free library service available to residents of the United States and its territories and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical disability makes reading regular print difficult. Through its national network of cooperating libraries, NLS mails digital audio players and books and magazines—in audio and in braille—directly to enrollees at no cost. Music instructional materials are available in large-print, braille, and recorded formats. Select materials are also available online for download.

What's New

Version 1.1.1

Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5

58 Ratings

58 Ratings

Could be a lot better

Lisa cushman

It is possible to use this app with voiceover. However, I frequently find that if I leave the app open for a while that when I come back to the app after doing something else I get the message that it failed to decode. I must then close the app and reopen it. If I have not set a bookmark, I get moved around somewhere in the book. I am also found a book that at a certain position, will crash the app and requires me to re-open it. Though less important, the search process is clunkier than necessary. It would be nice if the search edit field was close to the beginning of the get books tab. Finally, it would be nice if the wish list was optional, and you could download a book right away directly.

I try to give an app developer feedback before writing a bad review. However, there is no feedback option in the app, and the Feedback option in the app support page how to captcha that I could not solve even after multiple tries.

Annoying System messages.


For the most part this app works well. However, there are a couple issues that I would like to see addressed.
1. Could we please, The System messages…. Is there any way the System message could be shown one time only or for those who wish it to be repeated maybe the introduction of a do not display again checkbox. Having to clear three or four instances of an System message can be pretty annoying. Especially, when all of the messages are the same. Keeping us updated is very much appreciated however.
2. Any way the most downloaded books section could be added to the main menu of the get books tab? That would be pretty cool.

Appreciated, but could you some improvements.


The BARD service is a wonderful thing, and provides much-needed support for those of us with visual issues. There are so many ways but this app could be made better, smoother, and easier (especially for those of us who can’t see well, or not at all.)

For an app in the genre, voiceover support is a must, and it would be nice if someone took the time to get feedback from users who require it. Much of the functionality is slow and cumbersome and does not need to be.

Perhaps the Library of Congress would be willing to gather up some volunteers to test the app and make it better. It’s such a great service, it deserves a better app.


Library Of Congress
15.3 MB
Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
English, Spanish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© United States Government Work


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