Access more than 100,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.


To download books using this app, you must first apply for service from your local braille and talking-book library. You can find which library in the NLS network serves you by visiting or calling 1-800-NLS-READ. Your library can discuss eligibility with you and walk you through the application process.

If you are already registered for service with your local braille and talking-book library but do not have a BARD account, simply contact your library and request a user name and password.


BARD Mobile is a service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress. NLS provides free audio and braille reading materials to residents of the United States and American citizens living abroad who cannot read regular print books. If you are blind, low-vision, or have a physical disability that makes it difficult for you to hold or turn the pages of a book, you may be eligible for this program. For more information on eligibility, visit


Audio materials downloaded from BARD can be played directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. To read braille materials, you will need to connect a refreshable braille display to your device using Bluetooth.

What's New

Version 1.2.1

Fixes a problem with braille reflow at some page boundaries and a bug that would cause the app to freeze when loading the bookshelf.

- Adds “My previous downloads” and “Most popular books” to Get Books
- Browse magazines by title
- Braille reflow (lines of braille break to match your display length)
- Beep-free mode
- VoiceOver actions added to bookshelf items
- Dynamic sleep timer (matches the jump-by level)
- Adheres to system-wide type size setting (Dynamic Type)
- Total reading time or number of braille volumes added to summary listings
- Automatically reloads next 50 items as you scroll (no more tapping “Load more”)
- Error message refinements
- Double-tap gesture to reset speed/tone
...along with bug fixes, stability improvements, and performance enhancements.

Ratings and Reviews

3.5 out of 5

87 Ratings

87 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
8.5 MB
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
English, Spanish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© United States Government Work


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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