Instructions

Welcome!

Welcome to the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service from The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Some materials on this site were not produced by NLS. Prefixes have been placed in item identification numbers to indicate the production source.

Quick links

Website: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/

Help:

On the Web:
Support
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Telephone:
E-mail:
NLSdownload@loc.gov

Index to this document

Participation
Using the BARD website
How to download an item
Update account settings
Navigating the titles
BARD-Support mailing list for announcements
Privacy
Troubleshooting
Canceling your BARD account


Participation

Eligible users may download and read any book, magazine, or other material found on the BARD website.

You may not share any materials downloaded from this site. It is also strictly forbidden to share your user ID and password, except by NLS patrons who rely on trusted personal assistants to access BARD, in which case those users are responsible for ensuring their assistants' compliance with the BARD user agreement.Your access to BARD can be terminated if you are found in violation of the agreement.

You may be tempted to download as many items as possible right at the start.  There is no need to do that - the materials are not going away. Please download books and other items as you need them.

Using the BARD website

Logging in

The address for the BARD website is https://nlsbard.loc.gov/index.html.  The site has been tested with Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers. If you are using a different browser and experience difficulties, please notify NLS. The site has also been tested with some accessibility equipment. If you are using accessibility equipment other than JAWS or Window Eyes and experience difficulty with the BARD site, please notify NLS.  

Once at the website, 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 forgotten password.

To recover a lost or forgotten password yourself, direct your web browser to https://nlsbard.loc.gov/cgi-bin/public/nlsbardprod/recoverpw.cgi?XXblibcode=NLS and fill in the form. You will receive an e-mail message with a password. BARD will prompt you to choose a new password when you first log in. The password that was e-mailed to you will be valid until you successfully log in and change it.


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 be reset. You will receive an e-mail message with a new password. BARD will prompt you to choose a new password when you first log in. The password that was e-mailed to you will be valid until you successfully log in and change it.

Do not share your user ID and password with anybody, except a trusted personal assistant.

Pledge information

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 service. 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 lists of books, magazines, and other materials and links to some other helpful pages.

Following the BARD main page's heading there are five links to access materials available for download. 

Recently added books and magazines: This link lists books and magazines by the date which they were added to the collection, with newer additions appearing at the top. Braille and audio items are listed separately with audio preceding braille. Once you are familiar with the list of available books, magazines, and other materials, you will most likely use this link to see what items were added since you last browsed the site.

Most popular books: The next link lists the most popular audiobooks and most popular braille books during the last 90 days. 

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. If you wish to limit your search to only books produced by or specially acquired by NLS select the check box labeled "Display only materials produced by or specially acquired by the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Entering a search term in the search the collection field and then selecting the "Go" button that follows it will search for the term in the author, narrator, subject, annotation, and NLS number of all books. You will be presented with a list of these results. Note that putting your search term in quotes ("") will limit the search to that exact phrase. Also note that author's names are listed last name, comma, first name and audiobook narrator names are listed first name then last name.

Browsing options: Following the “Search the collection” field are three drop-down lists (sometimes called "combo boxes") that allow you to browse through lists of books in the collection. Note that the check box applies to the browse features to. 

The “Browse by author’s last name” and “Browse by title” options allow you to browse through the listings ordered by the first letter of the author’s last name or through the 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.

The “Browse by subject” option lists all available books grouped by a subject.  To browse the items 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.”

Special collections: Following the three drop-down lists for browsing the collection are two links to the special collections—Music books and scores, and Foreign-language collection.

Foreign-Language Collection: This link will take you to the BARD foreign-language collection main page, where there is a description of the foreign-language materials followed by links to the available titles.

Music Collection: This link will take you to the BARD music collection main page, where there is a description of the music materials available (books and scores). The music collection BARD main page also has search and browse functions identical to those on the BARD main page, but that return results from the music collection only. Entering a term in the field labeled “Search the music collection” and then selecting the “Go” button will search for the term in author, narrator, subject, annotation, and item number of all of the materials in the music collection available on BARD. You will be presented with a list of these results.

Browse features identical to those on the main BARD page follow the search box. The “Browse by author’s last name” and “Browse by title” options allow you to browse through the listings in the music collection by the first letter of the author’s last name or through the listings in the music collection 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.

The “Browse by subject” option lists all available materials in the music collection by subject. Choose the subject from the list and then select the “Go” button.

Note that these lists do not work in combination, so you cannot search for, say, titles beginning with N on the subject of “Piano.”

Magazines: Following the links to the browse boxes are two options to list magazine entries.  The “Most recent issue” 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 list of 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. Note that each magazine in the drop-down list is followed by its format (braille or audio) in parenthesis.

Additional links
Following the magazine drop-down list are five additional links: “My wish list,” “My previous downloads,” “Update account settings,” “Help,” and “Latest DTBM firmware and installation instructions.”

My Wish List:
This link lists items you have selected for future reading. The list is comingled by format and can be presented in chronological or reverse chronological order by date. Items can be added to your wish list by selecting the link "Add to wish list" on the item's details page. In most cases, each entry on your wish list displays the title, author, subject, narrator (audiobooks), number of volumes (braille books), a production tagline, and a description (if available). This information is followed by two links: one to download the item and one to remove the item from your wish list. Once an item is downloaded from your wish list it will no longer appear on your list.

My Previous Downloads:
This link lists all of the items you have previously downloaded beginning with the most recent.

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 letter and at least one number. It should have no immediately repeated characters.

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 address."

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 BARD downloadable digital talking books and NLS DBs.  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 audio materials.

Additional settings

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.


Navigating the titles

The lists of titles (books, magazines, musical scores) have been designed to be easily navigable both with screen readers and visually. When available, the lists will always begin with audio selections. There will be a link at the top of each list to the beginning of the braille selections. In most cases, each entry includes the title, author, subject, narrator (audiobooks), number of volumes (braille books), a description (if available), and a link to download the item. Note that each title is a link to a page containing additional details about the item..

On all pages entries (book, musical score, and magazine 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 2 is used for each page’s main grouping. On the Books by Author page, the author names are at level 2. On the Books by Subject page, the subjects are at level 2. And on The Recently Added Books and Magazines page, the dates are at level 2. On the Most Popular page, the categories fiction and nonfiction are at level 2. JAWS users can jump from one to the next by pressing the 2 key, and Window-Eyes users can press the key sequence 2-H.

On each page the format headings “Audiobooks” and “Braille Books” are listed at heading level 1. JAWS users can jump from one format heading to the next by pressing the 1 key, and Window-Eyes users can press the key sequence 1-H. Note that the Main page, Magazines by Title page, and the Wish List page do not have format headings.

In summary: Format level 1, the main groupings at level 2, and individual entries are at level 4.

How to download an item

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 audio file starts with the letters DB and each braille file starts with the letters BR. All file names contains as much of the author's name and title as is possible. All audio files end in .zip; all braille files end in either .zip or .brf.

Reading a DB file on your player

The file you download from the website is a single DB zip file. Once the download is complete, use the software of your choice to unzip the contents of the zip file. It is recommended that users unzip each item to a folder on their hard drive and copy the folder onto a blank cartridge. You can also unzip to your hard drive, and then copy the individual files to a blank cartridge, which may then be inserted into your digital talking-book player. Note that the number and placement of navigational markers in the items themselves (e.g., chapter boundaries) will vary according to the type of item it is, it's production date, and anticipated use. The downloaded items do not carry the text of the print copy, only a narrated version that adheres to the print copy’s contents as closely as possible.

Reading a BR file

If you downloaded a .zip BR file from the website, you will need to unzip the contents onto your hard drive. If you download a .brf BR file, you can read it without further action.

BARD-Support 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 NLSDownload@loc.gov .

Privacy

The NLS Privacy Policy for the BARD website can be found here.

Troubleshooting

1) If you have any technical problems using the BARD website or NLS digital talking-book player, check these instructions and the FAQ page of the BARD website to determine if a solution to the problem has already been posted:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2) If you do not find a solution in the FAQs, please contact your library for help.  If you need further assistance you can e-mail BARD support at NLSDownload@loc.gov.  BARD support 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.

If you have a purchased braille device, technical problems with the device should be directed to its manufacturer.

Canceling your BARD account

If for any reason you would like to cancel your account, please contact your library. Your  user ID and password will be deactivated.

last updated: 11/26/2012



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