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 1.2.2

This version (1.2.2) fixes a bug related to audio decoding.

Version 1.2 of BARD Mobile for iOS adds the following features:

- Addition of “My previous downloads” and “Most popular books” to the top-level Get Books menu
- 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)
- Autolayout of screens (for compatibility with a wider variety of iOS devices)
- 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, iOS compatibility, and performance enhancements.

The user guide has been updated to reflect all feature changes.

Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
138 Ratings

138 Ratings

Cmorrison0826 ,

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.

Club bullet ,

Latest version of this app seems to be somewhat broken

Tried to use this app today for the first time in quite a while. Was attempting to do a search for a book title, however when I pressed the search button the only thing that came up was something that said empty list, the title of the book I was looking for did not appear. Nor did this work when I tried the other two options select author and select latest. I was unable to do a search under the main search field either, where it says title and author search. Something has happened to this app. Not sure what. The only way to find a book you want us to go into the recently added section of the app and scroll through everything that is there. This text way too much time. Checked with the library to make sure that the title and author of the book I was searching for was in their inventory and they confirmed that it was. So, apparently, someone has broken this part of the app that allows you to search. I hope in the next version this problem gets repaired. This was a very good app and very convenient for searching quickly through library of written material.

Lisa cushman ,

Could be a lot better

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.


Library Of Congress
8.6 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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