CARRY A LIBRARY IN YOUR POCKET
Access tens of thousands of books—from current best sellers to much-loved classics, popular magazines, and music instruction and scores in audio and electronic braille formats, with new selections added daily.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
This app allows access for eligible users who have enrolled in the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress. To enroll call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) and follow the prompts for your state. You can also request enrollment information at https://www.loc.gov/thatallmayread.
If you are already registered for NLS service, contact your cooperating NLS library to request your BARD account. You can find your library by visiting https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/find-a-local-library/.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
BARD Mobile is a service of NLS. NLS provides free audio and braille reading materials to residents of the United States and American citizens living abroad who cannot read standard print. If you are blind or have temporary or permanent low vision or a disability that prevents you from reading or holding the printed page, you may be eligible for this program. For more information on eligibility, visit https://www.loc.gov/nls/about/eligibility-for-nls-services or contact your cooperating network library.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
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.
Version 1.3 includes a number of new features, including:
- Simultaneous downloads: You can now download up to three items simultaneously.
- Braille autoscroll: When reading braille books, you can have your braille display scroll automatically. You have full control over the speed.
- More actions button: The details screen for each book now includes an “ellipsis” button (labeled “More actions”) that offers a number of other things you can do with that book, including seeing a list of other books in the same series, by the same author(s), or in the same subject area(s).
- Enhanced actions list on VoiceOver rotor: You can also get to those very same additional actions using the “Actions” item on the rotor while in a book list.
- Quick switch between titles: No need to go back to the bookshelf to change books! Just swipe left with one finger (or three, if VoiceOver is on) while on the Now Reading screen to see a list of other books on your device that you’ve already opened. They’re in the order of most recently read. There’s also a “Recently read” button in the upper left if you don’t want to use the gesture.
- Format hiding: Don’t ever read braille? Tell BARD Mobile not to show you any braille items (unless they’re on your wish list or previous downloads). Don’t ever read audio? It works that way, too. Find this by going to the Settings tab, selecting User Account Settings, and then selecting Show Me.
- Book and magazine subscription support: You can now subscribe to magazines via the app just like you can on the BARD website. Book series, too! New magazine issues or books in subscribed series are automatically added to your Wish list.
- AirPlay support: There’s now an AirPlay button right on the Now Reading screen. From there you can send your audio to any available AirPlay or connected Bluetooth device.
- Braille/audio indicator: For lists with mixed formats (Wish List, Previous Downloads) there's a format indicator icon distinguishing format type so you know if it's audio and/or braille
- Save “jump by” setting with each book: The app will now remember how you had your “jump by” button set when you close a book and will restore that setting the next time you open it.
The release also includes internal updates and significant download reliability improvements.
We’ve updated the user guide. It will also be found here: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/apidocs/BARDMobile.userguide.iOS.1.3.html
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
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.
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.
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.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.