Many Faces of BARD Program: BARD 2.0: An Introduction and Demonstration

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m. (Central). NLS will provide an introduction and demonstration of the new BARD 2.0.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.  

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/bdcftz98  

BARD Mobile iOS Version 2.2.2 Release!

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is releasing BARD Mobile iOS version 2.2.2 this week, introducing enhanced features and improvements.

BARD Mobile enables NLS patrons to download and listen to audiobooks and magazines directly from their iOS devices. Registered Texas Talking Book patrons will need a BARD account and a device running iOS versions 14 through 17 to use this updated version of the app.

Among the highlights:

Siri shortcuts (voice user interface):

The app can now be operated by voice commands for playback and navigation, including stopping and resuming playback, fast-forward and rewind by various intervals, and setting a sleep timer or a bookmark. Users can add Siri shortcuts in the app’s settings.

International language search:

Set up to four languages in the app’s settings and then filter search results by selecting a preferred language.

Accessibility improvements for visually impaired users:

We have boosted color contrast between selected and unselected search categories. This update enhances visibility with Smart Invert, Classic Invert, and Dark Mode on.

Multiword search for Search/Search music

Bug fixes, including:

  • Garbled credentials error fixed
  • Switch from tone to speed is fixed on iOS 17
  • Get Books and Bookshelf now return only titles matching the type selected in the Show Me setting, i.e. Audio Only / Braille Only / Both Audio and Braille

The app supports iOS versions 14 through 17.

This is a phased release, and the version will be available to all users by February 29.

BARD Mobile Android Version 2.1.0 Release!

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is releasing BARD Mobile Android version 2.1.0 this week, introducing enhanced features and improvements.

BARD Mobile enables NLS patrons to download and listen to audiobooks and magazines directly from their Android devices. Registered Texas Talking Book patrons will need a BARD account and a device running Android OS version 9-14 in order to use this updated version of the app.

Among the highlights:

In-app search functionality

A fully supported in-app search function, including Music Collection search, for a more seamless experience.

Spanish translation

The app can now be set so its text and audio are in Spanish. To switch to Spanish, select it as the default language in your device settings. The app’s visual and TalkBack interface will adjust.

International language search option

Explore the new international language search option by choosing up to four languages in the app’s settings. Filter search results by selecting your preferred language.

Navigate to: App’s Settings > User Account Settings > Language Preferences > Select up to four languages.

When accessing Get Books – Search, you will have up to four languages based on your settings. Default languages are English and Spanish if no changes are made.

Compatibility and User Guide update

  • The app supports Android OS versions 9–14.
  • Please note that the User Guide is being updated and will be added later.

Users should be able to update supported Android devices by February 1, 2024. BARD Mobile users can confirm that they are running the latest version by checking the bottom of the app’s Settings screen.

New BARD Download Limits

Beginning February 6, 2024, NLS patrons will be allowed to download no more than 250 books and magazines from BARD in any rolling thirty-day period. This download maximum includes both audio and braille titles, and across all BARD platforms. This means if you download 200 unique items using BARD Express, you can still download another 50 titles using the BARD mobile app on your smart device.

The download limit is calculated by adding up the number of “unique titles” downloaded. You can download the same title on additional devices in the same thirty-day period without that download counting against the limit.

Many Faces of BARD Program: Using BARD Mobile for Android for Low Vision Users

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) covering BARD Mobile for Android for Low Vision Users.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service and is a registered trademark for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/yfems3y7.

NLS Many Faces of BARD Program: Using BARD Mobile for iOS Without VoiceOver

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Many Faces of BARD program on Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 p.m. (Central) covering how to use BARD Mobile for iOS without VoiceOver.

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download service.

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for one hour with time for questions. Click on the link to join: https://tinyurl.com/8mb65hne

This presentation is for individuals with low vision, so the screen will be displayed.

Uber Hourly Rides

The ride share Uber is now offering hourly rides. This means that a passenger can schedule more than one ride with the same driver and make multiple stops within a given period of time. Passengers can also alter / update the schedule during the rides.

This new feature is especially helpful for passengers with disabilities, who in the past had to schedule each ride separately for trips to places such as medical appointments, the pharmacy, grocery shopping, child care, and employment.

If you have an Uber account, access the app on your smartphone to set up hourly rides.

The Many Faces of BARD Program: The NLS Braille E-Reader

Join the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) on Thursday, March 9, 2023, for the Many Faces of BARD program, featuring the new NLS Braille E-Reader. The program begins at 6:00 p.m. (Central) and lasts for one hour. NLS staff will provide an overview of both the Humanware and Zoomax braille e-readers, and then take questions from participants.

No registration is required.

Use this Zoom link to attend: https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1618927125?pwd=QUxvaG1hRnRQU2E3Y2MxK01zZUpjQT09

You can also call in by dialing 1-646-828-7666. The Meeting ID is 161 892 7125.

The Many Faces of BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

The National Library Service’s (NLS) Patron Engagement Section will be offering a monthly program called “The Many Faces of BARD”. The program will take place the second Thursday each month at 6 p.m. (CDT). Each hour long session will begin with a brief presentation and cover one aspect of BARD use. The program will end with a question-and-answer portion.

Sessions are open to all patrons. Join by visiting https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1611161911?pwd=bVh5ejFsWFBlL21KY0VqaHlRMUlSQT09 on a computer or by calling 1-669-245-5252. Full Zoom invitation information follows. To call into a session, participants must use the telephone numbers provided here for Zoom.gov.

Upon connecting, you will be placed in a virtual waiting room until the program begins. Upon enter the room, you will be on mute, and should remain on mute unless the host calls you to speak. At that time, you may unmute by using Alt-A from a computer or star 6 if dialing in by phone.

All Many Faces of BARD programs will be recorded. If you do not want to be on the recording, please refrain from speaking.

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile:

US: +16692545252,,1611161911# or +16468287666,,1611161911#

Meeting URL:

https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1611161911?pwd=bVh5ejFsWFBlL21KY0VqaHlRMUlSQT09

Meeting ID: 161 116 1911

Passcode:489758

Join by Telephone

For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.

Dial: US: +1 669 254 5252 or +1 646 828 7666 or +1 669 216 1590 or +1 551 285 1373

Meeting ID: 161 116 1911

International numbers

Join from an H.323/SIP room system

H.323: 161.199.138.10 (US West)
161.199.136.10 (US East)

Meeting ID: 161 116 1911

Passcode: 489758

SIP: 1611161911@sip.zoomgov.com

Passcode: 489758

Skype for Business (Lync)

https://loc.zoomgov.com/skype/1611161911

June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month

Image of a book with a volume signifying an audiobook.

Not only is June the start of summer, but it is also National Audiobook Appreciation Month. With numerous literacy benefits and high entertainment value, audiobooks are heating up headphones and speakers across the state. Everyone is unique when it comes to how they read, and patrons of the Talking Book Program can enjoy the art of storytelling this June by joining the more than 19,000 other patrons meet their reading needs. Whether you need to read in a different way or you open up a book — new TBP patron listeners and audiophiles alike will want to join in the fun. For more information about Texans’ other library visit, www.TexasTalkingBooks.org.

Check out some of the most downloaded books from the collection.

RUN, ROSE, RUN by Dolly Parton (DB 107053)
AnnieLee Keyes is hitchhiking her way to Nashville, determined to make it in the music industry. But she’s fleeing her past, and her rise as a country music star is dogged by the dark secrets trying to destroy her. Violence and strong language. Suspense Fiction. Commercial audiobook. 2022

STEAL by James Patterson (DB 106928)

College sophomore Carter von Oehson posts on his Instagram that he plans to kill himself. When no one sees him for 24hours, a search begins. Fears seem to be confirmed when his abandoned sailboat is found. His professor of abnormal psychology, Dylan Reinhart, tries to help Carter’s father find the truth. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2022.

HIGH STAKES by Danielle Steel (DB 107263)

Jane Addison has big dreams of owning her own company someday. At 28, she arrives in New York to start a job at Fletcher and Benson, a prestigious talent agency. There she joins a group of women all facing the challenges of balancing their families, their personal lives, and the high stakes of ambition. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

BEYOND A DOUBT by Colleen Coble (DB 107278)

Bree Nicholls has made a name for herself finding missing persons in the untamed wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her search-and-rescue dog, Samson. When a basement remodeling project at her lighthouse home uncovers evidence from a cold case, Bree’s family comes under attack. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2004.

STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: AN INCOMPLETE COMPENDIUM OF MOSTLY INTERESTING THINGS by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant (DB 103455)

Hosts of the podcast of the same title present a collection of new items of interest. Topics include facial hair, Mr. Potato Head, Murphy beds, how to get lost, mezcal liquor, aging, income tax, pet rocks, cyanide pills, donuts, and the Jersey Devil. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

HAPPINESS BECOMES YOU: A GUIDE TO CHANGING YOUR LIFE FOR GOOD by Tina Turner (DB 107284)

The musical icon gives advice for generating hope from nothing, breaking through all limitations, and succeeding in life. She shows how the spiritual lessons of Buddhism help her transform from sorrow, adversity, and poverty into joy, stability, and prosperity. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.