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.

NLS Wants Your Input for Technology Products and Initiatives!

The NLS Reading Technology Advisory Group (RTAG) needs new members! RTAG meets twice a year to provide feedback on new NLS products and initiatives. Currently, RTAG is focused on updates to BARD, the Braille eReader project, and a “smart speaker” voice-controlled device. Each of these initiatives will have its own working group within RTAG. Meetings—to be attended online—will resume in fall 2020. Although RTAG members can be network library staff, hardware repair volunteers, and other subject matter experts, NLS patrons are especially encouraged to apply to join RTAG. For questions, please contact your local network library or email questions directly to Applications—a statement of your background and qualifications (no more than two pages)—should be submitted to by Wednesday, September 30.

Please Take the ACB Audio Description Survey–Deadline July 31, 2016

American Council of the Blind Logo

Would you like to help assist the American Council of the Blind (ACB) understand how members of the blind and visually impaired community are currently accessing audio description and what can be done to improve access to audio described content? Audio description is an additional verbal narration that describes visual elements during pauses in dialogue. Audio description commentary provides access to elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

Your feedback will be used to provide ACB the tools and information needed to advocate for higher-quality audio description. If you have had no previous experience using audio description but are interested in learning more about it, state this during the course of the survey and the ACB will contact you via email with more information about audio description.

To take the survey, click on the following link:

The survey takes between 10-15 minutes and is available until July 31st.

BARD-Related Websites and Email Discussion Lists

Although our BARD support team is always happy to assist patrons with any BARD-related question or concern, TBP patrons who use the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service to download books and magazines may also find the following websites and email discussion lists useful.

BARD Support is an e-mail-based list to which all program participants have the option of subscribing. This is a closed, one-way list to which NLS will occasionally post information of interest to the BARD community.

To subscribe to the NLS BARD support list, open the subscription page at:

Enter your e-mail address and select the Submit button. This will bring you to a confirmation page where you’ll be required to confirm your e-mail address and choose your delivery preferences. Finally, select the Submit button to subscribe to the list.

BARD Talk is an online resource and email community that provides BARD users a forum to discuss BARD. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users. To subscribe to the BARD Talk Yahoo Groups list or check out their FAQ or Quick Start Guide, go to:

DB Review is an email-based community that provides book reviews created by list members. Books reviewed are part of the digital talking book collection of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. It has no official affiliation with NLS or TBP, but is owned and moderated by BARD users You can subscribe using the online form at this website: