Talking Books Services Still Available Through BARD

Talking Books Services Still Available

As noted on the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) COVID-19 Response page, our standard Talking Books services are still available! We know that many of you rely on this service to get access to books and magazines you otherwise can’t have, and we want to make sure that you get them.

Checking In and Out Books

While so far we have been working with the Department of the Blind and Vision Impaired to send books, we are happy to announce that Access Services is beginning to resume sending out books! You can now send us mail and cartridges. These are all placed into a temporary quarantine, after which we will go through them, checking in old materials and placing any requests. 

That said, to make sure that you continue to receive books in a timely manner, we are strongly asking that you contact Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin by email at; by phone at (540) 372-1144, extension 7454; or by mail at 806 Lyons Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA 22406. Contacting us is the fastest way to let us know you are ready for your next book to be sent, so that you don’t have to wait until we have checked in your old books to get new ones. 

Requesting New Players

Some of you may have Talking Books players that you need replaced. You may also mail these into us, and we will put in the request for a new player for you. Please be advised though that there is currently a nationwide machine shortage due to closures from COVID-19, and so while we are working to replace players as fast as we can, it may take a little while longer than usual.

Enrolling in Talking Books and BARD

It is possible to enroll in Talking Books if you haven’t yet. If you haven’t signed up for Talking Books already, email a completed copy of the application to Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin, who will certify and enroll you. The Talking Books application is a .pdf document that can be seen using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded here, if you don’t already have it as part of your software. Please note that Talking Book services are only available for those with the qualifying disabilities listed on Page 1 of the application; if you do not have these disabilities and are looking for access to digital books and magazines, please check out the CRRL Mobile App.

Those who are comfortable with technology may also want to enroll in BARD. Short for Braille and Audio Reading Download, BARD is a program from the National Library Service of the Library of Congress that allows all those who qualify for Talking Books services to download eAudiobooks to electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, Amazon Fire, Windows computers, and more. 

In order to register for BARD, you will first have to sign up for the Talking Books program. Once you are enrolled in Talking Books, you can then apply for BARD by filling out the form available here. As part of the application process you will be asked to enter your email address. After your application is completed, Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin will then enroll you in BARD services. You will then receive a temporary password to login with at the email address listed in your application. Please note that this is a very temporary password that is only good for 10 minutes after it is received in your inbox, and so you must use it to sign in and set up your own password as fast as possible!

BARD App and Express

BARD users can download the BARD app from Apple or Android App stores—or from the “Additional Links” section of their BARD accounts upon registering—and immediately begin to browse and download books and magazines on the device of their choice. The collection is the same as the one in the Talking Books, as the two programs are linked. BARD users can also download BARD express, which is a version of the program that works on MIcrosoft Window machines.

Once you’re all set up, you’re free to download as you wish! You can learn more about how to use the BARD mobile app by viewing this collection of Youtube videos. You can also learn more about how to use the BARD Windows program by viewing this other collection of Youtube Videos.

Stay in Touch

If you have any questions or want more information about Talking Books and BARD services, please contact Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin at or at (540) 372-1144, ext. 7454. He will get back to you as soon as possible.