Talking Books Services Still Available Through BARD

As noted on the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) COVID-19 Response page, our standard Talking Books services are temporarily unavailable. We know that many of you rely on this service to get access to books and magazines you otherwise can’t have, and we understand this is frustrating.

Thankfully, there are alternative options available for you. You can still explore Talking Book collections using 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. 

First, Enroll in Talking Books

In order to register for BARD, you will first have to sign up for the Talking Books program. 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.

Then, Connect with BARD

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!

Get the App

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.

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

Access Services hopes that you enjoy using BARD. If you have any questions about the process or want more information about the Talking Books and BARD services, please contact Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin at or at (540) 372-1144, ext. 7054. He will get back to you as soon as possible.