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What Is BARD

So, you heard about this "BARD Talk" thing and figured you'd check things out. Everyone should brush up on their history, right? Hook up with these BARD Talk people and top up your intellectual gas tank. You'd always liked William Shakespeare after all, and he wrote that really great story. Romano and Julianna or something. Yeah, Bard Talk, now that's a good thing.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but don't expect any stimulating (or not so stimulating) discourse about The Bard on BARD Talk. Seriously, while Shakespeare won't be the common fare in these environs, you may indeed be able to fill up your gas tank here, and join the rest of us who hang out here as we traverse the growing and yes, stimulating, world of BARD.

Here's the short of it: BARD, as it applies here, stands for, "Braille and Audio Reading Download" Program." BARD Talk, specifically the BARD Talk web site, is all about helping people use and enjoy the BARD program which is a product of the NLS (national Library Service), and the LOC (Library Of Congress). In general, BARD is all about downloading digital talking books produced by the NLS. IN particular, BARD is the web site sponsored by the NLS that offers qualified patrons the means to search the catalog of tens of thousands of titles, including magazines, download this material, and then experience the pleasure of reading in a way that has never existed for blind people.

Only patrons of the NLS are qualified to access the BARD site and download books and magazines. If you're not a patron of the NLS, you should go to the following site to determine your eligibility. If you believe you meet the criteria, you'll next need to go to this site to identify your local lending library.

Finally, contact that library by phone, email, fax, or mail, and request an application for service. If you want, you can simply call this number: (202) 707-5100, or toll-free 1-800-424-8567. You can also visit the PDF index to find a form you can complete online.

Qualified patrons are entitled to download, or receive through the mail, any book or books and magazines available in the collection. There is no cost to the individual, and a state of the art digital talking book machine will also be provided at no cost. If you are new to this, it may seem overwhelming, but in a very short time, you'll find the program is very user friendly, and more importantly, there are many people who can help you. Consider joining the BARD Talk online discussion list if you have questions of any kind. You need not be a patron yet, or you may even be a family member or friend of someone who might qualify. To join this list, simply send a blank email to: You'll receive an email message requesting confirmation, and then you'll be a member of the growing community of excited people who use and enjoy the BARD and NLS program.