Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Questions: or 800-362-0699

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Nov 03


Posted on November 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM by Maggie Witte

Two years ago, we started NovemBARD as a social media campaign to raise awareness among our patrons, individual and institutions, about a fantastic service available to all Kansas Talking Books patrons and eligible print disabled Kansas residents. It has grown, and, this year, will feature a blog series about the benefits of BARD and some of the updates made. We’ll also include social media fun, so check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @KSTalkingBooks.

So, what is BARD? It stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download, a website maintained by our national affiliate the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). A free service to any patron who already has a KTB account, or individuals eligible for KTB service, this download service provides almost immediate access to our entire collection of audio books and magazines, electronic braille books and magazines, and music books and scores.

There are two aspects of BARD that make it so important to our patrons. With BARD, waiting on the mail for books or magazines or going to the mailbox in bad weather is unnecessary. BARD is a safer, faster way to “read what you want, when you want”. It puts our entire collection of audio books and magazines right at our patrons’ fingertips.

To access BARD, patrons must fill out a very short application online, for either individuals or institutions, providing:
  • Name (including institutional name on institutional applications)
  • Address (matching that on the KTB application on file)
  • City, State, ZIP
  • Email address
  • Type of player (most commonly left on default of “NLS Digital Talking Book Player/BARD Mobile app)
As previously noted, all BARD applicants must already be KTB patrons, the application of which can be accessed here: KTB application.

The BARD website is just one way to access our collection. Patrons can download books and magazines to their computer and then transfer them to a USB flash drive to play in the digital talking book machine next to the headphone jack. There are other options available to download books and magazines:

BARD Express:
  • Available for Windows PC only
  • Easier to search and find reading material
  • Manages downloading, unzipping, transferring, and deleting books and magazines to and from USB flash drive
BARD Mobile App
  • Mobile application for iOS and Android, through the App store or Google Play store
  • Download and play directly on mobile device with no need of the digital talking book machine
  • More streamline and similar to other individuals with their mobile devices, making perfect for youth patrons
BARD is such a great service we provide. It enables unlimited access to our collection and makes getting reading materials quicker and safer, one of the best benefits in this ongoing pandemic.

If you have any questions or concerns, need help with the application process, or need help with BARD Express or BARD mobile, please contact our office at 1-800-362-0699 or email

Don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s NovemBARD blog post, and catch us on social media at our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @KSTalkingBooks.