Downloading Book Tips

If you have any questions about the following tips, or want more information, feel free to call the library at 206-615-0400 or 1-800-542-0866.

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Downloads) Tips

To log into BARD ( to download one of the thousands of audio book or braille titles available, you will need your email address and a password. To sign-up for an account, fill out the application at
Once you have access to a BARD account, the following tips will help you to find titles you want to download and change settings to you account.

Tip 1: Searching for Books:

Throughout this section, I will use James Patterson’s Alex Cross series as my example.

  • When you know part of the book title or the author’s name: Use the “Search the Collection” text box to enter your search keywords and use quotation marks around your search topic to limit the results.
    • Example: If I am looking for the first book in James Patterson’s series, I would enter Along came a spider, or even Came a spider,and BARD would pull up the audio book and braille version of that book. I could also enter “Patterson, James” (last name, first name) to see all of Patterson's books.
  • Finding books in a series:

    Now that I have found Patterson’s first book, you may want to see what else we have in the Alex Cross series. If you select the link for the book title, in this situation, Along came a spider DB 35894, you will reach the title page (summary listing) for this book. On this page you will find a link called “Alex Cross series,” which will take you to a list of all of the books on BARD in this series. The series field also tells you that this book is volume 01 in the series.
  • Finding books by the same author:

    Also on the title page, you can click on the link for the author’s name, Patterson, James, and receive a list of all of the other books by Patterson on BARD.
  • Add to my wish list:

    Another great feature found on the Title page is the “Add to my wish list” link, which will add Along Came a Spider DB 35894 to your wish list. To see what books are on your wish list, you will go to the BARD main page and look under settings.

Tip 2: Additional Links on BARD main page:

There are a number of items on the BARD main page that may make your searching faster and help to manage your account. The Additional Links section is a heading at the bottom of the main page. Here you will find links to My Wish List, My Previous Downloads, Update account settings, NLS Catalog, Braille Book Review, Talking Book Topics, Latest DTBM firmware and installation instructions and Help.

  • My Wish List:

    This is where the items you added to your Wish List will go in descending order of when they were added. From this list you can also download the books using the Download link below the book’s description.
  • My Previous Downloads:

    A list of items you previously downloaded with the most recent first. This is a great list to check when you are not sure if a book was downloaded completely. Periodically, WTBBL staff also receives a list of these titles so we can add them to you list of Has Hads on your main library account.
  • Update account settings:

    You will select this are to change your password (WTBBL staff can never see your password), change your email address, authorize a new commercial audio book player, change color settings to color or black/white, change what books (audio or braille) are displayed in results and change the maximum number of books displayed in results.

Note: when you search using the Search the Collection text box, audio books will be listed first and then braille books at the bottom. DB signifies an audio book and BR signifies a braille book.

  • NLS Catalog:

    This catalog shows books available from the entire network. You will also find links to the BARD files.
  • Talking Book Topics: and Braille Book Review from NLS:

    Issues in HTML and accessible PDF. Instead of waiting for the next TBT or BBR to arrive in the mail, you can see new issues at NLS BARD.