Materials Illinois State Library

BARD Express is now available! BARD Express provides NLS patrons with an easy way to access BARD. Use BARD Express to browse thousands of audio books and magazines, download them to your Windows-based computer, and transfer them to an NLS cartridge. For more information, visit NLS' BARD Express website.

Through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the Talking Book and Braille Service has compiled a collection of over 100,000 titles. The collection includes a variety of popular interest writings such as bestsellers, classics, mysteries, romance, biographies, inspirational, children’s books, and foreign language materials. These books and magazines are provided in a range of formats including cassettes, braille, and descriptive video. If a particular item that has been requested is not available in Illinois, it may be obtained elsewhere through interlibrary loan.

Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD)

BARD is a free Braille and Audio Reading Download service for active Talking Book Patrons with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. There are over 40,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats available for download from the site, with new selections added frequently.

Talking Books

Our collection of talking books includes over 84,000 titles. New titles are announced in Talking Book Topics, a bimonthly publication of the NLS.

Braille Books

More than 15,400 Braille books are currently available. Adult and juvenile titles are available through a the Utah State Library Program for the Blind and Disabled. Braille Book Review lists and describes the newest books in Braille from NLS.


Magazines are circulated by mail, but some are available to eligible readers for download in e-braille or audio format from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service at Some titles may also be available in large print or press braille.

Descriptive Videos

Descriptive videos are enhanced with narration that describes the actions, settings, gestures, and other key visual elements.

Old Time Radio Shows

Old-Time Radio Shows are available to all patrons of the Talking Book Centers in Illinois. These are commercial tapes and play at 1 7/8 speed on the C-1 machine or on a regular cassette player. They do not play on an E-1 machine. The catalog is organized by artist and the tape numbers are listed within that artist. Many of the radio shows are parts of sets or collections. Frequently certain shows are repeated within several collections so it is possible to receive duplicate episodes of many shows.