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BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

Recently, I’ve been dismayed to hear some patrons say, “I know you don’t have such and such in your collection because I already checked on BARD.” After receiving a few of these comments, I realized that some of our patrons mistakenly believe that our entire collection is available on BARD.  I would like to use this post to explain why the audio and braille books on BARD will always represent only a portion of our collection.

The majority of our audio collection is on BARD but some of our popular titles such as “Introduction to the Piano,” and “Introduction to the Guitar,” are not on BARD. As with some of the newer instructional recordings for the piano and guitar, we are unable to make these titles downloadable due to an agreement with the publisher. Similarly, a number of guitar instructional recordings that were not originally conceived for the blind and visually impaired are only available on cartridge.

As for our braille music collection, about 25 percent of it is currently available on BARD. Digitizing braille music is one of our routine tasks at Music Section. As soon as we complete scanning, editing and formatting a braille score, we upload the braille-ready format (brf) to BARD. We also create a link in our Voyager catalog so that the patron searching our online catalog can download it without having to duplicate the search on BARD.

It will be another few years before we can digitize all of the available braille music titles in our collection because of the sheer number. I write “available braille music” because as with some titles in our audio collection, we do not have permission from all publishers to put the digitized braille music on BARD. The good news is that the new braille music titles that NLS transcribes do not require digitization since the transcribers send us the brf which can be quickly processed and uploaded to BARD.

As you may have guessed, our large print music is available in hard copy only. BARD is only for braille and audio.

All of this is to say that if you don’t find what you are looking for on BARD, please don’t give up. You can look for it on the NLS online catalog at //nlscatalog.loc.gov and contact us with the call number, or we can help you find it. For more information on how to search in BARD and NLS online catalog, please read Mary Dell Jenkins’ blog.


For Braille Readers—A Real Treasure Trove

This afternoon, I looked at the Metropolitan Opera schedule, which appears in the October-December issue of our quarterly magazine The Musical Mainstream. It lists all of the operas to be performed, along with NLS materials, librettos, lectures, etc., pertaining to the operas. Nowhere did I find any mention of a reference book that I read […]

A Four Hour Concert in an Unheated Hall

On this day, over two hundred years ago, a historic concert took place. It was in Vienna, in the middle of the Advent season, and Beethoven needed some money. “But, Beethoven,” you would say, “surely he was doing fine! He is Beethoven! Everyone loves him!” However, in Vienna in 1808, just because everyone loved you […]

Participate in the Music Braille Code Conference Call!

This blog post is concerned with the 2015 Braille Music Code, and where to obtain a copy. In addition, there is information about an upcoming conference call for those wishing to discuss braille music topics. The announcement comes from BANA, the Braille Authority of North America. BANA is the organization which makes decisions about contractions, formatting, […]

What A Great Service!

I heard these words a lot this past weekend. That’s because the NLS Music Section made its way to the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) conference in Grapevine, TX. While there, I was able to promote our service to music teachers from all over the country—and some future music teachers too! The refrain I kept […]

Don’t Give Up!

While reviewing our file archive, I came upon a letter sent to us in 1989 and experienced a sharp reminder of how our services have advanced in filling requests. At times, I have flashbacks to the pre-internet era and usually shudder.  Speedy communication is one of the positives of the medium, it seems to me.  […]

Music Section Hosts International Visitors

About a month ago, NLS Music Section received 11 international guests who were visiting the U.S. under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. We happened to be the first destination in their month-long itinerary, and they were eager to hear about the music services we provide for our patrons. The guests […]