January 23, 2022

Canada: A New National Library Service For Users With Print Disabilities Officially Launches, Over 600 Canadian Public Library Systems Already Members

The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) officially launched today at an event held at the Canadian Library Association National Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.

From Today’s Announcement:

Over three million Canadians have a print disability. This could be a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.

2014-05-29_14-53-31For the 10 per cent of Canadians who have a print disability, access to reading materials in alternate formats like audio, braille and described video is often an ongoing challenge. Research shows that access to a broad range of reading materials has a direct and positive impact on a child’s success in school and in life.  CELA makes it possible for these Canadians to gain easy access to a wealth of reading materials, in formats of their choice, right in their own communities through their local public library.

CELA offers member public libraries:

  • A broad choice of formats including audio, braille, e-text and described video
  • Access to a growing collection of over 230,000 alternate format items including books, magazines, newspapers and described videos
  • Access to Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials. Bookshare is an American organization that works with publishers to obtain new releases and back catalogues of their works. Bookshare books can be downloaded to a computer, mobile device such as a smartphone and tablet, or braille displays. Their catalogue is rapidly expanding, and all CELA members have access to more than 160,000 books.
  • A broad selection of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s, young adult, business, self-help, poetry and more
  • A choice of delivery options: Direct download to computer, handheld devices and DAISY player; CD and braille mailed to home
  • Support for community outreach and summer reading programs
  • Training and expertise on accessibility
  • Bilingual collections and service

[Our emphasis] While May 29 marks the official launch, over 600 public library systems across Canada are already CELA members, or 75 per cent of Canadian public libraries.

These member libraries are serving over 85 per cent of Canadians.  Ninety-four percent of Canada’s First Nations libraries are CELA members.

What’s Available? Browse the CELA Collection

See Also: Provincial/Territorial Public Library Council (PTPLC) and Canadian Urban Library Council Improving Service For Print Disabled Canadians (June 14, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.