The Centre for Equitable Library Access, CELA, is Canada’s comprehensive accessible reading service, providing books and other materials to Canadians with print disabilities in the formats of their choice. A national not-for-profit organization, CELA is fully funded to serve 97% of the estimated 3 million Canadians with print disabilities in partnership with member public libraries and we offer a digital-only service to those in non-funded areas. CELA provides access to 800,000 professionally produced titles to provide people with print disabilities with a quality library experience.
- CELA Statements
- Strategic Plan
- Board of Directors
- What is a Print Disability?
Our collection includes award winners, best sellers, fiction and non-fiction with a special emphasis on Canadian authors and stories, and favourites for kids and teens. Patrons have access to close to 50 newspapers and 150 DAISY magazines which are available on the same day they are published.
Educator Access program
To support students in at each stage of their education, our free Educator Access program provides elementary, high school and post-secondary educators with full access to our collection on behalf of their students with print disabilities.
In addition to our collection, CELA supports libraries by offering marketing materials, training and staff development opportunities. The CELA website includes a variety of tutorials and training videos to assist libraries, educators and patrons in learning and troubleshooting the technology and apps needed to access our collection. In addition, patrons can call our dedicated Contact Centre for assistance and support.
We provide a level of service unattainable if each individual library were responsible for providing the service within their existing capacity.
When and why was CELA established?
CELA was established in April 2014 as a new, publicly-funded, non-profit organization with the goal of supporting and assisting public libraries in delivering accessible library materials to Canadians with print disabilities in equal measure to that which is enjoyed by other members of their community.
Launched under the auspices of public libraries and with the assistance of CNIB, CELA assumed service responsibilities of the former CNIB Library and inherited some of its knowledgeable and dedicated staff who have helped CELA grow to be Canada’s leading accessible library service. While CELA and CNIB are completely separate organizations, governed by independent boards and with separate funding arrangements, CELA does maintain a business relationship with CNIB for the provision of some business services, primarily IT support and production. CELA evaluates our agreement regularly to ensure that it is in the best interests of CELA patrons.
How is CELA funded?
CELA is publicly funded through provincial and territorial governments, and through direct subscriptions from libraries and library systems.
How is CELA governed?
CELA is governed by a Board of Directors which is comprised of a broad range of representatives from public libraries – CEOs of large libraries and administrators at the provincial and service level.
- Laurie Davidson, Executive Director, brings more than 20 years of experience working as a librarian and technologist to the Executive Director position. In addition to working as a librarian in public and academic libraries, she spent over a decade working for a library ILS vendor and most recently with the BC Libraries Cooperative where she nurtured the development of the accessible publishing summit, and developed programs and services for people with print disabilities through her position as the Project Manager for the National Network for Equitable Library Services.
- Lindsay Tyler is Senior Manager for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She is a professional librarian with more than ten years’ experience in accessibility and client service in French and English. She believes in the power of reading in our lives, the importance of access to reading for all, and is delighted to support public libraries to make it happen.
- Theresa Power is the Content and Access Librarian for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She has a passion for kids and YA lit and serves as co-chair of the OLA Best Bets Committee and sits on the White Pine Steering Committee for the Forest of Reading. Theresa works extensively to make book club titles available in accessible formats so that kids with print disabilities can participate fully in these programs.
- Rachel Breau, CELA Member Services Manager, has significant experience supporting accessible library services as well as working in public libraries.
- Faline Bobier, Training and Outreach Coordinator, has a Masters in French from the University of Saskatchewan and an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario. She has been working in accessible library service for several years and enjoys the training and travelling aspects of her job, since they allow her to meet public library staff from across the country.
- Karen McKay, Communications Manager has a Marketing degree from the University of Guelph and years of experience helping not-for-profit organizations deliver clear and effective communications.
Christina McNish is the Information and Access Specialist for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She has comprehensive experience producing accessible videos and how-to materials for organizations. She is passionate about producing content that is concise and accessible for various audiences.
For more information or to become a CELA member contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-655-2273