The Centre for Equitable Library Access, CELA, is a national not-for-profit organization that provides accessible reading services to the approximately 3 million people across Canada with print disabilities. CELA provides access to a collection of over 1 million titles in multiple accessible formats, including audio, braille, printbraille and text. Our services ensure that people with print disabilities across the country are more able to fully participate in learning, work and community life and contribute to the social, cultural, and economic development and success of their local and broader communities.
- CELA Statements
- Strategic Plan (New 2022 Strategic Priorities document now available)
- Board of Directors
- CELA Financial Statements and AGM Minutes
- 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 45 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.
Learn more about the federal government's proposed Equitable Access to Reading program.
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.
- Charmaine Co is a peer trainer at CELA. She has worked for several years as an instructor of assistive technologies for adult learners who are either blind or partially sighted. She is also a certified braille transcriber, and is very passionate about using her knowledge and expertise to enhance access for all individuals living with print disabilities.
- 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.
- Holly Pickering is Project Coordinator at the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She has a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta, where she worked and studied not only in librarianship but also in Digital Humanities. Equity is of core importance to her life and work and she loves that she can contribute towards making libraries more accessible at CELA.
- Ioana Gandrabur is a peer trainer at CELA. She is passionate about all things accessible technology and enjoys teaching it to others. She is also a professional concert guitarist, performing and teaching music internationally.
- Jessica Desormeaux is the Communications and Access Specialist at the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She has a Masters of Information Studies from McGill University, and she is enthusiastic about public libraries and the key role they play in making reading and information accessible to everyone.
- 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. For media requests please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Natalie MacDonnell is a Project Coordinator at CELA. Natalie is a graduate of the Joint Master of Environmental Studies and Juris Doctor Program at Osgoode Hall Law School and York University. She has many years of professional experience in the legal and policy field. Natalie is passionate about reading, libraries and accessibility.
- 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.
- Megan Toye is the Metadata Coordinator for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She is passionate about all things metadata-related and enjoys structuring and organizing digital content to facilitate accessibility. She has a Masters in Art History and in Information Studies from McGill University, where she specialized in equitable practices in metadata creation, information architecture, and digital culture.
- Rachel Breau, CELA Member Services Manager, has significant experience supporting accessible library services as well as working in public libraries.
- 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. Theresa works extensively to make book club titles available in accessible formats so that kids with print disabilities can participate fully in these programs.
- Tim Sullivan is the Technical Assistant to the Metadata Coordinator. He has a Master of Information Studies from McGill University, with a focus on digital information systems. With a background in digital organization and access, he is excited to continue CELA's mission of providing patrons equitable access to the public library.
For more information or to become a CELA member contact:
email@example.com or 1-855-655-2273