The Centre for Equitable Library Access, CELA, is Canada’s most 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 more than 650,000 professionally produced titles to provide people with print disabilities with a quality library experience.
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.
- Michael Ciccone, Executive Director, has over 20 years of public library leadership experience, managing collections, technical services, historical collections, web presence, and data gathering and analysis. He is also Chairman of the Information Hamilton Board, a member of the eBound Canada board and co-chair of the Loan Stars Steering Committee. Previously he was Director of Collections at Hamilton Public Library.
- 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 White Pine Committee for the Forest of Reading and sits on 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.
- 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.
For more information or to become a CELA member contact:
email@example.com or 1-855-655-2273