In this issue:
- Letter from Rina
- Going back to school with CELA
- Featured title for teens
- Top five for kids
- Top five for teens
- Finding books for your classroom
- Resources for Parents
- Printbraille returns
- CELA Partners with The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
- Stay connected!
Letter from Rina
On behalf of CELA, our member libraries, and your students with print disabilities, I want to thank you for all you are doing this year: for your dedication and commitment, and for rising to the unique challenges this year presents.
I also wanted to let you know what the CELA team is doing to support you and your students this year. Knowing that access to public libraries may be limited during COVID, we are offering temporary accounts that do not require a library card. Similarly, we can work with your students to find alternatives for those who may have trouble getting a proof of disability form signed in order to access Bookshare.
We have also developed resources for parents, which you are welcome to share in your newsletters or in information packages for your students with print disabilities. We’ve also reintroduced our printbraille collection with new safety procedures to help keep kids safe. We are excited to be partnering with Dyslexia Canada to offer new webinars for educators and for parents to help learn more about accessible reading resources; you’ll find more about these efforts in the newsletter below.
If you or your colleagues are interested in joining the CELA Educator Advisory group to provide input into the services we offer and help us know more about how we can support you, please email email@example.com. We meet virtually a few times each year and we would love to have you join us. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your colleagues so they can stay informed as well.
I wanted to take a moment to introduce our incoming Executive Director. I am grateful to the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) for allowing me to spend this past year with CELA. I have loved this job and have learned so much from our dedicated staff and our wonderful patrons. As I return to GVPL, I am pleased that Laurie Davidson will take over this position. I’ve known Laurie professionally for years. She is passionate about accessibility and equitable library service, and I am happy knowing I am leaving CELA in the hands of someone who is so committed to our mission and values.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or suggestions about how we can support you and your students, and please stay safe!
Rina Hadziev , Executive Director
Going back to school with CELA
As students across the country head into what may be a very different school year, we wanted to reach out to let you know what the Centre for Equitable Library Access is doing to help support students with print disabilities.
Building our collection
CELA’s collection currently includes more than 800,000 titles in a variety of accessible formats including audio, printbraille and etext, and we are continually adding new books.
We have a robust children's and Young Adults collection and will continue to focus on ensuring a broad range of titles including classroom favourites are available in accessible formats.
Our collection includes more than 150 magazines and 45 newspapers to allow for research on current events and reading for enjoyment.
We are continuing to evaluate our collection to ensure that we have diverse stories representing a variety of cultures, perspectives and authors.
Making registration easy
While COVID continues to impact public services including libraries and health care, we do not want a lack of a library card to be a barrier to our services. We have implemented a Temporary Account option for those with print disabilities who are unable to get a library card from their local library or who cannot have the proof of disability form signed by their doctor in order to access our Bookshare collection. Information about temporary accounts is available on our COVID response page. These temporary accounts will be available until public services return to normal.
Working with partners
Our partners are assisting us to reach out to potential new patrons and offer support as they get started with CELA.
Dyslexia Canada is offering webinars for parents and educators. These webinars will focus on ways to support students with learning disabilities including how to sign up and use CELA.
Join Dyslexia Canada and CELA to learn:
- What is the difference between decodable and leveled readers?
- Do audiobooks or graphic novels count as reading time?
- How can you help an older child find interesting material so they are not stuck with "baby books"?
- Whether schools and libraries are open or not, where can you find appropriate materials?
- How can you build an accessible, appropriate and fun library (at home and school)?
CELA offers a free Educator Access account, which allows teachers free access to our materials on behalf of their students. Part of our support includes webinars for educators to help them become familiar with CELA's collection and services. Our next educators webinar is happening Tues, Sept 29 2:00-300pm EDT.
If there’s a teacher who should know more about CELA please send them to celalibrary.ca/educators. We’d love to help them get more materials for their students with print disabilities.
Featured title for teens: Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices
A joyous short story collection by and about Muslims, edited by New York Times bestselling author Aisha Saeed and Morris finalist S. K. Ali. Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it's waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it's the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it's the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy.
Top five for kids
Most popular with kids last month:
- The timbertoes: the four seasons (Highlights Stories) by Highlights Children
- The piñata that the farm maiden hung by Samantha Vamos
- All the Fun Winter Things (Arnold and Louise #4) by Erica S. Perl
- The timbertoes: learning about nature (Highlights Stories) by Highlights Children
- Little Frida: a story of Frida Kahlo by Anthony Browne
Top five for teens
Most popular with teens last month:
- The hate u give by Angie Thomas
- The girl with the wrong name by Barnabas Miller
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
- A Student's Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet
- Divergent (Divergent trilogy. #1.) by Veronica Roth
Finding books for your classroom
You can search CELA’s collection and find great books for your students in a variety of ways:
Search title or author key words in our search box
You can filter results to include recently added or published titles using the filter options. You can also filter by genre or format (see the Accessible formats page for more information on formats). We also have an audience or age category. Please note that these categories are supplied to us by our various publishers or our vendors and do not necessarily capture all the titles in our collection which are appropriate for that specific age group. For tips on searching for titles, see our Search tips page.
Use our Browse by Category options
You can filter the category results by age, format and date added or date published to refine your results.
Check out the lists on our Kids and Teens page
We publish lists of the Top 5 most popular books for Kids and Teens each month on our Kids and Teens page, along with featured titles and new and interesting additions to our collection. Check back often.
Browse through our booklists
In order to help you locate books which may support topics you are discussing in your classroom we have put together a few reading lists for you. These lists include books for a broad range of ages:
- Books with diverse perspectives. We have chosen a number of titles written by, for, or about young people from different racial, cultural or religious backgrounds.
- Books about Indigenous Communities from Canadian authors.
- Books about and for the LGBTQ+ community.
Check out our Awards pages
If you are looking for Canadian Content for your students, we have some shortcuts to help. Our Kids and Teens awards page features award winning Canadian authors, illustrators and stories. We work with a variety of awards programs to develop accessible versions of titles for the following programs:
- Forest of Reading
- TD Summer Reading Club
- Canadian Children’s Book Centre
For high school students you may also find appropriate titles on our Book Awards page for adults which features programs including Canada Reads, The Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General Awards, Indigenous Voices Award, First Nations Community Reads and many others.
If there’s a book you would like to see added to our collection, please let us know by using our Book Suggestion form. We’d love to hear your suggestions.
Resources for Parents
If you have parents wanting to support their students with print disabilities but don’t know about CELA, we have resources to help.
Parent’s Guide to CELA
Use this Parent's Guide to CELA as part of your newsletter, pass it on to your Special Ed teachers to include in their IEP packages. It covers the basics about what CELA is and how a free account with CELA can help support their students.
Webinar: Supporting reading at home
Dyslexia Canada is offering a webinar to parents. For parents and caregivers of children with dyslexia, supporting their reading development at home can be challenging at the best of times. Parents are told to ensure their children are reading appropriate material every day. But beyond giving a set number of minutes a child should look at a book, not much guidance is given on what they should read or how. The speakers will help you navigate the world of appropriate and accessible content:
- what is the difference between decodable and leveled readers?
- do audiobooks or graphic novels count as reading time?
- how can you help an older child find interesting material so they are not stuck with "baby books"?
- whether schools and libraries are open or not, where can you find appropriate materials?
- how can you build an accessible, appropriate and fun library (at home and school)?
Register for the "Supporting reading at home" webinar with Dyslexia Canada on October 13 at 2 pm.
Video tour of the CELA website
This video tour is a great primer for our services.
First time user's guide
Find lots of easy to follow information about our collection and how to access it in our user's guide.
Just in time for back to school, we are excited to be reintroducing our full collection of more than 700 printbraille titles. You can use the format filters to find and place holds on these titles which have a loan period of 6 weeks.
Based on medical and scientific advice and the best practices being implemented in public libraries, we have taken a number of measures to ensure safety for you and for the staff handling printbraille books. Staff are equipped with personal protective equipment, are not permitted to work if sick, are trained in and practicing proper hygiene, and their workspaces and processes have been re-arranged to ensure physical distancing.
In addition, printbraille books will be quarantined for a minimum of 96 hours between users.
Please do not try to wash, wipe or disinfect the books. Disinfection is not necessary and you may damage the books permanently.
CELA Partners with The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
CELA is excited to be working with The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC). Our new partnership will see CELA produce accessible versions of the shortlisted titles for four of the CCBC’s most popular awards:
- TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
- Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse
- Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
- Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
The CCBC is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers and to helping teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers. Its programs and awards demonstrate a commitment to raising the awareness of the quality and variety of Canadian books for young readers.
“We are thrilled to be working with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to make award-winning Canadian stories available in accessible formats for children with print disabilities,” says Rina Hadziev, Executive Director for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. “We know how important it is to give all kids access to more stories that reflect their experiences and inspire their imaginations. The CCBC does such important work promoting Canadian authors and illustrators and we are honoured to work alongside them.”
Introducing Laurie Davidson
CELA is pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Laurie Davidson. Laurie brings 20 years of experience in the library world, most recently with the BC Libraries Cooperative managing NNELS (the National Network of Equitable Library Service) on issues of accessibility for people with print disabilities in Canada.
One of Laurie’s major projects in her role with the BC Libraries Cooperative has been nurturing the work of the accessiblepublishing.ca project, which is designed as a resource to help stakeholders, including publishers, work toward the goal of born-accessible publishing and improving access to ebooks.
Laurie is replacing Rina Hadiev, CELA’s outgoing Executive Director, who will be returning to her position at Greater Victoria Public Library after spending the past year on loan to CELA.
Rina and Laurie share a passion for accessible library services. “I have known Laurie professionally for years and I have a great deal of respect for her expertise and her work helping to creating a strong accessible reading industry that benefits anyone with a print disability. I know how passionate she is about accessibility and equitable library service, and I am happy to know I am leaving CELA in the hands of someone who is so committed to our mission and values. I have loved my time with CELA and I am especially grateful for the hard work and commitment of the CELA team. They have taught me a lot and I know that Laurie will benefit from their expertise and their energy,” says Rina Hadiev.
From her perspective Laurie is excited to join CELA and to continue CELA’s work. “Equitable access to reading materials is essential for academic and economic success and for social connection. A strong and healthy ecosystem for reading is crucial for healthy lifelong learning and living. I believe wholeheartedly in the concept of format choice that can support the diversity of reading needs of people in Canada and in ensuring that CELA patrons have access to a rich and robust collection. I am looking forward to working with the CELA team.”
A passionate reader, Laurie is also the mother of two teenagers, and loves spending time in her kayak or on the hiking trails near her home in Vancouver.