In this issue:
- Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
- Farzana Doctor wins Freedom to Read Award
- Audie Awards nominees announced
- CELA supports Kids and Teens Readers' Choice programs
- Accessible Canada Reads
- Register for One eRead Canada now!
- New CELA resource available
- Featured title for adults: In the Upper Country
- Top five this month
- Featured title for young adults: The Everlasting Road (The Floraverse #2)
- Top five for kids
- Top five for teens
- Service tip
- April holiday hours
- Stay connected!
Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
February is always a busy month for CELA staff. It was wonderful to have the opportunity for a number of CELA staff to meet many of our library contacts and to spend time together in person at the Ontario Library Superconference in Toronto. The following week we gathered with colleagues at the Accessible Publishing Summit to talk and learn from one another about the progress happening in the broader accessible reading landscape.
In addition to participating in conferences and summits, our team has been working on supporting training and resources. The AccessibleLibraries.ca website, a project of the Public Library Accessibility Resource Centre (PLARC), has a fresh new look and some newly added resources. As part of the PLARC group, we are also looking forward to discussing the results of PLARC’s Is Your Public Library Accessible Study at the upcoming BCLA and SLA conferences in April and May.
We were also delighted to welcome a new team member, Kim Kilpatrick, who will be working on a needs-based braille project. We are looking forward to sharing more about that project in the coming months.
And of course, we have continued to add more books to our collection. We recently passed an important milestone having loaded more than 83,000 audio titles from the National Library Service (NLS) collection, completing the first and largest phase of integrating their audiobooks into our collection. We will begin the work of adding braille NLS titles shortly and will continue to add more recently published audiobooks from NLS as we receive them. We’re also grateful for our ongoing relationships with other publishers and partners that contribute to our collection.
Whether you are delving into classics from NLS or the latest reads from our other suppliers, we hope you find something enjoyable!
Farzana Doctor wins Freedom to Read Award
Farzana Doctor is a novelist, activist and psychotherapist, and the most recent winner of the Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually by the Writers' Union of Canada during Freedom to Read Week and recognizes work that is passionately supportive of the freedom to read.
Doctor, who writes and speaks out about environmental issues, gender violence and LGBTQ+ rights, also won the 2011 Dayne Ogilvie Prize from the Writers' Trust of Canada for an emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender writer.
Doctor's work includes:
- Six metres of pavement, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for a 2012 Toronto Book Award
- All inclusive
- You still look the same, her latest book and her first published collection of poetry
Previous winners include Ivan Coyote, David A. Robertson, Jael Richardson, Gary Geddes, Deborah Campbell, Mohamed Fahmy and Lawrence Hill.
Audie Awards nominees announced
The Audie Awards recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment and are sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). 2023 is the 28th year of the annual Audie Awards.
Winners will be announced at the Audies Gala on March 28.
CELA supports Kids and Teens Readers' Choice programs
Spring is the season for reading programs for kids and teens. CELA supports readers' choice programs across the country by providing accessible versions of selected titles.
Hackmatack is Atlantic Canada’s bilingual readers' choice program for students in grades 4 – 6. Booklists are available now and CELA partners with Hackmatack to make accessible versions of many of their titles available to readers with print disabilities.
Voting takes place towards the end of April. To learn more about the program visit the Hackmatack registration page.
Organized by the Ontario Library Association, the Forest of Reading is open to libraries, classrooms and readers across the country. Voting happens in April and is capped off with fun events and winner announcements in May. Find the accessible books on our Forest of Reading page and to learn more about how your library can participate visit the Forest of Reading registration page.
Voting for the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards (MYRCA) will be open from April 20, 2023 to midnight Saturday, April 29, 2023. Like other Readers’ Choice Awards, MYRCA aims to promote reading and Canadian literature by giving young Manitobans in Grades 4 - 9 the opportunity to vote for their favourite Canadian book from an annual preselected list. With Manitoba libraries recently joining CELA we are delighted to support this program with accessible options.
The Red Cedar Book Award encourages kids, families, and educators from across British Columbia to read, talk about and vote for their favourite the Red Cedar Book Awards nominated non-fiction and fiction books. Voting for the Red Cedar starts on May 1 and ends May 31, 2023. Winners to be announced June 10, 2023.
Accessible Canada Reads
When you are promoting Canada Reads in March in your libraries and on social media, or hosting Canada Reads events, remember to include accessible versions of the nominated titles. CELA is pleased to have four of this year's titles available in accessible formats for people with print disabilities.
- Greenwood by Michael Christie
- Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Register for One eRead Canada now!
Congratulations to Quebec poet and author Jean-Christophe Réhel, whose novel Tatouine has been chosen to be this year’s title for One eRead Canada. An accessible version of Tatouine is available in our collection in both French and English.
This year One eRead Canada is developing a number of resources to help libraries engage their patrons including live stream events, book discussion guides and more.
To learn more, visit the One eRead Canada website.
New CELA resource available
We have recently created a new summary of CELA resources and uploaded it to our website. If you are onboarding new staff, or featuring accessible resources at an upcoming staff meeting, the new resource has a great overview of various formats and their related technology and delivery options, as well as a summary of our collection and general information about how libraries may support their patrons with print disabilities.
Are there topics related to accessibility that you would like to see included in our webinars? We regularly update our content and always appreciate hearing ideas from library staff. Send your suggestions to email@example.com.
An overview of CELA service, including collections offered, eligibility, how to order DAISY audio books or other alternative format books for your library, patron registration, and promotional ideas.
Frontline staff webinar
This webinar will provide an introduction to CELA services for your colleagues who need to understand the basics about your CELA service so they can direct patrons appropriately.
Educator Access Program webinar
This webinar will introduce the CELA Educator Access program which allows public libraries to offer educators at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels in their community access to CELA services on behalf of students with print disabilities. This webinar is for both educators and public library staff.
CELA and accessible library services for kids and teens!
This hour-long webinar will provide library staff with the information and tools you’ll need to support inclusive library services for kids and teens. Not sure where to begin? We’ll cover how accessibility touches every aspect of library services including kids and teens programming, why accessibility matters and how you can make use of CELA’s audio, braille and e-text books to support the reading needs of kids and teens with print disabilities in your community. The goal of this webinar is to increase awareness about the vital role libraries play in literacy development through providing books in multiple formats, as well as learning key accessibility accommodations to create inclusive programming.
Library staff will learn about:
- Why access to books in audio, e-text and braille formats is vital to building literacy skills for those with print disabilities.
- CELA’s collection for kids and teens, including access to materials in various languages and reading levels.
- Accessible book formats and the devices that play them.
- Eligibility and how to register patrons for CELA.
- Accessibility best practices for library programming.
Featured title for adults: In the Upper Country
The fates of two unforgettable women—one just beginning a journey of reckoning and self-discovery and the other completing her life's last vital act—intertwine in this sweeping, deeply researched debut set in the Black communities of Ontario that were the last stop on the Underground Railroad.
Young Lensinda Martin is a protegee of a crusading Black journalist in mid-18th century southwestern Ontario, finding a home in a community founded by refugees from the slave-owning states of the American south—whose agents do not always stay on their side of the border. One night, a neighbouring farmer summons Lensinda after a slave hunter is shot dead on his land by an old woman recently arrived via the Underground Railroad. When the old woman, whose name is Cash, refuses to flee before the authorities arrive, the farmer urges Lensinda to gather testimony from her before Cash is condemned. But Cash doesn't want to confess. Instead she proposes a barter: a story for a story.
And so begins an extraordinary exchange of tales that reveal the interwoven history of Canada and the United States; of Indigenous peoples from a wide swath of what is called North America and of the Black men and women brought here into slavery and their free descendents on both sides of the border. As Cash's time runs out, Lensinda realizes she knows far less than she believed not only about the complicated tapestry of her nation, but also of her own family history. And it seems that Cash may carry a secret that could shape Lensinda's destiny. Sweeping along the path of the Underground Railroad from the southern States to Canada, through the lands of Indigenous nations around the Great Lakes, to the Black communities of southern Ontario, In the Upper Country weaves together unlikely stories of love, survival, and familial upheaval that map the interconnected history of the peoples of North America in an entirely new and resonant way.
Top five this month
Most popular with our readers last month:
- Spare by The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry Journals and memoirs
- Every Summer After by Carley Fortune Contemporary romance
- Into the Broken Lands by Tanya Huff Fantasy
- A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #18) by Louise Penny Mysteries and crime stories
- The Boys from Biloxi: A legal thriller by John Grisham Suspense and thrillers
Featured title for young adults: The Everlasting Road (The Floraverse #2)
The boundaries between the virtual and the real world become dangerously blurred for a young Indigenous girl in the follow-up to the YA fantasy debut Walking in Two Worlds from bestselling Indigenous author Wab Kinew. Perfect for fans of Ready Player One and the Otherworld series. Devastated by the loss of her beloved older brother to cancer, Bugz returns to the place where she can always find solace and strength: the Floraverse.
Over the past year, she has gained back all that she had lost in that virtual world, and while the remaining ClanLess members still plot against her, she is easily able to overcome their attacks. Even better, she's been secretly working on a bot that will be both an incredible weapon and a source of comfort: Waawaate. With the Waawaate bot looking exactly like the brother she misses so much — even acting so much like him — Bugz feels ready to show him off to Feng, who has become a constant companion in the Verse, and she cannot wait to team up with both friend and bot to secure her dominance once and for all. But Feng has his own issues to deal with, especially when news that his parents are alive and want to contact him threatens to send his new life on the Rez into upheaval. As they work through their complicated feelings of grief and loss, Feng and Bugz find themselves becoming ever closer. But disturbances in the Floraverse cannot be ignored, especially when Bugz realizes that her Waawaate bot is growing in powers beyond her control...
Top five for kids
Most popular with kids last month:
- The Dragonet Prophecy: Wings of Fire Series, Book 1 by Tui T. Sutherland
- Sky Wolf's Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger
- Mowgli of the Jungle Book: The Complete Stories by Rudyard Kipling
- Love's Unfolding Dream (Love Comes Softly #6) by Janette Oke
- From Anna by Jean Little
Top five for teens
Most popular with teens last month:
- Love From Mecca to Medina by S. K. Ali
- As Good As Dead: The Finale to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- Bright (Shine) by Jessica Jung
- 1984: A Novel by George Orwell
- Hunger Games 4-Book Digital Collection by Suzanne Collins
If you have changed, or are planning to change, the email address we send referrals from CNIB clients to, please send the updated address to firstname.lastname@example.org. By keeping this email up to date, you benefit by being able to reach out to clients and they avoid delays in hearing back from their local library. Referrals from CNIB are an important way to connect with people in your community who need accessible reading materials.
April holiday hours
CELA and our Contact Centre will be closed Friday April 7, and Monday April 10, for the Easter weekend. We will resume regular hours on Tuesday, April 11.