In this issue:
- Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
- Canada Reads shortlist
- February is Black History Month
- On our blog: The History of Braille
- Evergreen list announced
- Register for One eRead Canada now!
- Come see us at the OLA Superconference!
- Join the Forest of Reading
- Featured title for adults
- Top five books
- Featured title for teens
- Top five for kids
- Top five for teens
- Service tip
- February holiday hours
- Stay connected!
Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
Over the past few years especially, reading and discussing books has been an excellent way to keep us connected. We’re delighted to see so many community reads programs which connect us across the country. CELA works with Canada Reads to provide accessible versions of their featured titles in advance of their book debates which take place at the end of March. We’re also thrilled to see the One eRead program returning, featuring the book Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel. This program takes place in April and invites folks from across the country to read the same title (available in both French and English). And the Evergreen Award from the Forest of Reading has also launched. This is a national readers choice award with the participants selecting the winner from a slate of titles selected by librarians. You can learn more about all of these programs in this month’s newsletter. If your local community is hosting a community reads event, encourage them to choose an accessible title, or reach out to us to see if we might be able to get you an accessible copy of the selected book. Everyone deserves to take part in these conversations.
The CELA team is looking forward to meeting in-person again with our community at upcoming events in February. We will gather with library colleagues at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Conference, for the first time since the pandemic. If you are attending please stop by our booth and say hello! Following the OLA conference is the Accessible Publishing Summit (hosted by NNELS) where stakeholders meet to learn from one another and discuss the ways our organizations are working towards a more equitable reading landscape.
I also want to thank all those who were involved in organizing and presenting the incredible program for World Braille Month, including a number of CELA staff and our colleagues at NNELS, Braille Literacy Canada, Canadian Council for the Blind, CNIB, W Ross Macdonald School and Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired. If you missed the panel discussions, recordings will be made available on the Braille Literacy Canada YouTube channel. We’ll include that info in future newsletters as soon as they are available.
We have a full newsletter this month, with lots of book suggestions.
Canada Reads shortlist
Congratulations to the authors and defenders of this year's Canada Reads Shortlist. CELA is pleased to have 4 of the 5 titles available in accessible format. Ducks by Kate Beaton, which is a graphic novel, is not currently available due to the long production time required to develop accessible versions of graphic novels.
The debates will take place March 27-30, 2023 on various CBC platforms.
- Ducks by Kate Beaton (not currently available)
- Greenwood by Michael Christie
- Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Explore all the titles in the Canada Reads long list.
February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month in Canada and we’ve curated titles featuring Black authors, Black stories, and Black history. We’ve included titles for a range of ages and reading preferences so there’s an opportunity for everyone to learn a little more about Black History.
If you are interested in reading books about Anti-Black racism and building a more inclusive community there are a number of titles in our collection as well.
Selected titles from the Black History list:
- The other mother by Rachel Harper.
- Behind the scenes: Or, thirty years a slave, and four years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley.
- Even When Your Voice Shakes by Ruby Yayra Goka
- The first Black archaeologist: A life of John Wesley Gilbert by John W.I Lee
On our blog: The History of Braille
Check out our blog this month for an interview with Ioana Gandrabur, CELA’s Peer Trainer about her presentation on the history of braille, in honour of World Braille Month.
Ioana is one of CELA’s Peer Trainers, a professional, classically trained musician, a tech enthusiast, and an avid braille reader.
Her presentation to CELA staff was interesting and enlightening and we asked Ioana to share some of what she presented as a blog post.
CELA: As a braille reader can you talk about what braille means to you?
Ioana: Accessing the world through braille is like seeing after being born blind. Louis Braille said, “Braille is knowledge and knowledge is power”. As a professional musician, I am so grateful that the braille code also helps me learn, explore and play music.
Read the rest on our blog.
Evergreen list announced
The Evergreen Award is part of the Forest of Reading program and is aimed at adults. Ten titles are selected by a panel of librarians and the list includes a number of debut titles – including work from up-and-coming fresh new voices, as well as work from some recognizable names. Perfect for book clubs, library programs and individual readers the Evergreen allows readers to select their favourites.
To learn more about the nominated titles and the program please visit the Forest of Reading website.
- Cobalt by Charlie Angus
- This is Assisted Dying by Dr. Stefanie Green
- Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
- Mad Honey by Katie Welch Coming Soon!
- Valley of the Birdtail by Andrew Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson
- Toufah by Toufah Jallow
- A Convergence of Solitudes by Anita Anand
- Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
- Ducks by Kate Beaton (not currently available)
Register for One eRead Canada now!
Congratulations to Quebec poet and author Jean-Christophe Réhel, whose novel Ce qu'on respire sur Tatouine has been chosen to be this year’s title for One eRead Canada. CELA is pleased to be able to offer accessible versions of both the original French and the English translation of Tatouine which will be in our collection within a few weeks.
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. The deadline for libraries to register is February 28.
To learn more, visit the One eRead Canada website.
Come see us at the OLA Superconference!
The CELA team will be at the Ontario Library Association SuperConference February 1-4. If you are attending the conference, please stop by our booth number 100T and say hello. We would be so pleased to meet you.
At the conference, CELA’s Executive Director Laurie Davidson will be taking part in the English panel discussion about Accessibility And Digital Procurement In Libraries on Friday morning.
Other accessibility sessions to check out:
- Practical Digital Accessibility For Public Library Websites
- Creating Accessible Social Media Feeds By Adding Alt Text: 'May Be A Picture Of A Book'
Join the Forest of Reading
CELA is a longtime partner of The Forest of Reading, Canada's largest recreational reading program that lets the readers pick the winners! Each year we create accessible versions of many of the selected books in French and English so that kids across the country can participate through their local public library, school library, or individually.
Libraries across the country are invited to take part in this affordable program which provides quality online literacy and reading engagement activities for school and public library programming. Through the program libraries have access to author visits and presentations, program activities for the nominated books and the fee to register is only $40. And of course, there are accessible versions of many of the books available through CELA, making it an inclusive program.
To find out more or to register please visit the Forest of Reading website.
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 reading technologies, devices and apps
This webinar will introduce participants to key accessible reading technologies used by library patrons with print disabilities including screen magnification, text to speech, braille displays, literacy support software, and accessible reading apps for mobile devices. Through watching video demonstrations of these different technologies, you will understand why these options are important because one size does not fit all, and choice of technology can help empower readers.
Audience: Public library staff.
- Definition of accessible reading technologies and who uses them
- Key features of main accessible reading technologies, both mainstream and specialized, and how they are used
- How accessible reading technologies relate to specific formats
- Where to find further information
Length: 60 minutes
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: Spare by the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.
At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother.
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
Read Spare by The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry
Top five books
Most popular with our readers this month:
- A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #18) by Louise Penny Mysteries and crime stories
- Blackwater Falls: Detective Inaya Rahman Series, Book 1 by Ausma Zehanat Khan Police procedural fiction
- Spare by The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry Journals and memoirs
- The Choice (Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 3) by Nora Roberts Fantasy
- Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard Ghost and horror stories
Featured title for teens: Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution
From National Book Award winner Kacen Callender, a contemporary YA that follows Lark's journey to speak the truth and discover how their own self-love can be a revolution.
Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting on their social media accounts––anything to build their platform.
When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread on Lark's Twitter declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark's tweets are suddenly the talk of the school—and beyond. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark gets closer to their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy, and Lark's social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll—as does the judgment of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes––or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them.
Read Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender
Top five for kids
Most popular with kids this month:
- Sky Wolf's Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger
- The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills
- Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2 by L. M. Montgomery
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- Little Amish Lizzie (The Buggy Spoke Series #1) by Linda Byler
Top five for teens
Most popular with teens this month:
- Love From Mecca to Medina by S. K. Ali
- An Ember in the Ashes: Ember in the Ashes Series, Book 1 by Sabaa Tahir
- Gallant by V. E. Schwab
- Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle) by Tracy Deonn
- Heavy Equipment Power Trains and Systems by Timothy W. Dell
You can turn on notifications to receive emails when ZIP or Direct to Player books you’ve requested on CELA’s website become available. You can also update your email address and change your password. You can make these changes on the Communication preferences page in My Account.
The instructions on how to update your email address, change your password and turn on notifications are on the My Account help page.
February holiday hours
CELA and our Contact Centre will be closed Monday, February 20, 2023 to recognize the statutory holiday which takes place in many of Canada's provinces. We will will resume regular hours on Tuesday, February 21.
Visit CELA's social media, including Twitter, Facebook and our blog, for more news about what's happening in the world of accessible literature.