In this issue:
- Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
- Save the dates!
- Research and Documentary Film Project on Print Disability
- Congratulations to the Winners!
- CELA's Pilot Project
- New outreach resources for libraries
- Canada loses a literary icon
- Featured title for adults
- Top five books
- Featured title for kids
- Top five for kids
- Top five for teens
- Service tip
- Winter Holiday closures
- Stay connected!
Letter from CELA’s Executive Director
As we head towards the winter holidays, we’re celebrating all things literary at CELA, including the winners from some of Canada’s most prestigious and well known literary awards. We have these award winning titles in our collection along with some new books we have recently added thanks to our agreements with Penguin Random House Canada and Audible. We’re always especially pleased when these agreements mean we can add books that have often been requested by our users like Educated by Tara Westover or a number of Margaret Atwood’s books which, while old, are new to our collection. They arrive just in time to celebrate both her birthday and her appearance on a Canadian stamp. We are delighted to add these and many other titles to our collection.
We are also busy planning events for Braille month in January, alongside colleagues from NNELS, Braille Literacy Canada, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), the CNIB Foundation, and the BC Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI). We have events planned throughout the month for a variety of audiences. I invite you to check out the additional information about these events located in our newsletter, and to register to join us if you can.
Lastly, we want to acknowledge our users and colleagues and all those affected by the effects of the heavy rain and flooding in BC and on the east coast. You are all in our thoughts and we are hoping you are safe and well.
CELA Executive Director
Save the dates!
In January, CELA will be partnering with colleagues from NNELS, Braille Literacy Canada, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), the CNIB Foundation, and the BC Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) to host a series of events celebrating braille month and honouring the birth of Louis Braille.
- Looking Through the Crystal Ball: Innovations in Braille Technology for the 21st Century and Beyond on Saturday, January 8, 2022
Target Audience: This event will be especially of interest to all braille users, but is open to anyone, including technology developers and others in the field of visual impairment.
Language of Delivery: English
- Building Braille Inclusion in Libraries on Thursday, January 13, 2022
Target Audience: Librarians and library staff; Library users, including families. Everyone is welcome.
Language of Delivery: English
- Tools for Your Toolbox: Braille Resources for French Speakers of All Ages on Thursday, January 20, 2022
Target Audience: TVIs and members of students’ educational teams.
Language of Delivery: French
- Refreshing and Rethinking Braille Awareness Presentations with a Focus on Equity and Accessibility on Thursday, January 27, 2022
Target Audience: While the session is geared to educators, students who read braille are also welcome to attend!
Language of Delivery: English
These celebrations of braille are open to people of all ages who are curious about braille, either practically, professionally, or somewhere in between! Target audiences include all braille readers, library staff, and educators. The celebration will be conducted virtually on Zoom.
For more information or to register for this series of events, please visit nnels.ca/world-braille-day.
Research and Documentary Film Project on Print Disability
One of CELA’s trusted colleagues passed this along and we think this might be of interest to our users. But don’t delay, the deadline is November 30, 2021. The Making Accessible Media (MAM) resource is a free open access educational resource that introduces the user to accessibility in digital media, created by the Faculty of Media & Creative Arts (FMCA) at Humber College. We are adding a new module on how to make accessible digital books. We seek input from people from diverse communities who identify as disabled and face barriers to reading. Your experience will help us develop the new module. To find out how to participate, please contact us by November 30, 2021 at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to the Winners!
In November, both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and two of the Writer’s Trust prizes were announced.
Congratulations go to Omar El Akkad who won the Giller prize for What Strange Paradise, a beautiful and haunting novel about the refugee crisis told from the points of view of nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who survives the passage, and Vänna, a teenage girl, who is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy.
Katherina Vermette won the Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for The Strangers, a staggering intergenerational saga that continues the story from The Break, and explores three generations of the Stranger Family, a grandmother, her daughter and her twin girls, all of whom battle racism, inherited trauma and a fractured system in order to maintain their bonds.
And congratulations also go to Tomson Highway who won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for his memoir Permanent astonishment. Highway takes his younger brother’s final words “Don’t mourn me, be joyful” to heart and tells the story of his loving yet traumatized family with honesty and humour. He offers profound insights into the Cree experience of culture and what it takes to survive in the north.
CELA's Pilot Project
Over the next few weeks, CELA will be reaching out to some of our users to invite them to participate in a pilot project we are launching to assess some new service delivery options. We are looking forward to sharing more information with all our users and our member libraries in the next few days. Please watch your email, our website and social media for more information.
New outreach resources for libraries
We’ve heard from many of you that you’re beginning to re-establish services and relationships that may have been put on the backburner because of the pandemic. If you’re working on reconnecting with outreach partners, check out our newly updated Resources for outreach to persons with disabilities which has tools and guidance to help re-engage including:
- Lists of groups and organizations to consider contacting;
- Best practices for outreach with people with disabilities, including guidance on language and accessibility considerations;
- Resources for in-reach and staff training on accessible services;
- Sample web, social media and presentation content ready for you to use and adapt;
- Library-specific practices and suggestions for welcoming people with disabilities.
Many of these resources have come to us via our own community partners, our conversations with libraries and our Outreach Committee but we are always looking for more! If you have any suggestions or feedback about these outreach resources, or want to share what’s helping you connect within your community, please connect with us at email@example.com.
Canada loses a literary icon
Acclaimed author and teacher Lee Maracle died on November 11. The daughter of a Métis mother and Coast Salish father, Maracle was a trailblazer. Her book Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel was one of the first Indigenous works published in Canada. Her body of work included novel Celia's Song which was short-listed for the 2020 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, one of the world's most prestigious literary awards.
She also founded En'owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, B.C. and was a vocal advocate for Indigenous authors and issues, speaking out on issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the Canadian government's treatment of Indigenous communities.
Maracle taught courses about Indigenous literature and storytelling at several universities across Canada. She mentored and inspired many of the Indigenous writers we know today. We offer our condolences to her family, friends and many fans.
Featured title for adults: Educated
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention.
The audio format of this book is now available in our collection thanks to our collaboration with Audible.ca.
Top five books
Most popular with our readers this month:
- The Dark Remains by Ian Rankin Police procedural fiction
- The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield Science fiction
- August Into Winter: A Novel by Guy Vanderhaeghe Historical fiction
- The Audacity by Katherine Ryan Humour
- The four winds: A novel by Kristin Hannah Bestsellers (fiction)
Featured title for kids: The Great Bear
In this second book in the Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time. Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends.
This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?
Top five for kids
Most popular with kids this month:
- The Orange Shirt Story: The True Story of Orange Shirt Day by Phyllis Webstad
- The first miracle by Jeffrey Archer
- Darkness of dragons (Wings of Fire series book #10) by Tui T. Sutherland
- Charlotte's web (Puffin Modern Classics Ser.) by Julia Eccleshare
- Dragonslayer (Wings of Fire: Legends book #2) by Tui T. Sutherland
Top five for teens
Most popular with teens this month:
- 1984: a novel by George Orwell
- Albatross: A Novel by Terry Fallis
- Throne of glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
- Hunting by Stars: (A Marrow Thieves Novel) by Cherie Dimaline
- The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
All about visual disabilities: how libraries can support readers who are blind or have low vision
This webinar is all about library services for people who are blind or have low vision. We are pleased to have two Vision Rehabilitation Specialists, Leanne Baarda and Sue Marsh-Woods from Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada share their experience and expertise working with clients. Participants will learn about:
- Common eye conditions and the work Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada does to support them
- Tools and technology that enhance a client's ability to access print and audio materials
- How to welcome patrons with vision loss and enhance their participation in programs and services
Length: 60 minutes
Have you connected with us on YouTube? We’ve been putting up a number of new short videos to help people learn more about the world of accessible reading. These are great for people needing a quick overview of CELA services and are perfect for sharing on social media. Find them all on our YouTube Channel.
Winter Holiday closures
CELA and our Contact Centre will be closed December 27 and 28 and January 3, 2022 and will be open December 29, 30 and 31st. We will return to regular hours on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
Visit CELA's social media, including Twitter, Facebook and our blog, for more news about what's happening in the world of accessible literature.