More than 20 people attended this conference call.
We welcomed Margaret and Lindsay to tell us about the CELA service.
Margaret told us about the history of cela.
CNIB had been lobbying for many years to have accessible library service delivered through public libraries.
Other organizations of canadians who are blind or have low vision have also wanted this to happen.
It is a right for all Canadians to access library services in their communities..
Coming to a charity to obtain library services was inappropriate.
Many studies were conducted.
In the end, the federal government asked CNIB to organize this service.
A report was produced called Reading Reimagined.
The report said that this service that should come through local public libraries.
In April of 2014, CELA (Centre for equitable library access) was launched.
As of February 2015, this service is available through over 600 public libraries in 1600 service points.
Most of these libraries are in Ontario, Alberta, and PEI.
There are also libraries in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and some in BC.
Libraries contribute funding to help the CELA service.
The list of participating libraries has been growing.
There were 25 thousand CNIB library clients prior to April 2014. they are still able to use the service through
They are encouraged to join CELA if they wish to do so.
They would then benefit also from services from their local public libraries.
The aim of CELA is to meet the needs of users across the spectrum of technical abilities and interests. They can get Cd’s in the mail, download their own books, choose their own books, or get help choosing and selecting books.
There are currently 300 thousand titles in the collection.
90 thousand are from CELA.
200 thousand are through bookshare.
When you join CELA, you get an automatic membership to bookshare.
To find out more about bookshare itself, go to
5000 titles were added to CELA in the last fiscal year.
The formats offered through CELA and bookshare include:
human narrated audio
hard copy braille
bookshare offers books in:
Delivery options available
direct to player (this will allow books to go directly from the library to supported players.
At the time of this blog entry, (February 2015) the players include:
sold in CAnada by aroga technologies
Victor stratus and victor stream second generation (sold by Humanware)
Braille electronic (you must download these to a device or computer with braille display or talking book player that can support the brf format
hard copy braille
books on CD delivered through the mail
Download from a web site.
How to sign up for CELA
CELA is available to Canadians with a broad range of disabilities.
Any disability (learning, or physical) that makes it difficult for someone to read print can be eligible.
You would sign up through your local public library.
The books you access through CNIB and CELA are the same collections.
Local library staff have had some training about CELA.
If the library has questions or does not know about CELA, they should visit the CELA web site at
To register for CELA, you need a public library card, proof of your address, fill out a registration form, and declare that you have trouble accessing or reading regular print. You do not need a doctor’s form.
CNIB staff can also assist you with finding out about CELA.
CAnnot search books from public library, CELA, or bookshare all in one place.
You must go to each site for their collections.
Some libraries are starting to enter CELA records into their catalogs.
In future, they might integrate all services into one place.
Every existing CNIB library client before april 2014 is also now a CELA client.
How can people advocate for their libraries to come to CELA?
Someone mentioned there is a good presentation about CELA on youtube.
In Ontario and Alberta, CELA funding is provided provincially for all of its municipal libraries.
CNIB will still be creating books in braille and audio formats. CELA will not do that.
Here are some apps for I devices and android that work well with bookshare and CNIB library books.
For Iphone, the app voicedream reader which costs about $10 CAnadian is excellent and allows you to search and download bookshare books directly into the app.
It also works well with CNIB library books.
If people want, Kim could do a conference call on how to download these books to your iphone.
There is also an app called read2go which is about $20 and works with bookshare books.
On androi there is a free app called goread which allows you to download bookshare books directly onto your device..
Posted by Kim Kilpatrick