GTT National Conference Call.
An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind
May 8, 2019
Theme: CELA Library Update
Michael Ciccone who is the executive director of CELA joined us to provide updates and answers to our questions.
Note: CELA is updating the web site continually so these notes may be out of date if you are reading them after May 2019.
On the main page of the CELA web site
you will find the latest updates, service alerts, and what they are working on now.
Michael thanked everyone for their patience and acknowledges that this has not been the smooth transition they would have wished for.
CELA continues to work on improving the searching feature. At the time of the call, searching resulted in receiving way too many search results. Michael assured us that by May 9, 2019 the searching feature would be greatly improved. This was the case when Kim Kilpatrick tested it on Thursday May 9, 2019. Fewer results came up and it was more accurate.
Michael is aware that the searching needs to improve and will include key words and other ways of searching as well.
People can now download books in daisy zip format and for the most part direct to player. Some people are still having trouble with direct to player.
Cd’s and single use braille are being sent out as well.
People have access now to all CELA and bookshare titles for the most part. New titles are being added.
Recently, the focus has been on improving the search functionality which they have heard a lot of complaints about. Michael brought in someone to assist with this. In order to fix the search issues, they had to re-index the entire collection which did take time. Search filters and advanced search still needs to be implemented.
After the search is working well, the focus will be on improving the patron account information. Implementing the history, the setting of preferences, manage holds lists and update account information.
Another priority is getting the daisy text magazines back. They must build additional programming to do this.
CELA is hoping to have most of the site up and running by the summer. However, many of the issues they have encountered have been issues they did not foresee.
There is a known issue with getting direct to player books on the plextalk players. This is an issue with the company who makes plextalk. Plextalk has done nothing about it. Both CNIB and optilec have stopped selling their players for this reason. Nevertheless, they are hoping to get a resolution for this issue.
CELA has been contacting the patrons they know use plextalk and giving them some alternatives.
There was an issue with voiceover (the screen reader for IOS) that has been resolved.
Some of the bookshare titles that appeared are titles we should not have access to in Canada. And, another bookshare issue where duplicate titles are appearing. This means that the bookshare title might not be able to be downloaded successfully. Bookshare is working on this from their side too. Once everything is fixed, this will be a great and very accessible system.
This system will give CELA room to grow and allow them to add other library systems as they become available.
Bookshare is already working with other blindness libraries to improve their product and interaction. Michael is hoping that we continue to be patient (that is so appreciated) and continue to reach out and let CELA know our thoughts and ideas. The pace at which issues are being fixed has picked up over the past few weeks.
People expressed their appreciation for the update progress e-mails that we have been getting regularly.
Someone liked that the site is easier to use on smart phones.
All formats being in one record are appreciated.
The mobile site works well.
The New titles section will be restored when CELA is able to add the filter for new titles. That should happen within the next few weeks.
Michael will update us on this and any other major updates as they happen.
Michael will also investigate answers for the questions below and provide answers as he gets them.
Kim and Albert will share to the GTT list and blog.
- Will the bookshare new titles be updated as well as the cela titles?
- Michael will check. We may have an option for filtering the new titles lists.
Comment. the dialogue box that comes up after you press get it for the book does not always pop up.
Michael has made this a high priority.
Sometimes bookshare has several versions of a book. If you cannot download one, try downloading another one.
Comment. When you download a book into direct to player, there is no book description on the victor stream.
Michael will investigate.
Comment. There are some issues with bookshare download saying service error. Bookshare was contacted and this seems to be a humanware issue. There should be a victor stream software update in June which will correct this.
Michael suggested trying to download the bookshare books through CELA and see if this works better.
Publishers sign agreements with bookshare and they either say they will let international patrons have their books or not. About 90 percent of publishers in bookshare let us have them. May 8 Marrakesh treaty has passed so there may be an increase in books available.
Comment. The notification on the iPhone that says go to your downloads section, does not always show up or is not read automatically. Someone suggested that this is a voiceover and screen reader focus issue on all platforms.
Comment Someone is having a problem with downloads not showing up in the download section. Some people have also seen books that are much older in their list of holds or books on their shelf.
Michael wondered if It might be that the history feature once implemented will fix this. This seems to happen with direct to player books in dolphin reader.
Comment. Someone had an issue where CELA kept logging them out even when they were signed in.
Michael said that sometimes it is a personal account issue and you might have to call CELA help to fix your actual account.
Comment. Some people ended up downloading the same book 3 or 4 times because they did not get the notification. The new system is a bit of a learning curve as there is one extra step to download a book. Suggestion. Indicate all the known problems on the CELA front page?
Michael said that now, it would take a long time to get through the list of issues. It was further suggested that any major issues be put on the front page.
Suggestion. Make a download sound for when a book is downloading like NVDA does when it is downloading a software update.
Comment Several people have not been able to download books from CELA onto their stream direct to player.
Michael will check if this is a known issue.
There will be filters for recently added and publication date. Michael is waiting to see if both can be added for filters.
Question. Will CELA be added as a service under voicedream reader.
Michael would like to be able to do this.
Question Will we also be able to search more easily in voicedream reader and in dolphin easy reader? This will hopefully happen, but it is not top of the list. Michael will follow up on the voicedream search and adding as a service for voicedream. This would cut out some steps and would make it easier for people.
After the search, putting the magazines back is a very high priority. The magazines are ingested into bookshare and then they come back to CELA.
Suggestion Occasionally when you remove books from dolphin, it does not clear from site. Can you have a button on the new site to clear books?
Michael believes this is planned but will follow up. The staff from CELA are wanting to make sure we can do more ourselves.
Question Is easy reader good on android?
Maybe not as straight forward as on IOS but still works.
Question. Can we search for just bookshare books or just cela books? Could that be a filter? Will it be described as a bookshare book if you search for just direct to player? Nice to be able to tell within the record if it is direct to player bookshare or CELA.
Michael will investigate this. It was pointed out that Daisy text is pretty much always bookshare. Daisy audio is cela.
It was pointed out that Using the victor stream to search for bookshare books will go away once bookshare is integrated with CELA. Is that right? Bookshare is willing to let us stay with bookshare accounts until all is sorted out.
Once everything is working, can we still do a search through our victor stream? Michael will check if this is on the development list.
It was suggested that we change the filter searches from check boxes to radio buttons.
Hopefully, in future when searching you can just type in a name, term, author, and the search will be smart and provide the most relevant results.
Michael will investigate what will be included in our preferences. Now, each new search clears all preferences.
Suggestion when using screen readers and Screen navigation, raise the level of the heading for the search. Make the search heading level 1 and the filters heading level 2. Michael will pass this along. Suggestion Will cela be in touch with humanware for people to search just on the stream because people find this a very easy way to search. Now every search on the stream is now very streamlined and similar. Michael will check on this as well.
Suggestion. Build an API with CELA to allow people to search on the stream. Will CELA work with humanware to build an API for searching CELA with the stream? Michael will check into this.
A similar API or the same one could work to add CELA to voicedream reader.
There are people who do not use their computer at all but just search on the stream. That is a very important service to have.
CELA is Encouraging people to not get hard CD’s but to change to direct to player and downloading onto your stream and onto your easy reader app. CELA can also designate someone or add a designate to help you load your shelf. If it is all legal, that is okay. If CELA has a designate name, then CELA can contact the designate if there is any issue.
GTT National Conference Call Overview
- GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
- GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
- Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
- Participants are encouraged to attend each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
- There are GTT groups across Canada as well as an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:
There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.
National GTT Email Support List
CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians. To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:
[End of Document]