Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Edmonton Public Library is the Gale LJ Library of the Year

Edmonton Public Library is the first Canadian library to win the award from Library Journal.

Read the article: library journal.com

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Centre for Equitable Library Access Launches

For Immediate Release

Launch of new library service provides accessible books to over three million Canadians with print disabilities

May 29, 2014 – Victoria, BC: The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELAlibrary.ca) officially launched its new national service which provides accessible library services and materials to Canadians with print disabilities. The announcement was made at the Canadian Library Association’s National Conference in Victoria, BC.

Over three million Canadians have a print disability. This could be a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print. For the 10 per cent of Canadians who have a print disability, access to reading materials in alternate formats like audio, braille and described video is often an ongoing challenge. Research shows that access to a broad range of reading materials has a direct and positive impact on a child’s success in school and in life. CELA makes it possible for these Canadians to gain easy access to a wealth of reading materials, in formats of their choice, right in their own communities through their local public library.

offers member public libraries:

  • A broad choice of formats including audio, braille, e-text and described video
  • Access to a growing collection of over 230,000 alternate format items including books, magazines, newspapers and described videos
  • Access to Bookshare (bookshare.org), the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials. Bookshare is an American organization that works with publishers to obtain new releases and back catalogues of their works. Bookshare books can be downloaded to a computer, mobile device such as a smartphone and tablet, or braille displays. Their catalogue is rapidly expanding, and all CELA members have access to more than 160,000 books.
  • A broad selection of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s, young adult, business, self-help, poetry and more
  • A choice of delivery options: Direct download to computer, handheld devices and DAISY player; CD and braille mailed to home
  • Support for community outreach and summer reading programs
  • Training and expertise on accessibility
  • Bilingual collections and service

While May 29 marks the official launch, over 600 public library systems across Canada are already CELA members, or 75 per cent of Canadian public libraries. These member libraries are serving over 85 per cent of Canadians. Ninety-four percent of Canada’s First Nations libraries are CELA members. And the CELA membership is growing.

About CELA

CELA is a new, national non-profit organization established by Canadian public libraries to provide equitable public library services for Canadians with print disabilities. CELA provides services to libraries to enable them to serve their patrons who have a visual, learning or physical disability that prevents them from reading conventional print. CELA is governed by a Board made up of public library representatives from across Canada, and is supported by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) and CNIB (the Canadian National Institute for the Blind).Together, we champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in a format of their choice.

Background and Frequently Asked Questions documents available upon request.

At the launch, 14-year-old Rachell Morton, a CELA patron and member of the Greater Victoria Public Library, spoke about the impact on her life of the availability of CELA services. Media interviews with Rachell, as well as with other CELA users and CELA member public libraries can be arranged upon request.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Murray, CELA
(416) 820-9707
media@celalibrary.ca

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is CELA?
CELA is a new, national non-profit organization established by Canadian public libraries to support the provision of accessible collections for Canadians with print disabilities and to champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in the format of their choice, including audio, braille, e-text and descriptive video. CELA is supported by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC).

What does CELA do?
CELA provides services to public libraries to support their patrons with print disabilities, including learning, physical or visual disabilities that prevent someone from reading conventional print. With this in mind, CELA produces and distributes a growing collection of items including books, magazines, newspapers and described videos in a number of choices of formats and delivery methods. CELA also provides public libraries with support, expertise and training on accessibility.

Who is CELA?
CELA is a public library membership organization. It is governed by a Board made up of public library representatives from across Canada, with various Board committees and public library and consumer advisory groups.

What services does CELA offer?
CELA offers member libraries:

  • A variety of formats including audio, braille, e-text and descriptive video
  • Access to a growing 230,000+ collection, including books, magazines, newspapers and described videos
  • Bilingual collection and service
  • Access to Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of accessible books. Bookshare is an American organization that works with publishers to obtain new releases and back catalogues of their works, then uses features like text-to-speech or digital braille to make these works accessible. Their catalogue is rapidly expanding every day, and all CELA members have access to over 160,000 books.
  • Delivery options: Direct download to computers, handheld devices and DAISY players; CD and braille mailed to home
  • Community outreach and summer reading program support
  • Training and advice on accessibility matters
  • Service infrastructure already scaled to serve over 1 million Canadians

Who can access CELA collections?
Any member of a participating library who has a learning, visual, or physical disability that prevents them from reading conventional print.

How do public libraries deliver CELA services to their customers?
People with print disabilities sign up for public library service at their local public library and, if eligible, are introduced to the library’s accessible services, including CELA collections. These collections are available in different formats and can be downloaded onto a computer or device, or be delivered by mail to the patron’s home.

Is there a fee for libraries to offer CELA services? Is there a fee for customers to access CELA services?
Depending on the size of the library system, and what province it is in, there may be a fee for libraries to join CELA. Several provinces are providing full funding for their libraries to join CELA. In non-funding provinces, there is a fee based on the population served by the library. This covers a portion of the costs, with the balance underwritten this year by CNIB.

For library patrons, the service is free with their library card.

What is CNIB's relationship to CELA?
CNIB is the service provider of CELA services for CELA Library Members and their customers, including providing alternative format production and delivery services and support.

CNIB is also a critical partner in a national solution for accessible format materials, supporting advocacy and funding efforts for CELA services.

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Updated CULC/CBUC Paper on eBooks and Public Libraries

April 24 – Today CULC/CBUC released and up-to-date white paper on eBooks and Canadian public libraries. Written by Christina de Castell (Vancouver Public Library) this updates the White Paper that was originally published by CULC/CBUC in August 2011. The new paper is entitled “eBooks in 2014: Access and Licensing at Canadian Public Libraries”.

CULC/CBUC has invested a lot of member time in improving access to eBook content over the last few years. Working with eBound Canada, the eContent Task Force concluded a RFP process without a pilot late in 2013. This new paper chronicles all that has happened from 2011 to 2014 and where public libraries currently sit in terms of access to eBook content and leading technology. It is the most up-to-date document of it’s kind in Canada for public library perspectives. Please share with your staff to keep them informed of the current status of this work. The CULC/CBUC Task Force continues to explore ways to effectively work with eBook and eContent for Canadian public library access, in collaboration with Canadian publishers and the library vendor community. The CULC/CBUC Task Force includes members from Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver public libraries.

CULC/CBUC wants to thank the entire task force, Christina and Vancouver Public Library for the development of this resource.

eBooks in 2014: Access and Licensing at Canadian Public Libraries.pdf (553.41 kb)

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Linda Cook receives CLA's Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award

2014 Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award Announced by the Canadian Library Association

(Ottawa, April 8, 2014) – The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce that the 2014 CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is being presented to Linda Cook of the Edmonton Public Library. The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is generously sponsored by ProQuest.

Linda Cook is an extraordinary, recognized Canadian leader whose achievements, dedication, and service to the library community has propelled librarianship and library services forward, enhancing the lives of many individuals. Linda has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for her role as a librarian, as an astute and business-savvy CEO, for her leadership at Edmonton Public Library and the city of Edmonton, as well as her leadership nationally.

As CEO she has led Edmonton Public Library to be a trailblazer among its peers. Many firsts in Canada and North America have been initiated by Linda’s vision and leadership. EPL was the first large urban library to: implement a system wide self-check-in and returns system that freed up staff from focusing on transactional tasks to concentrate on qualitative customer interactions; hire an Aboriginal Services Librarian to meet the needs of a growing urban Aboriginal population; initiate a system wide community-led service philosophy with eighteen community librarians across the city to bring library services beyond the library walls; establish eplGO in the University of Alberta’s Cameron Library, the first public library in Canada contained inside an academic library; establish the first lending machine located in an LRT public transit stations; and employ outreach workers at the Stanley Milner branch through the Safe Communities Initiative Fund program to positively impact Edmonton’s downtown community by assisting high risk individuals using the library.

While fully engaged with her role as CEO, Linda has dedicated herself to supporting other librarians and library staff. She has been very generous in sharing her knowledge, experience, and strategies with her colleagues. For fifteen years she was an Adjunct Professor teaching and mentoring new librarians at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.

She has been a mentor for the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, a voluntary role she has performed over the past ten years. Similarly, Linda has volunteered with many library associations, serving as president of the Canadian Library Association, the Library Association of Alberta, and vice-chair of the Canadian Urban Public Libraries Council and chair of The Alberta Library. She makes a point of attending and participating in many conferences to keep her mind, her practices, and her institution sharp and forward thinking.

Linda has also contributed the library perspective and values through her involvement in other organizations, including the Glenora Rotary Club, President of the Downtown Business Association, Legal Aid Alberta board member, and Canadian Public Lending Commission board member. Linda was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership and oiutstanding services to the Capital Edmonton region. The Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizes citizens who have made real and lasting contributions to the quality of life in Alberta and Canada.

As the Mayor of the City of Edmonton, Don Iveson, says, “through her community involvement locally, provincially, and nationally, Linda demonstrates her vision and passion for public libraries and how they make a difference in people’s lives.”

The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award will be presented at the CLA Closing Ceremonies, to be held Saturday May 31 during the CLA National Conference and Trade Show in Victoria. The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library associations, representing the interests of public, academic, school, and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of Canadians through information and literacy.

Media Contact:
Keith Walker, Chair, 2014 CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award Jury
403-504-3539 kwalker@mhc.ab.ca

Press Release at CLA.ca

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The Future of Libraries - Eastern Canada Edition

The Future of Libraries: Do We Have Five Years to Live?

Thursday & Friday, May 1-2, 2014

Fairmont Royal York in Toronto
www.TheFutureofLibraries.org

A two-day institute for CEOs and University/College Librarians, and their senior staff, to get beyond the nostalgia, platitudes and cliches and explore the significant challenges facing library leaders. A unique program planned by and for public library CEOs/Directors and University Librarians and their senior staff.

In a world filled with turbulent change, are libraries keeping pace? Are they innovating and engaging their communities with all the opportunities available? Are they choosing the right focus and priorities? Join us for spirited discussions and interactive problem-solving!

For more information:

CULC/CBUC Members are entitled to discounted registration fees.

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