Accessible Library Services

Alberta library patrons who have trouble reading traditional print because of a visual, physical or learning disability can make use of accessible library services such as CELA/CAEB (Centre for Equitable Library Access/Centre d'accès équitable aux bibliothèques) and NNELS (National Network for Equitable Library Service). 


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

The CELA Services

If you have patrons with trouble reading print because of a visual, physical or learning disability, CELA offers many other ways to read, and your patrons may borrow accessible titles from CELA as long as the patron code in their patron account in Polaris is set to “Print Disabled”. 

As a member of CELA, your library and your library's patrons can have access to offer a broad choice of formats including audio, braille, e-text and described video, including:

  • Books, magazines, newspapers and described videos
  • Access to Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials. Bookshare books can be downloaded to a computer, mobile device such as a smartphone and tablet, or braille displays.
  • A broad selection of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s, young adult, business, self-help
  • A choice of delivery options: direct download to computer, handheld devices and DAISY player; CD and braille mailed to home
  • Deposit collections of audio titles in the library
  • Support for community outreach and summer reading programs
  • Training and expertise on accessibility
  • Bilingual collections and service, with expanding access to other languages
  • CELA’s Educator Access Program offers Canadian educators who support students with print disabilities free access to their public library’s CELA service, including Bookshare.
  • Every member library has a CELA interlibrary loan account which is used to order DAISY CDs, download DAISY books, borrow braille or described movies on short-term loan. You will find the list of formats you may borrow, instructions for placing holds, borrowing privileges and how the items are shipped to your library and returned on the Inter-Library Loan Account for Libraries page.

Help resources for CELA include:

Member libraries can contact CELA for help at:


The National Network for Equitable Library Service, or NNELS, is an online public library which provides published books in accessible formats for Canadians with print disabilities.

Their goal is for patrons with perceptual disabilities to have access to the same types of books and information available in any public library, but in digital formats which are accessible for their needs. NNELS generally collects popular and recent material with a particular focus on Canadian literature. Additions to the constantly-growing NNELS collection are driven by patron requests and partner selections, as well as contributions including from publishers and alternate format producers.

The NNELS collection primarily holds English language titles but NNELS accepts requests in other languages, especially French. NNELS acquires and produces titles in numerous digital formats, including DAISY, MP3, PDF, E-text, and EPUB. When requesting a title, a patron may request it be produced in a particular format which is accessible to them. If the requested title and format is already commercially available elsewhere, NNELS may direct the patron’s library to purchase it; otherwise, they will produce the title and make it available on the NNELS website.

Patrons with perceptual disabilities in Peace Library System libraries may request and borrow titles from NNELS as long as the patron code in their patron account in Polaris is set to “Print Disabled”.

To request a title, visit the NNELS request form.

For tutorials and instructions on searching and downloading already existing NNELS titles, visit the NNELS Help Page

The Library Toolshed also has help resources for NNELS, including:

Member libraries can contact NNELS for help at:

Phone: 1 (888) 848-9250