The CELA Collection is here

The joy of reading is now bigger and wider for persons with print disabilities.

What is a print disability?

The Canadian Copyright Act defines a print disability as:

  • Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes
  • The inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • An impairment relating to comprehension

Halifax Public Libraries seeks to create social equality, a concept realized through ensuring access for all individuals. Format and reading technology are a personal choice - one size does not fit all. Through CELA, we are able to provide more items in a variety of accessible formats.

The format of your choice

Grab your library card and register for the CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access) service*.

The CELA service includes:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Described videos

You can read using DAISY-formatted audio, e-Text, described videos, and braille.

Benefits of the CELA service

Like you, Halifax Public Libraries believes everyone should have free access to reading materials in the format of their choice. The CELA service provides:

  • Full range of subjects and genres to reach all ages
  • Free access to over 450,000 titles
  • Professionally produced materials
  • French and English options
  • Special focus on Canadian titles and First Nations literature
  • Physical and digital delivery service


To have access to the CELA Collection, you need to fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • Halifax Public Libraries member
  • Resident of Halifax municipality
  • Person with a print disability


Accessing the CELA Collection is easy.

As with all Library services, registration with the CELA Collection is free.

Please note: CELA will confirm your registration and give you access to the collection within five (5) business days.


Most CELA Collection titles are available for download, but CELA also offers home-delivery. Our Direct-to-Player service allows for automatic downloading of titles to apps available on IOS and Android devices and Wi-Fi enabled DAISY reading devices.


Halifax Public Libraries and CELA offer remote and in-person support. Call your local Library or call CELA at 1-855-655-2273.

Compatible devices and software


Bookshare is an affiliated collection Canadian readers can access through CELA. The Bookshare collection offers even more popular titles, such as New York Times bestsellers and academic text books.

In order to access Bookshare’s catalogue, Library members must first register with CELA and then further register with Bookshare. Unlike CELA, Bookshare’s registration process requires proof of print disability, which includes an original signature from a Certifying Professional.

More information is available on the Bookshare website.


About CELA

CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access) is a national not-for-profit organization run by public libraries for public libraries. CELA’s vision is to provide equitable public library services for Canadians with print disabilities, and its mission is to support public libraries in 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 described video.

CNIB collection and CELA

In the past, persons with a print disability could access CNIB-produced materials in braille and audio formats only at CNIB. Now, eligible members of the public can use a local place—their public library—to access the CNIB catalogue, which is known for its high-quality.

* CELA is available to eligible residents of Halifax Regional Municipality. When you register, CELA will confirm your eligibility for the service. 


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