Accessible Collections

Accessible Collections

Making our collections accessible is an important part of making the Library a resource for everyone.

We offer a wide range of materials in accessible formats for persons with print disabilities.

Under the Canadian Copyright Act, a print disability is defined 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.

You can find specific materials by searching our catalogue for the format you need. You can put the items you need on hold, and they will be delivered to your local branch for pick-up.

Large print books

Large print books are available at all of our Library branches. Titles include a wide choice of best-sellers, fiction and non-fiction.


Audiobooks are full-length recordings of popular fiction and non-fiction books on CD, or as an audio file download. You can listen to audiobooks on your computer or portable device. We also offer a large selection of downloadable books, magazines, music, and movies via our E-Library.

Descriptive and closed-captioned videos

Descriptive and closed-captioned features can be found on many of the DVDs and Blu-Rays in our collection. The catalogue listing for these titles will indicate whether description and/or closed-captioning is available and we can help you locate them in branch.

Narration describing the action, characters, costumes, and locations can inform a viewer with visual disabilities without interfering with a movie's dialogue or sound effects.

Closed-captioned subtitles can be seen with a closed captioned decoder or with a built-in decoder on newer televisions.

Print-braille and braille books

Print-Braille children’s picture books provide a braille overlay for a selection of books in our collection. We also have a collection of children’s books written fully in braille.


As a Library member with a print disability, you can register to borrow accessible items from the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) and National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS).

They lend items that are specially designed for readers with:

  • Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes
  • Aren't able to hold or manipulate a book
  • Have an impairment relating to comprehension


The CELA Collection includes more than 450,000 items on a range of subjects and genres for all ages—all professionally-produced for people with print disabilities. There are French and English options, and a special focus on Canadian titles and First Nations literature.


You are eligible to borrow from the CELA Collection, if you're a Library member with a print disability and you live within the Halifax Regional Municipality.


You can register by visiting us in person at any of our locations and self-identifying as a person with a print disability. You can also self-register online, opens a new window, but you'll still need to have your library card number. CELA will confirm your registration and give you access to the collection within 5 business days.

How it works

Once you're registered for CELA, you can borrow items designed specifically for people with print disabilities including:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Described videos

Most CELA Collection titles can be downloaded. You can read using DAISY-formatted audio, e-Text, described videos, and braille. You can read more about compatible devices and software, opens a new window on the CELA website.

Our Direct-to-Player service allows for automatic downloading of titles to apps available on iOS and Android devices, as well as WiFi enabled DAISY reading devices.

CELA also offers their own home delivery service for some of the physical item in their collection.

If you have questions or need support, call any of our locations or CELA at 1-855-655-2273.


NNELS is a growing collection of downloadable audiobooks and other accessible formats available for people with print disabilities.

NNELS titles can be used on a wide variety of devices, including computers/ laptops, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, MP3 players, DAISY readers, and can also be burned on to CDs.


If you have a print disability, you will need to complete a self-declaration form at any of our locations. If you are unable to complete the form, you may have a “competent authority” complete it for you.

Once you're registered, you'll be given a library barcode and PIN that you can use to access materials from the NNELS website:, opens a new window.

The website also has tutorials on downloading NNELS titles and other useful information.

Already registered? Log in with your library card.

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