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About Accessible Libraries

The Public Library Accessibility Resource Centre (PLARC) and its website, Accessible Libraries, is a collaborative project between the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) in partnership with eBOUND. Our goal is to support Canadian libraries and their staff by offering resources and training on a broad range of topics related to accessibility and to further the discussion and awareness of accessibility through presentations, studies, training and advocacy.  

What began as a project specifically for public libraries in Canada continues to expand to include resources applicable to all types of libraries. Please share them with your teams, your leaders, and your wider community so that together we can remove barriers to accessing reading.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

The National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS), which is a project of the BC Libraries Cooperative, and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) are national not-for-profit organizations that provide accessible reading services to the approximately 3 million people across Canada with print disabilities. eBOUND is a non-profit that enables independent Canadian publishers to engage in the digital marketplace.

What the Repository Provides

Accessibility must be integrated into everything we do.  The resources on this website will help library staff and other stakeholders working in library organizations to learn more about integrating accessibility in all library areas, including:

  • procurement and acquisitions,
  • cataloguing,
  • staff training and awareness,
  • information technology,
  • outreach and home services,
  • and public services for patrons.

How We Select Resources for the Website

Resources on this website include those developed by our PLARC team and some from trusted external sources.

All external sources are thoroughly reviewed by our team using set criteria before being included. Once they are evaluated, they are categorized by topic matter to make them easy to find. Our topics are continually developing, so if you think that we are missing a term, please contact us!

For more information about how we select and evaluate the resources page, please read our Curation Policy.

Training Resources

The training resources are educational materials for library staff. The available resources cover various topics, including general accessibility, creating accessible documents, making your social media accessible, and procuring accessible formats. They are also available in various formats (e.g., recording, checklists, and slides) to support library staff’s educational needs. We developed the training resources through research and consultations with library experts and readers with lived experience.

More training resources will be added to the website as the project continues.

Website Language

Language, especially around diversity, equity, and inclusion, is continuing to evolve as we learn more about one another.

When speaking about disability, there are two language types most commonly used: person-first language, and identity-first language.

  • Person-first language puts the person first (e.g., readers with print disabilities).
  • Identity-first language puts identity first (e.g., print-disabled readers).

How people choose to identify themselves is deeply personal and reflects their self-concept, the norms within their particular communities, and our evolving language. We respect the decisions of all people and groups regarding the type of language they prefer, and where possible, we suggest libraries ask for the preference of the person or community they are addressing.

For this website, we have chosen to use the person-first language, which is used by the Government of Canada.

Licensing Information

The content of this website is produced by the Public Library Resources Centre (PLARC) team. All PLARC original materials fall under the Creative Commons with Attribution-ShareAlike license.