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Collections Policy

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) is a digital public library of on-demand titles for accessible format materials.

This digital library is available to any person with a print disability: blind or other vision impairment, dyslexia or other perceptual disability, or a physical inability to hold a book. NNELS is an evolving network of library users, librarians, library associates, print producers, alternate format producers, and others. NNELS provides access to library books through a network of exchange as well as open library content.

The Working Collection Policy for NNELS

NNELS offers accessible formats for published printed works. The collection is driven by patron requests and partner selections, as well as contributions including from publishers, partners, and other alternate format producers.

The goal is for NNELS patrons to have access to the same types of books and information available in any public library. Collected and produced titles emulate popular and up-to-date titles currently selected in Canadian public library service centres, with focus on Canadian literature and publications. While NNELS primarily holds English language titles, NNELS accepts requests, produces, and collects titles in other languages, particularly French.

Nevertheless, NNELS is meant to be a supplement to existing library services by providing access to printed publications that are not already in a format that is accessible to perceptual or print disabled. Therefore, as per the Copyright Act of Canada, NNELS will refer patrons or partners to purchase commercially available material when available, which also allows general access to materials, and not only by patrons with access to NNELS.

Accountability and Licensing

The collection contains original, critical, and possibly controversial materials necessary for the functioning of a democratic society. The presence of a particular item in the collection does not indicate an endorsement of its content. NNELS operates mindful of the Canadian Library Association Statement of Intellectual Freedom.

NNELS embraces technology, methods of access, workflows, and distributed strategies intrinsic to sustainable digital collections. Library services support and enrich educational, cultural, community, and economic activities of citizens Canada-wide. Requests, production work, book buying, cataloguing, and the deposit of items are all done in accordance with principles of technological efficiency, fiscal accountability, and respect for intellectual property rules.

When making titles available, NNELS relies on partnerships to circulate, promote, and distribute materials in accordance with appropriate copyright exemptions. We are committed to development of open library resources and prefer open published items for the collection wherever possible.

NNELS metadata and the contents of the site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. Wherever possible, and in keeping with a commitment to international resource fairness for people with print disabilities, we seek the widest possible distribution for the items in our repository.