CNIB’s enduring support for literacy and reading reaches back to its historic roots as a library service, the Canadian Free Library for the Blind, which opened its doors to readers in 1907. This critical aspect of CNIB history, chronicled in this exhibit, extends into the present day with developments in services and collections for adults, children, and teens who are blind or partially sighted.
These developments have unfolded nationally and internationally. Canada has seen the transformation of the CNIB Library in parallel with the establishment of a new, public-library-run Canadian organization called the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA). Internationally, the historic signing and ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty in 2016 reduces barriers for creating and sharing alternate format material across international borders.