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Adapted books now downloadable at BanQ

The adapted book is carving out an increasingly important place at the National Library and Archives of Quebec (BanQ). Indeed, the Quebec Adapted Book Service (SQLA) has decided to open its collection not only to users with a visual impairment, but to all those who have a condition causing difficulty with reading.

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The adapted book is carving out an increasingly important place National Library and Archives of Quebec (BanQ). Indeed, the Quebec adapted book service (SQLA) has decided to open its collection not only to users with a visual impairment, but to all those who have a condition causing difficulty with reading.

Users who suffer from dyslexia, attention disorders, traumas and physical disabilities, for example, can now have free access to the collection of adapted books of the Great Library. To do this, users must present a certificate of incapacity provided by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, orthopedagogue or other specialist.

“The adapted book is an audio-digital tool,” explains André Vincent, head of adapted services at BanQ. “The format we use makes it possible to index the book page by page, also by chapter or even by sentence. Thus, the adapted book resembles audiobook tapes and CDs, but allows more precision in finding a specific passage since it is easier to navigate through the document. This format offers the possibility to vary the reading speed without distortion of the voice, to set bookmarks allowing to return to a determined place, to memorize the last reading position as well as to present information on the elapsed time, the time remaining, the title of the work and that of the current chapter, etc.

To read an adapted book, several options are available to listeners. The first option is to get a device dedicated to reading adapted books in DAISY format. The BanQ has more than 6,000 titles in this format and acquires approximately 750 new ones each year. Some devices are even reimbursed by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec for users with learning difficulties and visual impairments. They are available as a CD player, digital player or tablet and are easy to use. The BanQ sends books of this format in CD form by post free of charge throughout Quebec.

As for users who can use a computer, SQLA offers a service that will delight more than one: the free download of books in DAISY format, readable using free software such as Victor Soft or AMIS. “We currently offer more than 1,700 titles to download, and all of our adapted books will be downloadable soon,” explains André Vincent.

SQLA has approximately 5,000 active members, the majority of whom are visually impaired. "The demand for service has been increasing for several years on the part of users who have reading difficulties for all kinds of reasons," explains the head of adapted services. With the downloading of books, it is easier than ever to meet this demand, since several users can use the same book at the same time.

According to André Vincent, SQLA wishes, with the indexing of books in DAISY format, to meet the needs of young people, in whom learning disabilities are more and more frequent. “Our readership is getting younger and we want to develop the collection in that direction,” he says. “We therefore give a significant place to the suggestions of our public. "

To find out more, visit the Quebec adapted book service.

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