IFLA warmly welcomes the news that there are now 100 organisations and institutions engaged in the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), working together to ensure access to information for persons with print disabilities.

The Consortium provides a practical platform for sharing books in accessible formats between institutions in different countries. It works alongside direct collaborations between libraries and other institutions producing and holding these works, in order better to serve users.

It complements the Marrakesh Treaty, which provides for the legal changes needed to remove unnecessary barriers to making and exchanging works, and which itself now covers more than 100 countries.

Many of the Consortium’s members are libraries, while others are organisations with libraries central to their operations. IFLA is also represented on the ABC Board, helping to ensure that the Consortium and its Books Service works effectively for them.

The Consortium has now reached 100 members, in 54 countries on all continents, thanks to the adhesion of the Pancyprian Organisation of the Blind. This means that the Consortium is reaching further than ever before in its work to tackle the book famine that sees people with print disabilities only able to access a tiny fraction of all published works in formats that they can use.

IFLA’s representative on the ABC Board, Victoria Owen, said:

The 100th authorized entity to join the Accessible Book Consortium is a great landmark. The Consortium and its ever-expanding network of libraries and other institutions are doing a great job to help realise the potential of the Marrakesh Treaty to improve access for print disabled readers worldwide.

In addition to the 100th member of the ABC, IFLA also welcomes the awarding of the ABC International Excellence Award to the National Network of Equitable Library Services, Canada, alongside Taylor & Francis. The Network his is a repository of accessible works run by public libraries across the country.

In addition to the production of accessible format copies of works, the Network also takes a leading role in promoting accessible publishing through the Accessible Publishing Summit.

Congratulations to both of the winners!