This page provides an introduction to the ACE digitization service. It is aimed primarily towards staff members at current or potential partner institutions.
The Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE) supports users with print disabilities at participating Ontario universities by making university library collections accessible through an online platform. Through the ACE digitization service, users can request accessible copies of books to be created and added to the ACE collection on demand.
For more information about the ACE platform and collection, please consult the following FAQ: What is the Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE)?
Any users who are eligible to access the Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE) are eligible to submit a digitization request, provided their university is participating in the digitization service. Please consult the following FAQ for more information on eligibility: Who is eligible to access ACE?
Please note, users cannot submit requests to us directly at this time. Instead, they should talk to their local ACE coordinator, who can submit the request to us on their behalf.
According to the scope of the ACE service, we may digitize any books that the requesting library owns in print. While the book does not have to be on the shelf or available for circulation at the time of the request, it is still eligible, provided we are able to acquire a scannable copy within the time frame requested. We also accept requests for any items for which your library has placed a purchase order, even if you have not yet received it.
The following lists should help you determine what types of items are and are not within the scope of our service.
Other types of items not yet covered here will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions about an item you would like to request, please contact us.
When requesting a book to be digitized, the local ACE coordinator checks the ACE collection to ensure the book has not been scanned already. If the book has already been scanned, we can easily grant the university access to it. The material will not be scanned twice.
Currently, the scope of the ACE service only supports the digitization of print collections. However, we hope to investigate the logistics of incorporating digitally-born material (e.g. ebooks from publishers) into ACE in the near future.
Staff members at participating universities can submit on-demand digitization requests via our Google form. Please make sure you read through and follow all the instructions below and on the form carefully before submitting your request.
Since Scholars Portal is located in the Robarts Library building at the University of Toronto, we are able to make use of the vast collection of books available at the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL). When you submit a digitization request, we ask you to check the UTL catalogue to see if a copy of the book is available. For the majority of the requests we receive, we are able to acquire a copy of the book locally, which expedites digitization.
If the requested book is not available at UTL, we try to make other arrangements to acquire the book. If possible, we ask the requesting library to send us a copy of their book via the Inter-University Transit System (IUTS) using Canpar. Canpar ships books quickly and reliably, so we can accommodate the request with little delay, and books are usually returned to their original library within a week.
If the requesting library is unable to send us their copy of the book for whatever reason, we will try to acquire the book through interlibrary loans (ILL). Given the nature of ILL, it can be difficult to predict the length of time required to get hold of a book through this method. This is usually our last resort, and it may take a while for us to receive the book and fulfill the request.
As there are 44 branches at UTL, we definitely don't expect you to know them all! When you are first starting out, just provide us with the permalink to any suitable copy at UTL, and we'll take care of the rest.
However, as you become more familiar with the digitization service, you will notice there are some locations listed in the UTL catalogue for which we do not have direct borrowing privileges. To help you out, we have provided the following list:
In order to successfully digitize a book and make it accessible, we must be able to acquire a copy of the book in which the full text is clear and recognizable. We consider the following factors when trying to acquire the best possible copy for digitization:
If the book you are requesting is not currently available at UTL, we encourage you to send us your library's copy through the Inter-University Transit System (IUTS) using Canpar.
We will digitize the book and return it to you as quickly as possible. If you are mailing us an item to digitize, please remember to review the following checklist first.
Scholars Portal - ACE Project
Robarts Library, 7th Floor, Unit #7001
130 St. George Street
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON M5S 1A5
Requests are generally processed Monday through Friday, though requests received after 2:00pm (or after 12:00pm on Fridays) will be processed the following business day. Most requests are accommodated in 7-8 calendar days or less. Occasionally, server issues or staff availability may affect turnaround, but the most common reasons for longer turnaround times are delays in acquiring the item itself, or high volumes of concurrent requests.
Below, you will find a general description of the digitization process, and the estimated timeline for each stage. Our staff will communicate with you regularly throughout this process to keep you updated about the status of your request.
Sometimes, you may wish to browse through the collection rather than search for a specific title. Below we have offered two suggestions to help you browse. Students can access these instructions via the ACE LibGuide.
If you want to view all the books available in ACE, simply leave the search field empty and press Search. (You can choose to check or uncheck the Show only content I can access box, depending on whether you want to see all the books in the collection, or only those which you can access in full text.)
This easy trick allows you to skip entering specific search terms, so you can use the facets on the right-hand side to browse through the entire collection instead.
In addition to all the search and refinement features, ACE also includes a number of hyperlinked fields that allow you to browse through the collection in other ways.
For example, if you are viewing a particular book in the collection, you will notice that you can click on the author's name (near the top of the page) to view a list of all other books in the ACE collection written by that author. Other links that facilitate browsing can be found under the About this book heading on the right-hand side, which allow you to see other books that are part of the same series or about the same topic.
Useful tips: sometimes information about a book's topic or series is not available or applicable, so these links will not be provided. Also, please note that author names may not be standardized across the collection, so if you want to be sure you have found every available book by a particular author, make sure you run a fresh search instead. Browsable links are provided to facilitate convenience and discovery, but they are not necessarily the most rigorous way to search the collection.