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General questions

e-books 101

What is an e-book?

A: According to Termium, the Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank, an e-book (also called an electronic book or digital book) is “[A book] published for reading on personal computers, smart phones, or dedicated equipment [such as] e-book readers.” The French equivalent is livre numérique, livre électronique or livrel

There can be confusion between the e-book itself and the device used to read it. The simplest way to look at it is: the e-book is a file that can be read using a variety of devices (e.g., tablet, smartphone, computer), in the same way that a song in mp3 format, which is also a file, can be played on one of those devices.

Are there different e-book formats?

A: Yes. The most commonly used formats are EPUB and PDF. Most of the e-books available on the Biblius.ca platform are in EPUB format, which offers many advantages in terms of accessibility (e.g., audio descriptions of images). EPUB format also enables publishers to integrate features like audiovisual content, animations or interactivity to their e-books, although not all publishers do so.

What does DRM mean?

A: Documents in EPUB file format are protected by software (think of it as a digital “lock”) attached to each file that prevents its unauthorized copying and sharing (piracy) and ensures it can’t be accessed unless certain conditions are fulfilled. This process is known as Digital Rights Management, abbreviated DRM. The French term is verrou numérique (“digital lock”).

Does borrowing e-books via the platform respect copyright?

A: Yes. The DRM “digital lock” technology that protects each file means that it cannot be saved or copied. In addition, the publishers whose e-books are available on the Biblius.ca platform have signed agreements whereby they agree to their works being purchased for use in school settings, in compliance with the platform terms and conditions for use.

What does “chronodegradable” mean?

A: When someone borrows an e-book from the lending platform of a public or school library, that person can read it for a limited time, determined by the system. Once that time has elapsed, the file is no longer readable, unless the borrower renews their loan. The technical means that enable this feature are part of the DRM “digital lock” code.

What is an e-book licence?

A: Unlike print books, when an electronic publication is purchased for the purpose of school library loans, it is not the document or file that is purchased. Rather, the institution purchases a licence governing use of the publication, e.g.: the right to loan the publication a certain number of times, allow simultaneous loans, project it on a smartboard, etc. This is the principle of a loan; the rights to use the work are purchased subject to the limitations of a contract.

See this section of the site for more information about the current Biblius licence.

Why do some ebooks not have page numbers ?

A.: Unlike paper-based books, which necessarily have a fixed layout, many digital books allow the reader to adjust the size of the characters, the space between the lines and the margins in order to facilitate reading. These functions have been requested for several years, in particular for students with disabilities or learning or adaptation difficulties.

From the moment the font is enlarged, the notion of page loses its meaning: in 12 point font, the novel can have 120 pages, but in 20 point font, it can have 200. With a standard space between the lines, chapter 3 can start on page 60, but if we double the line spacing to make the text easier to read, then chapter 3 can start on page 100, for example. It is therefore normal that several digital books do not include pagination.

You cannot offer these accessibility features while maintaining the same page numbers as the print version. The two are simply incompatible.

Once I’ve borrowed an e-book on the platform, can I share it by e-mail?

A: No. When a file (regardless of format) is sent by e-mail, the original file remains stored on the sender’s device. This means a copy of the original is made. That poses no problem if the file in question is, say, a working document in MS Word or a photo taken with a phone. E-books, however, are subject to the Copyright Act, which means making a digital copy of one is just as illegal as photocopying every page of a printed book without the consent of the publisher.

Consequently, the e-books found on the Biblius.ca platform are protected by DRM technology (a “digital lock”), which ensures that their consultation and use does not constitute copyright infringement.

The platform: general questions

What is the purpose of an ebook lending platform?

A: E-books may be files, but they are still subject to the Copyright Act. A platform is like a library, but in the digital realm:

  • It connects with the digital warehouses (secure locations where the e-book files are stored);
  • It includes an interface allowing users to search in the collection and browse the virtual shelves of the digital library;
  • It enables management of loans and protects against copyright infringement;
  • It includes features developed to facilitate use of the e-books for teaching purposes in school settings, such as speech synthesis and reading assignments by teachers;
  • It enables generation of detailed statistics on the e-collection and its user behaviours.

The platform also has an integrated reader tool, making it possible to read e-books online without having to install a dedicated app on your device.

To know more about the workings of an e-book lending platform: click here

Why develop a school-based e-book platform when public libraries and BAnQ already provide this service to citizens?

A: The Pretnumerique.ca platform, operated and administered by Bibliopresto, has enabled Québec’s public libraries to offer digital book loans since 2012. However, for a variety of legal and technical reasons that platform cannot be used in school library settings.

To be able to purchase and lend the books found on the platform, libraries must sign usage agreements with the books’ publishers. The agreements for Pretnumerique.ca allow only personal use of e-books borrowed from public libraries; i.e., they cannot be used in a teaching context (e.g., projection on an interactive white board, classroom reading circles). A school library is meant to be a learning laboratory that supports teaching of all subjects (see the question What is the mission of the school-based libraries…? elsewhere in this FAQ file).

In addition, several functionalities of the Pretnumerique.ca platform are incompatible with the needs of school settings. For example, it uses the Adobe ID locking system—which often creates incompatibility with speech-synthesis software—and lacks simultaneous loan capability, which is essential if a book is to be read by several students at once.

How does an e-book lending platform work?

A: Click here to view the operating diagram of an e-book lending platform (in French only).

Who is the target audience of Biblius?

 A: The platform’s target users are staff and students of Québec school institutions, both public and private, that offer preschool education, primary and/or secondary education, adult education and/or vocational training.

Access for First Nations and Inuit schools outside the public school network is currently being evaluated by the Ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ).

Our school doesn’t have a library. Can we offer e-book loans to our students and staff anyway?

A: Yes, you can. However, this project is not intended to replace a physical library with a digital library, nor to encourage development of the latter over the former. Provision of e-books is meant to complement the other services available through school libraries.

Accessibility (students with special needs)

Is the Biblius platform offering accessibility features for students with special needs?

A: Yes. The Web reader (which allows you to open and read an e-book directly on the platform without having to download it) integrated into Biblius includes a text-to-speech function, as well as options allowing you to enlarge the font and modify the display of the text. However, the effectiveness of these functions depends on the quality and configuration of the digital file provided by the publishers. To learn more, see the next question of this FAQ.

Other accessibility features will be added as the platform develops.

Are e-books in Biblius compatible with Text-to-Speech tools used by students with special needs?

A: Yes. However, the effectiveness of speech recognition depends on how the book was created by the publisher (configuration and file format). Generally speaking, it normally works very well with novels and books with a simple layout and few images or graphics.

For books with a complex layouts like comics, nonfiction or picture books, some issues may be encountered. For example, when the book includes writing embedded in an image, the reader will not recognize it as text unless the publisher has programmed it that way. In the same way, it could happen that voice recognition does not work with certain titles with a complex layout (picture books or comics), if the publisher has configured everything as an image and not as text.

The needs of the school environment in relation to digital works – particularly with regard to compatibility with speech synthesis tools – require adaptation as well as the development of new technical skills for several publishers. All of the players involved in the project will continue to work together, over the coming months and years, to better serve this clientele.

For possible solutions in the event of a problem with the Text-to-speech function in Biblius, see the section about Technical questions, below in this FAQ.

Availibility of e-books in Biblius

Will all books that exist in print form be available as e-books via the platform?

A: No. There are a number of reasons why some titles are not found on the LIQ (Québec independent booksellers) institutional site:

  • Some books are marketed solely in print format. These can include titles that are a few years old as well as more recent ones that the publisher has decided to issue in print format only.
  • Not all titles available from general-public online booksellers are available for purchase by school libraries. The publishers must have agreed to sign the Biblius licence for their books to be available for institutional purchase by schools. Each publisher is free to choose which titles they make available for school library lending. 
  • Some titles are released for sale to the public before being made available to libraries (time limits vary).

However, e-book distribution in libraries is still at a relatively early stage, especially French-language and Québec publishing, so these factors may change in the future.

Some e-books available on the market can not be offered in Biblius. Why?

A: Not all e-books available to consumer online bookstores are available in the marketplace linked to Biblius. This choice belongs to publishers who agree or not to sell their digital books to school libraries under the conditions permitted by the Biblius platform. Also, some titles become available for purchase in libraries only after their release to the general public.

However, the distribution of digital books is developing in libraries, especially with regard to French-language and Quebec publishing, and these factors may change.

Will school textbooks and workbooks be available on the platform?

A: No. The project only concerns literature and, mainly, children’s literature (picture books, novels, comics, nonfiction, poetry, etc.).

Can all the e-books offered in Biblius be seen and borrowed by every student (how does the age/grade level filter works)?

A: No. Thanks to a filter detecting the grade level of students at the time of connection, primary school students only see books suitable for their age. Therefore, they do not have access to books for which the target audience is equal to or greater than 12 years old. Secondary, FP and FGA students see all the books available on the platform. Eventually, a more refined filter will be developed.

Will it be possible to add e-books to Biblius that were purchased before the platform was launched?

A: No. For technological and legal reasons, books acquired outside the Biblius-dedicated purchase space cannot be incorporated into the platform.

The only exception: the only digital books purchased before the arrival of Biblius that can be added are those found on the Cantook platform. De Marque – which is the supplier of the Cantook platform – is also the technical service provider for the Biblius platform. With the deployment of Biblius, Cantook will no longer be offered to the school network and De Marque will integrate into Biblius the works found in Cantook. For more information, contact De Marque.

Can audiobooks be offered in Biblius?

A: It is now possible to purchase audiobook licences for your local collection.

The audio format is identified by the word “Audiobook” in the Librairies indépendantes du Québec (LIQ) virtual bookstore. Each audiobook is offered according to the same two licences as for e-books: 55 loans, one at a time / 40 concurrent loans.

Once purchased, audiobooks will be identified with a small headphone logo on the cover of the book.

**It should be noted that by “audiobook”, we mean books that only include an audio frame without any visuals.

For books that include audio added to the text (enriched digital books), it is now possible to offer them on the platform provided that they are available on the market in ePub and that the publisher has signed the license allowing the title(s) to be offered on the virtual library linked to Biblius. So far, the supply of enriched digital books remains very marginal.

Can we integrate book apps in Biblius?

A: No. Book apps offered as applications in the Apple Store (iPhone, iPad) or the Play Store (Android) cannot be integrated into Biblius.

The applications are developed for a particular operating system such as IOS or Android and are therefore not compatible with all types of devices, which is problematic when we want to develop a platform consistent with the variety of devices present in the Quebec schools. In addition, the frequent updating of operating systems requires that application creators update their applications in order for them to continue to function, which is not always possible (financial or technical issues). On the technical side, the format of the applications – and the technology required to support them – is totally different from what is used to manage books in .pdf or ePub format.

But above all, the application market is completely separate from that of the book market. The entire ecosystem allowing the loan of digital works – including the licenses governing the loan – is not consistent with that of the applications.

The shared collection (for the public school network only)

Which e-books are part of the shared collection offered to the entire public school network for the 2021-2022 school year?

A: The complete list of e-books constituting the shared collection offered to the entire school network for the 2021-2022 school year can be downloaded in pdf or Excel format.

For a general portrait of the shared collection (number of publishers, breakdown by language, etc.), see the Portrait of the collection section, in this page.

Will the shared collection will be offered in the next few years?

A: The shared collection, offered to the entire Quebec public school network by the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ), is part of a major ministerial investment lasting five years (2021-2022 to 2025-2026 ): it aims to “increase access for the school community to Quebec cultural works and to ensure better integration of culture in pedagogy”.

For more information, see the MEQ press release.

How were the e-books of the shared collection selected?

A: See the Selection of e-books: process and Selection criteria sections of the shared collection page on this web site.

Use of electronic books in school settings

What is the mission of the school-based libraries and how is it different from that of public libraries?

A: A school library is above all meant to be “a learning laboratory for teachers and students” (Action Plan on Reading in School, MEES), as well as a space providing access to print and digital-media resources. It is developed in order to achieve the following objectives: 

  • Provide support and guidance to teachers and students in all disciplines on the effective use of all resources;
  • Promote language learning and reading as a complement to teachers’ instruction;
  • Provide training in media and information literacy as part of teaching projects;
  • Be a place for appropriating and becoming proficient with technology tools;
  • Provide a place for cultural mediation at school to stimulate students’ appreciation of reading and literature.

In the Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education, the MEES also outlines its commitment to supporting the transition “from library to learning commons.” Library learning commons are pedagogical and cultural spaces, both physical and digital, developed in response to the cooperative learning and teaching requirements of students and staff.

In other words, whether in print or digital form, every work made available in a school library can support teaching and learning across all subjects.

That mission distinguishes school libraries from public libraries. There are, of course, some aspects in common, such as accessibility of publications and resources that meet individuals’ needs for information, literacy, entertainment and cultural development.

What is meant by “using books for teaching purposes”?

A: It means using books in the context of teaching or learning in coherence with the  Programme de formation de l’école québécoise (PFEQ). For example, teachers and school staff can use books : 

  • To develop or practice students’ reading comprehension strategies (e.g., finding the central idea of a paragraph, making connections and inferences, anticipating);
  • To explore and study the characteristics of literary genres (e.g., crime, science fiction & fantasy, historical, graphic novel, short story, poetry, etc.);
  • As a prompt for :
    • a writing exercise: e.g., having students write their own story with an open ending, using a particular author’s style; a writing circle exercise where each student reads a different work and, as a team, they write a story in which the main characters from each work meet;
    • a research project (development of information skills); or
    • a discussion in Ethics and Religious Culture classes.
  • To help students better understand specific historical periods or figures in history, geography, art and science classes;
  • To help students develop communication skills by discussing a book they are reading;
  • As an intervention tool with students experiencing challenging situations (e.g., parents separating, bereavement, moving house, anxiety, conflicts, bullying) or for support and guidance in developing social skills (e.g., managing emotions, friendship, openness to difference, manners).

What are the ways in which e-books are used in school settings?

A: Here are some ways to use e-books at school:

  • Individual and personal reading (use similar to that in public libraries);
  • Reading with voice recognition software assistance for students with disabilities or learning or adjustment difficulties;
  • Reading on various devices: school-owned tablets or computers, students’ personal devices, smartboards, etc.;
  • Reading and study of a work in a learning context (for complementary information, see the question What is meant by “use for teaching purposes of books”? elsewhere in this FAQ file).

For more information, see also the Terms and conditions for use of e-books available on Biblius.

What are the terms of use for e-books offered in Biblius?

A: See the Terms of use page of this website. 

Deployment schedule

Development phase and trial rollout (2019-2021)

Development phase (Feb. - Dec. 2019) : What were the objectives of this phase ?

A : The objectives of this phase were:

  • Develop the platform from a technological standpoint: features, functions, interface, etc.
  • Elaborate a new economic and legal model for licences (agreements, uses, retributions, etc.).
  • Prepare training materials and provide support for the trial rollout.

Development phase (Feb. - Dec. 2019) : Who were the members of the development committee ?

A : In order to support Bibliopresto and to insure the technical and legal developments met the needs of school environments, a committee of seven school librarians was created:

  • Fouad Bendifallah, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire des Laurentides
  • Julie Gagnon, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
  • Julie Hermann, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire Marie-Victorin
  • Rachel Minville, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire René-Lévesque
  • Lyne Rajotte, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles
  • Julie Roy, bibliothécaire, Centre de services scolaire des Découvreurs
  • Julian Taylor, bibliothécaire, Commission scolaire English-Montréal

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : What were the objectives of this phase?

A: From a technical point of view, we wanted to experiment with the use of the different functions of the platform, as well as the new connector linking Biblius to the school portal, which was developed for the project.

On the pedagogical level, we wanted to document the practices of pedagogical use of e-books in the classroom and validate that the different functions offered support teaching and learning. To do this, each of the 17 people in charge of the participating SB of SSC were invited to collaborate with different members of their school staff (teachers, pedagogical advisers, remedial teachers, etc.) within the framework of specific educational projects. These projects could concern a single group, a grade level or an entire school.

From an economic and legal point of view, we wanted to experiment with the use of a common collection in order to assess the feasibility of a large-scale deployment thereafter.

Whether on a technological, legal, library or pedagogical level, the data collected was essential to improve the platform and its content, guide future developments and prepare for full deployment to all environments.

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : What criteria were used to select which school boards and school services centers were to take part in the trial rollout?

A: The choice of settings for the trial rollout phase was the responsibility of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement Supérieur (Ministry of Education and Higher Education, or MEES). To ensure effective testing of the platform, the diversity of the sample had to be representative of the diversity in settings across Québec, encompassing, for example:

  • Anglophone and francophone settings;
  • Primary and secondary schools;
  • Communities in urban areas as well as remote regions;
  • Settings with and without staff specialized in libraries (librarians, documentation technicians);
  • Settings where use of technology was extensive or not;
  • Students with disabilities or learning or adjustment difficulties in both regular and special-needs classes;
  • Reception classes / francization / French immersion classes;
  • etc.

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : Which school boards and school services centers were selected for the trial rollout?

A: Following is the list of settings selected by the MEES to take part in the trial rollout phase. 

Note: Not all of the targeted school service centres are participating in the trial rollout phase; it represents only certain groups covered by specific projects in each setting.

Following is the list of participating settings:

Setting

School

Person in charge

Collège de l’Assomption

Collège de l’Assomption

Chantale Simard, technicienne en documentation

CSS Cœur-des-Vallées

École de la Montagne

École secondaire Louis-Joseph-Papineau

Sophie Godbout, conseillère pédagogique RÉCIT

CSS de la Pointe-de-l’Île

École secondaire Calixa-Lavallée

École Simone-Desjardins

Julie Gagnon, bibliothécaire

CSS des Mille-Îles

École primaire des Grands-Vents

École secondaire du Harfang

École secondaire Liberté-jeunesse

École virtuelle

Lyne Rajotte, bibliothécaire

CSS des Chênes

École Jean-Raimbault

Mylène Duguay, bibliothécaire

CSS des Découvreurs

École primaire Saint-Michel

Julie Roy, bibliothécaire

CSS des Îles

Polyvalente des Îles

Valérie Cormier, technicienne en documentation

CSS des Laurentides

École primaire Le Tremplin

École primaire Notre-Dame-de-la-Sagesse

Centre de formation professionnelle L’Horizon

Centre de formation générale aux adultes des Cimes

Fouad Bendifallah, bibliothécaire

CSS des Navigateurs

École des Pixels

École De l’Auberivière

Dalie Matton, bibliothécaire

Jean-François Lapierre, bibliothécaire

CSS des Premières-Seigneuries

École de L’Escale

École de l’Harmonie

École spécialisée Joseph-Paquin

École spécialisée de l’Envol

École secondaire Samuel-de-Champlain

Julie Dionne-Lefebvre, bibliothécaire

CSS des Trois-Lacs

École secondaire de la Cité-des-Jeunes

Mélissa Vincent, bibliothécaire

CSS du Littoral

À venir

Joël-Vincent Cyr, bibliothécaire

CS English Montreal

John Caboto Academy

Formation artistique au Coeur de l’éducation (FACE)

Julian Taylor, bibliothécaire

CS Lester B. Pearson

Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School (LCCHS)

Raphaella Dixon, bibliothécaire

CSS Marie-Victorin

École secondaire Monseigneur-A.-M.-Parent

École spécialisée Jacques-Ouellette

Julie Hermann, bibliothécaire

Roxanne Caza, bibliothécaire

CSS René-Lévesque

École Saint-Joseph

École des Deux-Rivières

Rachel Minville, bibliothécaire

CSS Val-des-Cerfs

École de la Clé-des-Champs

École Massey-Vanier

Olivier Ménard, bibliothécaire

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : What were the projects set up to test use of the platform during the trial rollout ?

A: To share the various projects to be undertaken, a collaborative website has been set up by the 17 Phase 2 participants. The descriptive files presented have being added to by the persons in charge until June 2021.

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : Which publishers offered e-books on the Biblius platform during the trial rollout?

A: The publishers whose titles were available on Biblius as part of the trial rollout are listed below. Not all titles issued by each publisher were available via the platform. The titles available were selected by the librarians and school staff in the settings taking part in the trial rollout for use as part of specific teaching projects:

  • ADA
  • Alire
  • Alto
  • Andara
  • Bayard Canada
  • Boomerang
  • Boréal
  • Bouton d’or d’Acadie
  • Caractère
  • Chouette
  • David
  • De Mortagne
  • Des Plaines
  • Dominique et compagnie
  • Druide
  • Fides
  • Fonfon
  • Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur
  • Héliotrope
  • Héritage jeunesse
  • Hurtubise
  • Isatis
  • La Courte échelle
  • La Pastèque
  • La Presse
  • Le Quartanier
  • Les Malins
  • Les 400 coups
  • Les éditeurs réunis / JCL
  • Marcel Didier
  • Michel Quintin
  • Midi Trente
  • MultiMondes
  • Novalis
  • Planète rebelle
  • Presses de l’Université Laval
  • Prise de parole
  • Québec Amérique
  • Scholastic
  • Septentrion
  • Soulières
  • XYZ

Trial rollout (2020-2021) : What were the conclusions of the trial rollout?

A.: Click here to consult the summary report of the project (French only). 

Rollout for school boards and school services centres (public school network)

What is the rollout calendar for the public school network for the 2021-2022 school year?

A: See this article in the What’s New? page.

Update: The rollout of Biblius in the public school network began in the fall of 2021 and will continue in the coming months. As of January 2022, 70 of the 72 school services centers and school boards in Quebec have access to the platform (99.6% of all students in the public network).

Who does what: what is the role of each person involved?

A: In order for things to run smoothly in each school board and school services centres, the following people must be involved:

Manager (for instance, the director of Educational Services)

  • Approves the deployment of Biblius in its school board/school services centre ;
  • Provides Bibliopresto with the contact details of a person in the Information Technology department as well as the name and contact details of the person who will be the primary contact for Biblius in the school board/school services centre ;
  • Approves an internal budget dedicated to purchasing more e-books licences to complement the existing common collection.

Contact person in the Information Technology department (IT) of the school board/school services centre

  • Receives and reads the technical documentation provided by Bibliopresto ;
  • Carries out two steps necessary to connect to Biblius: activating the connection between Biblius and the school board/school services centre portal (to be done once at the start of the school year) and consenting to letting Biblius use designated data to run the platform ;
  • In case there are technical issues related to the connection by users to Office 365 or the display of groups in Biblius, makes sure that the local configuration of Mozaïk-Portail is compliant with the recommendations of the GRICS to ensure the connector to the Biblius portal is functioning correctly ; 
  • If needed, communicates with GRICS.

Primary Biblius administrator in the school board/school services centre

  • Is the first person of contact between Biblius and the school environment ;
  • Is also a platform administrator with all the same tasks listed below for that role ;
  • In case of technical problems, communicates with the Biblius team and follows up with local schools or individuals.

Important:

  • It is highly recommended that the primary Biblius administrator be a professional librarian.
  • There may not be more than 2 local contacts for each school board/school services centre.

Platform administrator(s) for the school board/school services centre

  • Complete(s) the training offered by Biblius ;
  • Is responsible for the Biblius project in their school board/school services centre ;
  • Operate(s) the administrator account in the platform ;
  • Train(s) teachers, staff and students on how to use the platform ;
  • If the school board/school services centre opts to develop a local collection along with the common collection:
    • Purchase(s) e-book licences on the virtual library connected to Biblius ; 
    • In accordance with the school board/school services centre’s guidelines, consult(s) teachers, staff and students in order to better understand their literary needs and to get their suggestions for future e-book licence purchasess.

Teachers and school staff

  • Take part in training sessions and consult the material offered by their primary Biblius administrator ;
  • Assist students in using the platform.

What are the tools and training offered to support the implementation of Biblius?

A: Teachers and school staff: see here

Local Biblius administrators and documentation services staff: see here

Common collection : where can I have more information ?

A: Consult the Common collection page on this website. 

Is it still possible to purchase e-book licences outside of the Biblius ecosystem ?

A: Yes. The implementation of the Biblius platform in no way prevents schools from acquiring e-books outside the Biblius ecosystem.

Purchasing an e-book licence outside Biblius may be necessary to meet specific needs that the platform does not currently fulfill. For example, you may want to acquire an e-book that is not available on the marketplace (Biblius virtual bookstore) for a student with a disability or with social maladjustments or learning difficulties (élèves handicapés ou en difficulté d’adaptation ou d’apprentissage – EHDAA).

Important :

  • For technological and legal reasons,
  • The actors of the book chain are free to determine the services offerered, the conditions of use and the support offered to the school environment outside the Biblius ecosystem. To know more, please contact your local bookstore.

Rollout for private schools

What is the rollout calendar for private schools?

A: This article will provide general details about the rollout calendar and a link to the full details in French.

Which private schools are participating in the trial rollout?

A: A call to participate in a test phase was done mid-March 2022 with private schools approved for subsidies by the MEQ and members of the FEEP. The selection of schools was done with the MEQ among all who had shown interest. The sample was meant to be as representative as possible of the diversity of the private schools in Quebec (type of school, portal used, level of education, administrative region, etc.).

The test phase was started in June 2022. The objective was to experiment different technical elements, such as the new connectors developped for the different school portals, in anticipation of the official rollout starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

List of participating schools:

  • Académie Lafontaine
  • Collège Charles-Lemoyne
  • Collège de l’Assomption
  • Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert
  • Collège Saint-Bernard
  • École arménienne Sourp Hagop
  • École des Ursulines de Québec et Loretteville
  • École Jésus-Marie de Beauceville
  • École Lucien-Guibault
  • École orale de Montréal pour les sourds
  • École Saint-Jean-Eudes
  • Institut Saint-Joseph
  • Juvénat Notre-Dame du Saint-Laurent

Will private schools have access to the common collection?

A: No. This collection, financed by the ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ), is reserved for the public school system. Private schools who wish to offer e-books to their students and school staff will need to develop their own local collection. 

Can private schools that do not offer the Quebec Education Program access Biblius?

A: No. The Biblius Project is part of the Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education of the ministère de l’Éducation du Québec.

Who does what: what is the role of each person involved in private schools for the deployment of Biblius?

A: In order to deploy Biblius in a private school and train users, different people are involved:

IN EACH SCHOOL:

Administrator (for example, an Education Services director)

  • Approves the deployment of Biblius in his/her school ;
  • Gives the Biblius team at Bibliopresto the contact information of the following people, in his/her school (see details below) ;
    • A person responsible for the school portal (computer technician, school organization technician, etc.) ;
    • A primary Biblius administrator (professional librarian, library technician, library committee member, etc.).
  • Approves the internal budget for the purchase of e-book licences.

Person responsible for the school portal (computer technician, school organization technician, etc.)

  • Receives and reads the technical documentation provided by Bibliopresto ;
  • Carries out a few steps necessary to connect to Biblius including activating the connection between Biblius and the school portal (to be done once at the start of the school year) ;
  • In case any problems are encountered by users while trying to connect to Biblius or in the display of student groups in Biblius, makes sure the local configuration of the school portal is compliant with the recommendations of the portal vendor so that the connector works well ;
  • If needed, communicates with the portal vendor.

Precision 1: If the school does not have a portal, a staff member will have to provide the CSV list of students, teachers and staff in order to configure user accounts in Biblius. The detailed procedure will be given by the Biblius team.

Primary Biblius administrator

  • Follows all the training sessions (page in French only) offered by Bibliopresto ;
  • Is responsible for the Biblius dossier in their school ;
  • Has an administrator account on the platform ;
  • Trains all staff and students in his/her school on how to use Biblius ;
  • Consults staff and students in order to better understand their literary needs and to get their suggestions for future e-book licence purchases ;
  • Purchases e-book licences through the virtual bookstore associated with Biblius ; 
  • In case of technical problems, communicates with the Biblius team and conducts follow ups internally.

Precision 2: It is recommended that the primary Biblius administrator be a professional librarian or a library technician, if the school employs one.

Precision 3: It is possible to have more than one administrator account. Nevertheless, there can only be one primary administrator that serves as the main contact person with Biblius. For more details, see the roles of the Biblius team below.

Teachers and school staff

  • Follow training and consult the documentation provided by the primary Biblius administrator ;
  • Assist students in using the platform.

BIBLIUS TEAM (BIBLIOPRESTO) :

  • Trains, equips, supports and assists the primary Biblius administrator of each school, in order for them to train and assist teachers, staff and students in their school.

Precision 4: The Biblius team does not train teachers, school staff or students directly. Certain tools are made available to them on this website, but they must refer to their primary Biblius administrator for any technical issue.

Which tools and training are offered by Bibliopresto to help deploy Biblius in private schools?

A. : Coming soon.

Are there any fees to access and use the Biblius platform?

Rollout for First Nations schools not under agreement

What is the rollout calendar for First Nations schools not under agreement?

A: Coming soon.

Which First Nations schools not under agreement are participating in the trial rollout?

A. : Coming soon.

Will First Nations schools not under agreement have access to the common collection?

A: No. This collection, financed by the ministère de l’Éducation, is reserved for the public school system. Private schools who wish to offer e-books to their students and school staff will need to develop their own local collection. 

Who does what: what is the role of each person involved in First Nations schools not under agreement for the deployment of Biblius?

A: In order to deploy Biblius in a school and train users, different people are involved:

IN EACH SCHOOL:

Administrator (for example, an Education Services director)

  • Approves the deployment of Biblius in his/her school ;
  • Gives the Biblius team at Bibliopresto the contact information of the following people, in his/her school (see details below) ;
    • A person responsible for the school portal (computer technician, school organization technician, etc.) ;
    • A primary Biblius administrator (professional librarian, library technician, library committee member, etc.).
  • Approves the internal budget for the purchase of e-book licences.

Person responsible for the school portal (computer technician, school organization technician, etc.)

  • Receives and reads the technical documentation provided by Bibliopresto ;
  • Carries out a few steps necessary to connect to Biblius including activating the connection between Biblius and the school portal (to be done once at the start of the school year) ;
  • In case any problems are encountered by users while trying to connect to Biblius or in the display of student groups in Biblius, makes sure the local configuration of the school portal is compliant with the recommendations of the portal vendor so that the connector works well ;
  • If needed, communicates with the portal vendor.

Precision 1: If the school does not have a portal, a staff member will have to provide the CSV list of students and staff in order to configure user accounts in Biblius. The detailed procedure will be given by the Biblius team.

Primary Biblius administrator

  • Follows all the training sessions (page in French only) offered by Bibliopresto ;
  • Is responsible for the Biblius dossier in their school ;
  • Has an administrator account on the platform ;
  • Trains all staff and students in his/her school on how to use Biblius ;
  • Consults staff and students in order to better understand their needs and to get their suggestions for future e-book licence purchases ;
  • Purchases e-book licences through the virtual bookstore associated to Biblius ; 
  • In case of technical problems, communicates with the Biblius team and conducts follow ups internally.

Precision 2: It is recommended that the primary Biblius administrator be a professional librarian or a library technician, if the school employs one.

Precision 3: It is possible to have more than one administrator account. Nevertheless, there can only be one primary administrator that serves as the main contact person with Biblius. For more details, see the roles of the Biblius team below.

Teachers and school staff 

  • Follow training and consult the documentation provided by the primary Biblius administrator ;
  • Assist students in using the platform.

BIBLIUS TEAM (BIBLIOPRESTO) :

  • Trains, equips, supports and assists the primary Biblius administrator of each school, in order for them to train and assist teachers, staff and students in their school.

Precision 4: The Biblius team does not train teachers, school staff or students directly. Certain tools are made available to them on this website, but they must refer to their primary Biblius administrator for any technical issue.

Which tools and training are offered by Bibliopresto to help deploy Biblius in First Nations schools not under agreement?

A. : Coming soon.

Are there any fees to access and use the Biblius platform?

Financial questions and local purchases

Cost for access and use of the Biblius platform

Is there a cost to use the Biblius platform?

A: Once connected, the platform (the container) will be empty and each setting will develop its own local collection, adding to its virtual library (the content). The budget for purchase of loan licences is at the discretion of individual settings. Since the project is in line with the MEES Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education, however, there is no cost to access the platform (the management tool) itself.

Is there a cost to access and borrow from the shared collection?

A: For school boards and school services centres, the cost of accessing and borrowing books is covered by the Ministère de l’éducation (MEQ). The school boards and school services centres have no fee to pay.

Private schools do not have access to this shared collection.

Is there a cost to develop local collections?

A: Yes. In the public system, school boards and school services centres that wish to develop a local collection, to complement the shared collection offered by the Ministry of education (MEQ), can purchase licences for e-books. 

Which budget can we draw from to purchase e-books (local collections) ?

A: It is up to each organization to decide. School boards and school services centres, for instance, can purchase e-books under Budget Measure 15103, dedicated to the acquisition of literary works and non-fiction works for school libraries.

Local purchases

How will school entities go about purchasing books for their collections?

A: A use licence specific to school settings has been developed in collaboration with ANEL and the Ministry of Education. Among other things, it provides for use of e-publications in teaching and learning situations. The detailed licence terms and conditions (e.g., number of loans, duration) are available here

Several publishers have agreed to sign the licence and make e-book titles available for lending via the Biblius platform. 

At this stage of the project, the negotiated licences are available from the LIQ (independent booksellers of Québec) institutional site dedicated to educational titles. School libraries will purchase licences to develop the digital collections for their setting from this e-bookstore, based on the needs of students and staff. Note that there can be only one digital collection per school service centre / school board.

The digital titles available for purchase on the LIQ institutional site are those for which their publishers have agreed to sign the Biblius licence.

The URL for the LIQ institutional site is https://collectivites.leslibraires.ca/scolaire.

This link allows consultation of available digital titles only. To access the purchase function, one must log on as an administrator in Biblius. Switching to the transactional portion of the LIQ institutional site is done directly from the Biblius control panel.

What is included in the purchase of an e-book intended for loans via the Biblius e-book school library?

A: Contrary to the purchase of paper books, when an e-book is purchased to be loaned on the school library platform, it is not the document or file that is acquired.

For each e-book purchased via the virtual bookstore linked to Biblius, the purchase includes:

  • A licence
  • The taxes

It is possible to purchase many licences for the same title to allow numerous users to borrow it at the same time. Each school or school board/school services centre determines the quantity of licences to purchase according to their needs and allocated budget.

Who can be in charge of developing the e-book local collection in my school board, school services center or private school?

A.: On a technical level, only people who have an administrator account in the Biblius platform can access the purchase function of the virtual bookstore.

In terms of human resources, it is recommended that the development of the digital collection be carried out by professionals in the documentary environment, such as librarians and documentation technicians.

For more information, see the question Who does what (coming soon)?

Will every school in the public school network be able to develop its own e-book collection on the Biblius platform?

A: For technical and organizational reasons, it is not possible to allow each school to develop its own e-book collection. An individual school service centre (SSC) or school board can develop a collection to meet the needs of its communities, which will then be available to staff and students in all schools of that SSC or board.

Various features offered on the platform allow you to set aside or reserve titles for specific teachers. Thus, it is possible to keep the loans of a license for a particular project or person, without the book being available to all users.

Which publishers offer their e-books on the LIQ marketplace linked to Biblius ?

A: All e-books available on the  market for the general public will not necessarily be offered on the marketplace linked to Biblius (dedicated to the school environment). Only the titles for which the publishers wish to offer licenses to the Quebec school community will be found there.

As of fall 2021, more than 60 publishers have already confirmed their participation and more will continue to be added throughout the school year.

To find out more, you are invited to consult the marketplace linked to Biblius, managed by the LIQ. You will find the titles of the publishers offering licenses allowing digital lending via Biblius.

When licences are purchased for the local collection, how does billing work?

NOTE 1: For a more complete description of the process for acquiring licences to develop a local collection, see here.

NOTE 2: The billing process, as well as the administration of the virtual book store linked to Biblius, is managed by Les librairies indépendantes du Québec (LIQ). The LIQ are our partners in the Biblius project. The information below is a genral explanation of the billing process. For more information on this topic, or for any other information regarding delays in receiving bills or other topics, please contact your bookstore or communicate directly with the LIQ at collectivites@leslibraires.ca.

A: When the platform administrator in charge of purchases validates a basket in the virtual bookstore, he/she must select a bookstore from which to purchase.

Once the basket with titles is validated, the platform administrator in charge of purchases will receive a confirmation email.

Afterwards, the bookstore will send the bill to the platform administrator in charge of purchases by email. The delay between the purchase and the reception of the bill will vary depending on the bookstore.

Can we continue to purchase e-books from outside the Biblius ecosystem?

A: Yes. Rollout of the Biblius platform does not prevent institutions in school settings from acquiring e-books from other sources as well. 

Such purchases may be necessary to meet specific needs that the platform cannot fulfill at this time. For example, a school might want to purchase an e-book that is not available on the institutional site (Biblius online bookstore) for a student with a disability or a learning difficulty.

Note, however, that:

  • For technological and legal reasons:
    • E-books acquired outside the Biblius-dedicated purchase space (institutional site, online bookstore) cannot be incorporated into Biblius;
    • E-books acquired via another loan management platform cannot be imported into Biblius;
  • Book supply chain stakeholders are free to determine what services, terms of use and support they wish to provide to school settings outside the Biblius ecosystem; 
  • Any issue or question relative to e-books acquired outside the Biblius ecosystem must be directed to the vendor (e.g., bookstore, publisher).

Technical questions: connection and features

E-book lending platform : what are its general features?

How does a platform for lending e-books work?

A: Click here to consult a diagram explaining how our platform for lending e-books works.

Which types of devices are compatible with the Biblius platform?

A: The Biblius platform is compatible with any devices that have access to the Internet and that use Office 365: smart phones, tablets and computers.

Because Biblius is web based and because of its various features, the platform is not compatible with the following  devices:

  • e-readers (find out more here);
  • outdated tablets or computers (for example: first generation iPads);
  • devices for which the updates are not up to date.

Are ebook readers (devices) compatible with Biblius?

A: No. There are many reasons that explain this:

Biblius was not developped to permit the download of books: reading is done via an integrated web reader that opens in the web browser. To read a book borrowed at the library on an eReader, it is necessary to download the e-book using software installed on the computer. This process is too complex for the school environment and causes issues when devices are shared amongst many students in schools. 

Access to Biblius is done over the internet. This access mode is in accordance with the recommendations of the MEQ for the management of personal information. Alhtough it is true that certain e-book readers allow access to the internet, they usually only allow summary navigation: access via O365 (Mozaïk-Portail) requires advanced navigation features that are not usually supported by eReaders.

Furthermore, certain Biblius features depend upon “advanced functions,” which are integrated in web browsers, such as text-to-speech. These features cannot be supported by eReaders. It is also impossible to use text-to-speech software such as WordQ or Lexibar with an eReader. This would represent an important problem for students with special needs and a barrier to accessibility.

Since many eReaders only offer a black and white screen, reading e-books that are normally in colour such as graphic novels, picture books and nonfiction books is not very interesting.

Although there are very few on the market at present, e-books with enriched or interactive content will surelly gain popularity in the years to come. These types of e-books are not garanteed to be compatible with eReaders while they work on tablets, computers and smart phones. 

 

Which DRM technology does the Biblius platform use?

A: The technology used is Readium LCP, developed by EDRLab. In addition to being very secure, it has several advantages over the Adobe ID lock. For example, it does not require creation of a user account (one must be 14 or older to obtain an Adobe ID) to borrow e-books, it is supported by periodic technology upgrades, and the usage costs are much lower.

Connection and access

I am a STUDENT or a SCHOOL STAFF MEMBER. How do I connect to Biblius?

A: There are 2 ways you can connect to Biblius:

Connection via a web address (URL):

Each school environment (school, school board or school services centre) has has its own web address to access Biblius. The structure of this adress is: (SB/SSC/school acronym).biblius.ca. For example, if you are in the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal, your Biblius web address is cssdm.biblius.ca.

To find out the web adress for your school environment, you can refer to this list. If your school does not appear in the list, it is because it has not yet been connected.

  • Go to the web address for your school environment ;
  • Click on the button to connect according to your school portal ;
  • In the authentification window, write your school environment email or login detail and password ;
  • You will arrive on the main page of your Biblius account.

Connection via the school portal:

  • Go to your school portal: Mozaïk-portail, Coba, or Plurilogic ;
  • Connect to the site using your school environment email or login detail and password ;
  • On the home page in your school portal session, click on the square button with the Biblius logo ;
  • You will arrive on the main page of your Biblius account.

I am a PARENT and my child is registered in a school. Can I have access to Biblius?

A: Access to Biblius is reserved to students and school staff members. 

To help your child connect to the platform and enjoy e-books, you must connect to your child’s account. To know more about connecting to the platform, see this section

If you need help with your child’s email address/login detail or password, please contact their teacher or the school secretary.

What should I do if I can't connect to the platform?

A: Please refer to the following video (in French). If the problem persists, see here.

Is it necessary to have Internet to access the platform?

A: Yes. To connect to the platform, it is essential to have access to the internet. If a teacher wishes to use Biblius for a projet in class, the students will need access to devices that can connect to the internet.

Once an e-book has been opened in the user’s account, it is, however, possible to continue reading offline.

Features

ALL USERS: What does it mean to assign readings?

A: It is possible to assign readings thanks to a connector between the school portal and Biblius. When the user logs in to the platform, the portal shares certain pieces of information with Biblius including the groups associated to a teacher. Therefore, Biblius recognizes the students that belong to a group and that are linked to a teacher. Teachers can assign readings to their groups. The assigned readings appear in each student’s I must read section.

Only teachers (or professionals) who have student groups assigned to them in Mozaïk-Portail have access to the assign feature.

ALL USERS: Is it possible to reserve a book that has already been borrowed by another user?

A: Yes. When an e-book is borrowed, the reservation feature automatically becomes active on that book. If you click on Reserve, you will be added to the waiting list for that e-book. 

Only the e-books that have been purchased with successive loans can be reserved. E-books purchased with a simultaneous loan licence are available simultaneously which means you do not need to be added to a waiting list to borrow it. Therefore, the Reservation option does not appear for those e-books. The same is true for books from the shared collection, which are available at all times. 

To find out more, consult The licences terms of use section and the page concerning the shared collection. 

To read about the complete procedure on reservations, consult the Tools and training page. 

ALL USERS: Which functions are offered in the integrated web reader in Biblius (the interface when you open a book)?

A: The integrated web reader in Biblius allows the reading of an e-book directly in the web browser, without having to download it. A text-to-speech tool is integrated in this web reader. It is also possible to adjust the font, the text layout and to navigate in the table of contents. These features are available only when the file configuration furnished by the editor has enabled them. It is also possible to launch a search in plain text.

Other features will be added as the platform is developped.

TEACHERS: How do I assign a reading to the students in my group?

A: Assigning a reading to a group of students allows all those students to borrow the same book at the same time. The title appears in each student’s I must read section.

For more details on how to proceed, consult the page on Tools for teachers and school staff.

There is also information in the section What does it mean to assigning readings?

LIBRARIANS AND MAIN BIBLIUS ADMINISTATORS: Where can I find documentation provided by Bibliopresto for local administrators?

A: All training tools and documentation intended for local administrators are centralized in the Biblius base de connaissances (French only). This information database is accessible via the Help section in the administrator dashboard of Biblius. It is necessary to have an account with an administrator status to access that section.  

Technical support

I have come across a technical problem when trying to connect or with a feature on the platform. What do I do?

A: If you are:

A student or a parent: please direct your question(s) to your child’s teacher.

A teacher or any other school staff that does not have an administrator account in Biblius: please direct your question(s) to your primary contact for Biblius in your school/school board/school services centre. The primary contact for Biblius is generally a professional librarian at the administrative centre, but this may vary from one school environment to another. 

A professional librarian or the primary contact for the Biblius platform, please refer to the tools for technical support available in the Base de connaissances (French only) and to the procedure in case of technical problems. Both tools are available via the Aide (help) section of the administrator dashboard of Biblius. You can also consult the page that concerns the service status (French only).

I have come across a problem with the text-to-speech feature. What can I do?

A: Text-to-speech issues may be caused by different factors. These issues may stem from the format of the e-book supplied by the editor or by the extensions added to the web browser that interfere with the text-to-speech feature. 

Library questions

Biblius and integrated library systems

What’s the difference between an e-book platform and a library catalogue?

A: The catalogue is the description of the books in the library (its holdings). It allows searching by title, author, subject, etc., and tells users where a book may be found (location symbol). The catalogue is one module of an integrated library management system, or ILMS (e.g., Regard, developed by GRICS). The ILMS also includes other modules (e.g., the borrowers’ files and the circulation module) which are used to manage loans and returns by means of the barcode stickers affixed to the books.

An e-book platform acts both as the “room” where the books are stored (files on virtual shelves) and as the ILMS, which can be used to search for a book, manage loans by means of the “digital locks” on the files, etc.

Descriptions of e-books can be incorporated into a traditional library catalogue: rather than providing a location symbol telling the user where to find a print book on a shelf, the catalogue provides a link to the platform (the e-library). In short, while an ILMS is used to describe the books held by a library and to manage loans of physical documents, it cannot be used to store files or manage “digital locks.”

Can an entry referring to an e-book be added to a traditional library catalogue?

 A: Yes. A description of an e-book can be incorporated into a traditional library catalogue via a link to the Biblius platform (the e-library). An integrated library management system (ILMS) can be used to describe the books held by a library and to manage loans of physical documents, it cannot be used to store files or perform technical management of “digital locks.” In other words, e-book management is never performed in an ILMS, but links to the Biblius platform can be added to catalogue entries.

Is it possible to locally modify the content of a library record in Biblius?

A: No, for the moment. Technical developments are forthcoming in this direction. Details will be added to this question in due course.

Copyright and terms of use

Coming soon

Coming soon.

Coming soon

Coming soon

Accès

Comment accéder à la plateforme de livres numériques ?

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La bibliothèque de mon école n’offre pas le prêt de livres numériques. Comment puis-je faire pour en faire la demande ?

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Est-il nécessaire d’avoir une connexion Internet pour télécharger un livre numérique ?

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La plateforme Biblius peut-elle être offerte à d’autres milieux ?

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Plateforme : fonctionnalités

Je suis un enseignant ou un professionnel du milieu de l’éducation. Comment puis-je créer une liste de titres pour mes élèves ?

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Je suis un enseignant ou un professionnel du milieu de l’éducation. Puis-je réserver plusieurs exemplaires d’un livre à une date précise pour la lecture en classe (série classe, livre obligatoire) ?

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Comment faire pour prolonger le prêt d’un livre ?

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Comment faire pour poursuivre ma lecture sur un autre appareil ?

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Puis-je retourner un livre avant la date d’échéance ?

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Puis-je projeter les livres numériques de la plateforme sur le TNI ?

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Offre de livres numériques

Puis-je faire une demande pour l’ajout d’un titre dans la plateforme ?

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Pourquoi ne retrouve-t-on pas de manuels scolaires dans la plateforme ?

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EHDAA

Est-ce que les livres numériques de la plateforme scolaire sont compatibles avec les outils de synthèse vocale comme Word-Q ?

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Est-ce que les EHDAA ont une même durée de prêt que les élèves réguliers ?

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