What is Biblius?
The Biblius project was developed in keeping with the MEES’ Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education.
Biblius is an e-book lending platform for schools. It’s like a library, but in the digital realm:
- DRM (digital “locks” on files) ensures that digital works can be loaned in compliance with copyright legislation;
- An interface allows searches in the e-collection and lets you browse the virtual shelves of the digital library;
- It includes features developed to facilitate use of the e-books for teaching purposes;
- It enables generation of detailed statistics on the e-collection and its user behaviours.
Just like print books found in schools’ physical libraries, the digital works available via the Biblius access platform are chosen and purchased by each school setting. This development of the e-collection takes into account local needs as well as publishers’ terms and conditions for use.
In collaboration with book industry stakeholders, map out a new business model that offers a balance between fair compensation of rightsholders and use of works in school settings.
Set up a training program and tools (e.g., guides, tutorials, capsules); provide support and guidance to school communities for implementation and use of the solution.
Keep the communities informed of progress on the project.
The project phases
- Develop the platform technology: functionalities, interface, etc.
- Develop a new business and legal model (agreements, use, compensation, etc.).
- Prepare the training.
February 19, 2019, to December 2019
A committee of seven librarians was formed to support the project manager during this phase of development:
- Fouad Bendifallah, librarian, Centre de services scolaire des Laurentides
- Julie Gagnon, librarian, Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
- Julie Hermann, librarian, Centre de services scolaire Marie-Victorin
- Rachel Minville, librarian, Centre de services scolaire René-Lévesque
- Lyne Rajotte, librarian, Centre de services scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles
- Julie Roy, librarian, Centre de services scolaire des Découvreurs
- Julian Taylor, librarian, English Montreal School Board
02. Trial rollout
Collaborate with 15 or so people from school settings to test use of the platform in the field, in various contexts.
Document usage in the trial period so as to make technical adjustments along the way, as needed. A secondary goal was to disseminate information about examples of projects that made classroom use of e-books.
Preceded by a planning period in fall 2019, the trial rollout was initially scheduled to take place in the winter and spring of 2020. Because of school closures related to COVID-19, it was pushed back to the 2020–2021 school year.
Portrait of the projects for the restricted deployment
The selection of the environments participating in this restricted deployment phase was made by the MEES. For more information: click here.
In order to share the various projects that will be carried out, a collaborative website has been set up by the 17 participants in phase 2. The descriptive sheets presented will be enriched by the people in charge until June 2020
03. Rollout to all school settings
Goals and timelines
School service centres and school boards: Roll out the platform, and ability to develop local collections, to all school service centres and school boards in Québec in 2020–2021.
Private schools: To enable delivery of the platform to private schools, evaluation and planning of the necessary adjustments, including technical considerations, will have to be performed before the end of the 2020–2021 school year. This will help clarify the rollout calendar for these settings beginning with the 2021–2022 school year.
Indigenous communities: To enable delivery of the platform to Indigenous communities, evaluation and planning of the necessary adjustments, including technical considerations, will have to be performed before the end of the 2020–2021 school year. This will help clarify the rollout calendar for these settings beginning with the 2021–2022 school year.
The project covers literature, primarily works for young readers (graphic novels, novels, albums, non-fiction, poetry, theatre, etc.). School textbooks and workbooks are not included. Priority is given to Québec literature in French. It should eventually be possible to include books from elsewhere and in other languages
The platform’s target users are staff and students of Québec school institutions, both public and private and in Indigenous communities, that offer preschool education, primary and/or secondary education, adult education and/or vocational training.
Bibliopresto hired a new professional librarian, Nancy Lusignan, to co-ordinate the project alongside General Manager Jean-François Cusson. Before taking the position, Ms. Lusignan spent six years as a school librarian with the Commission scolaire des Hautes-Rivières in Montérégie. In August 2020, two new staffers also came on board.
Collaboration with researchers
Bibliopresto is collaborating with Nathalie Lacelle, a professor and researcher in the Department of Language Instruction at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and holder of the Chaire de recherche en littératie médiatique multimodale (the Research Chair in Multimodal Media Literacy, or LMM Chair). The goal is to use research knowledge on the distribution and educational use of electronic publications in schools to help guide the rollout of e-book lending.
This process is part of a research and action initiative targeting support for development of e-publishing approaches for young readers in Québec (FRQSC funding, 2017–2020) and involves the Littérature québécoise mobile – Éducation partnership (SSHRC funding, 2019–2024).