The project

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.

Four components

In partnership with De Marque, develop a platform for management of e-book loans in school libraries.

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.

Content

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. We can also include books from elsewhere and in other languages.

Local collections

Each school board (SB), school service center (SSC) or private school can develop its own collection of ebooks for its staff and students via the Biblius platform.

It is up to each community to determine the budgets and criterias governing the development of its local digital collection.

To know more :

See the page dedicated to licensing terms.

The common collection

For the 21-22 school year, the Ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ) is offering, via Biblius, a common collection of ebooks to all students and school staff in the public sector. 

With regards to local orientations and resources, each community can, if it wishes, develop its own local collection in complementarity with the shared collection.

To know more:

Consult the page dedicated to the common collection.

The project phases

01. Development

Goals

  • Develop the platform technology: functionalities, interface, etc.
  • Develop a new business and legal model (agreements, use, compensation, etc.).
  • Prepare the training.

Timeline

February 19, 2019, to December 2019

Development Committee

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

Goals

  • 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.

Timeline

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

Results of the experiment in a few figures

Coming soon !

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: In order to be able to offer the platform to private schools, technical adjustments are necessary to allow access through the various school portals. Work in this direction began in the spring of 2021 and will continue into the fall. The deployment schedule must be specified with the MEQ and the various partners involved. It will be shared as soon as possible.

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.

For more information

For more information, see the FAQ and the 2020-2021 deployment schedule.

Target audiences

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).

Project managers

Bibliopresto hired a first project manager in February 2019 to coordinate the development and deployment of Biblius. Since then, two more colleagues have joined the team in 2020 and 2021.

The 3 project managers are librarians and have solid experience in the school environment.

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).