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Shared Collection

The shared collection in Biblius

The ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) offers a shared collection of digital books for all students and school staff in the public sector (school boards and school services centers), as well as for First Nations schools not under agreement.

The works that make up this shared collection are available on the market in digital format. They are also available at any time via the Biblius platform. They are offered
by the publishers under the terms of a license that allows them to be loaned in school libraries and used for educational purposes.

The Biblius shared collection is part of a major five-year investment aimed at increasing access to Quebec cultural works for schools, and ensuring better integration of culture in teaching.

A shared collection that complements local collections 

Local collections are available to establishments in a same school service center, school board or group of First Nations schools not under agreement that have acquired works specifically for their organization.

The shared collection thus offers additional works to enrich the resources available in the local collections.

A rigorous approach in selecting the works

A survey of needs in schools

During a large-scale consultation, qualified school library staff identify the titles used by teaching staff. Teachers are also asked to identify their needs and draw up a list of titles that could be included in the shared collection.

After examining the proposed titles and the possibility of including them in the shared collection, a final list is drawn up by a selection committee, which gives priority to the proposals made by teaching staff.

This annual consultation takes place in the spring preceding the upcoming school year.

A selection committee made up of librarians

The works in the shared collection are chosen by a committee of experts made up of school librarians, in accordance with the needs identified by the teaching staff.

A shared collection that is stable

The works that make up the shared collection are selected once a year, so no works are added during the school year.

It should be noted that the collection varies only slightly from one year to the next, based on the following factors:

  • feedback from users;
  • borrowing statistics;
  • teaching assignments for the readings;
  • offer and participation of publishers;
  • overall analysis by the selection committee.

The aim is to ensure the stability of the collection. Given the educational uses by teachers around a work in the shared collection, it would be counter productive to replace too many titles from one year to the next. 

Selection principles and criteria to guide the selection committee

As the school library is a teaching and learning support service, the selection principles and criteria reflect this reality.

Consequently, the choice of works is based primarily on the pedagogical needs of teaching staff.

Principles for developing a rich and relevant shared collection

The works that make up the shared collection are varied

In this way, the collection includes different types of document:

  • picture books;
  • novels;
  • comics and graphic novels;
  • non-fiction;
  • poetry;
  • etc.

The collection also aims:

  • a parity between male and female authors;
  • a diversity of points of views;
  • a variety of types of illustration;
  • a variety of subjects, and even representation of the regions of Quebec.

The shared collection is mainly made up of French-language books.

The works in the shared collection represent diversity.

They present a variety of social backgrounds and experiences.

They present different points of view that make up society in terms of :

  • identity;
  • body representation;
  • functions;
  • linguistics;
  • culture.

The works in the shared collection are suitable for users

The shared collection includes works at different levels of difficulty to meet the reading levels of all students.

The works in the shared collection are universally accessible.

The shared collection offers an increasing number of accessible works. These works are in formats that are most compatible with the accessibility functions offered on the Biblius platform, such as text-to-speech or font adjustment.

The content of the works making up the shared collection is assessed to ensure its quality

The following criteria are taken into account when assessing the content of works to
be included in the shared collection:

  • The content of the work is appropriate, relevant and interesting for a wide audience.
  • The work is suitable for individual reading and is interesting for a wide audience. It does not require the guidance of a member of staff.
  • The work stands out for its educational value and originality.
  • The work is versatile and can be used in a variety of teaching contexts, in relation to the content of the Programme de formation de l’école québécoise (PFEQ), depending on the target audience.
  • The writing reflects original and sensitive aesthetic research.
  • The writing processes used are interesting and varied to highlight literary elements (character characteristics, theme, subject, value, etc.) or to create an effect (poetic, humorous, dramatic, etc.).
  • The writing respects the correct use of language and the author makes judicious use of language registers.
  • The narrative is coherent.
  • The subject or point of view is original and appropriate for the target audience.
  • The illustrations are original and enhance the text.
  • The layout makes the information easy to understand.
  • A table of contents, index or glossary makes it easy to find information within the text.

Criteria to ensure the accessibility of certain titles

Some of the works will have as many of the following features as possible, to meet the particular needs of a number of readers:

  • a simple layout (coloured backgrounds are avoided);
  • simple texts with short sentences;
  • framed blocks of text and a predictable, regular layout for non-fiction books;
  • positive outcome of the story when the subject is sensitive;
  • concrete, familiar subjects that are close to the pupil’s everyday life.

In addition, realistic images and illustrations are preferred to abstract ones. Attention is paid to colour; limited contrasts are avoided, as are backgrounds that make it difficult to distinguish the text.

A portrait of the shared collection

So, after the selection committee’s rigorous analysis process, here is what is included in the shared collection for the current school year.


Data on the language and place of publication of the works in the shared collection

The shared collection contains 464 works. They come from 68 different publishers, as follows:

  • 48 Quebec publishers;
  • 9 Canadian publishers (outside Quebec);
  • 11 publishers outside Canada.

The works in the shared collection are divided according to language and place of publication:

 % of the
Number of titles
Titles in French91.5%425
Titles in English5%23
Multilingual titles3,5%16
Titles from Quebec editors81,5%378
Titles from Canadian editors outside Quebec (including 13 titles from francophone editors)10%47
Titles from foreign publishers (French and Belgian)8,5%39

The works in the shared collection are divided according to their intended audience. The data indicating a work’s target audience comes from the Service québécois de traitement documentaire (SQTD), when available.

 % of the collectionNumber of titles
Preschool, primary cycle 1, primary cycle 239%182
Primary cycle 3, Secondary cycle 142%194
Secondary cycle 2, Adult and Vocational education19%88