Terms and conditions of the Biblius license

What is a licence?

Unlike in the case of 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. All digital files made available on the Biblius platform are governed by a licence negotiated by Québec publishers, the ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) and Bibliopresto.

The 2021–2022 model: Shared collection

The MEQ wishes to provide a shared collection of digital works to all students and school staff in the public sector (school boards and school services centers). Accessible via Biblius, it would democratize access to the digital school library by guaranteeing access to a basic collection. With regard to local orientations and resources, each community could, if it so wished, enrich this basic collection with local purchases (see below).

The establishment of a shared collection represents an lot of work for the MEQ and all the partners involved. Steps were taken at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, and are still ongoing. As soon as more information becomes available on this subject, this section will be updated.

The 2021–2022 model: Shared collection

Each school board (SB), school service center (SSC) or private educational institution can develop its own collection of ebooks and make it available to its staff and students via the Biblius platform. It is up to each community to determine the budgets and criteria governing the development of its local digital collection.

At the time of acquisition, school librarians or other responsible persons will have the choice between 2 different licenses, for each of the works offered on the virtual bookstore associated with Biblius:


Licence with simultanous loans

Licence with successive loans

Total number of loans allowed


Once the 40 loans have passed, we must buy another license if we want to continue to offer the loan of this title.


Once the 55 loans have passed, we must buy another license if we want to continue to offer the loan of this title.

Type of loans

Loans can run out simultaneously, which means there can be up to 40 people reading the book at the same time.

Loans can only be disposed of sequentially, which means that there can only be one person borrowing the book at a time. As with a paper book, when the person returns the digital book, it becomes available again to other users.

Licence’s cost

Each publisher is free to set the selling price of his digital works for the license offering simultaneous lending.

General public prize for ebooks, for example: see here.


Licence expiration

In either case, there is no expiration date. Licenses end when all permitted loans have expired, regardless of the time required.

Terms of use

The terms of use are the same for all types of license. For detail: see here.

Examples of contexts where each type of license may be relevant:


Licence with simultaneous loans :

  • Mandatory reading for every student of a class or a level.
  • Popular ebook for which we want to allow several people from different schools in the SB or SSC to borrow it at the same time.

Licence with successive loans :

  • Offering access to the digital format of a work for an students with handicaps, social
    maladjustments or learning difficulties, while the other students in the group use the paper version.

  • Offering ebook loans for personnal reading.