The common collection
A collection for all the students and school staff of the Québec school public network
The Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) offers a common and shared digital collection for all students and school staff in the public school network sector. This project is part of a major investment over five years: it aims to “increase access for the school community to Quebec cultural works and ensure better integration of culture in pedagogy”.
- To know more, consult this press release (French only).
This common collection is accessible at all times via the Biblius platform.
- To know more about the terms, click here.
- To know more about the selection process for the common collection, click here.
Complemented by local collections
Regarding the local orientations and resources, this common collection can be enriched with local collection shared between establishments of a particular center of school services or school board.
An innovative starting point
This model (local collections and a common collection) represents the starting point for an innovative deployment of ebooks lending in Québec school libraries. The process for selecting works from the common presented below, as well as the terms of the licenses offered, are expected to evolve based on feedback from schools and involvement of the various collaborators over the coming years.
COMPLETE LIST and portrait of the common collection
Selection of e-books: process
Portrait of the common collection
Language and place of publication
% of the collection
Number of e-book
E-books in French
E-books in English
Canadian publishers (oustide Québec)
Publishers outside Canada
Number of e-book regarding the students school levels
% of students in the school public network
Nombre de titres
Pre-school, primary cycles 1 and 2 ( generally 4 to 10 years old)
Primary cycle 3, Secondary cycle 1 (generally 11 to 15 years old)
Secondary cycle 2 (generally 16-17 years old)
Adult education programs
(4,5% through all cycles/levels)
Process for the selection of ebooks for the common collection
The e-book selection for the common collection is done once a year. No title is added during the school year, but the collection could vary from one year to another depending on feedback from the schools, the work of the selection committee and the involvement of publishers.
The process described below is the one followed for the selection of the 2021-2022 shared collection. It may be adapted based on comments received from the community, departmental orientations and the involvement of the various partners concerned.
A large-scale consultation of teachers first took place at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, in collaboration with the network of school librarians of Québec and RÉCIT. The intention was that this common collection respond as much as possible to the educational needs of the network.
The selection committee
The selection for the common collection was made by a committee of experts : school librarians, teachers, educational advisers and specialists from the Ministry of Education (Direction des ressources didactiques et pédagonumériques (DRDP), Constellations (former Québec Reading Connection)).
Of the 2000 titles collected during the field consultation, about half exist in digital version on the market. This availability was presented as the first step to begin the choice of works. The selection criteria as well as the available budget then guided the final selection.
Collaboration with the book chain
At the same time, discussions took place with the actors of the book chain in order to determine the terms of the license governing the use of the e-books chosen for the common collection, as well as the economic model which supports it.
Criteria for the selection of e-books
For the elaboration of these criteria, the selection committee was largely inspired by the selection criteria of Constellations (formelly named Québec Reading Connection), which presents a varied selection of literary works developed by the Direction de la formation générale des jeunes (DFGJ) of the Ministry of Education. Education (MEQ).
The school library being a support service for teaching and learning, the selection criteria reflect this reality by considering the educational needs as being essential in the choice of e-books.
Availability of the books in digital version
- Book available in digital version on the market. When possible, the ePub format is preferred.
- The publisher agrees to sign the license allowing the loan of the work in school libraries via the Biblius platform.
The e-books selected are “universal”: the common collection is intended for all students and all school staff in the public network.
- Books whose content is suitable, relevant and interesting for a wide audience.
- Criteria for exclusion of a title: a book for which an accompaniment is absolutely necessary and could not be suitable for individual reading.
The common collection is balanced regarding :
- The type of books (albums, novels, comics, documentaries, poetry, etc.) and the range of e-books available on the market.
- The level of reading difficulty.
- The representation of female, male and animal characters, depending on the school levels.
- Parity between male and female authors.
- Identity and cultural diversity.
- The diversity of the Quebec public school environment: urban and rural areas, regular and HDAA students, school levels (preschool, elementary, secondary, vocational training and general adult education), etc.
- The language of the e-books: mainly in French, but we also include e-books in English in order to meet the needs of teaching and learning English as a second language
The e-books are of high quality.
- Pedagogical richness, originality and versatility in relation to the content of the Quebec Education Program (QEP), depending on the audience targeted by the work.
- Quality of writing and language.
- Quality of narrative and narration. Coherent story that sustains interest and creates a universe.
- Topics and points of view varied and adapted according to the target age.
- Organization of the content (presence of table of contents, index or glossary), quality of the layout.
- Advocated values respectful of the reader with regard to his intelligence and his sensitivity.
- Quality illustrations that enrich the text.
The e-books meet the needs of students at risk and students with disabilities or social maladjustments or learning difficulties (HDAA):
NOTE: This criteria cannot be applied to all e-books in the common collection. However, we must make sure to find titles that meet the needs of those students.
- Simple layout (avoid colored backgrounds)
- Simple texts. Short sentences
- Documentaries: blocks of text are framed and the layout is predictable and regular
- Story treated positively if the subject is difficult
- Concrete and familiar subject, which is close to the daily life of the students
- Pictures and illustrations:
- Realists are preferred to abstract ones (eg animal figures)
- Choice of colors with limited contrasts (gradation) and which illustrate the text well (little inference necessary)
- Technical: when possible, the format of the digital work is compatible with the text-to-speech accessibility features offered on the platform, such as text-to-speech or text size adjustment