After a successful pilot project phase, the Biblius digital school library is now being deployed in primary and secondary schools in Quebec. By the end of the school year, all school service centers and school boards will be connected.
“At a time when the school library is undergoing changes with the introduction of digital, it is now considered a learning hub. The digital is inserted there with the digital books and the robotics ”, indicated Nancy Lusignan of Bibliopresto, the organization behind the development of Biblius. She presented the new platform at the most recent Digital Education Day.
The digital book can be a PDF, ePub, or audio file. It is subject to the Copyright Act in the same way as a paper book. It is important to remember this point, according to Ms. Lusignan. Thus, to allow lending in school libraries, licenses had to be signed with the publishers.
The shared collection of digital books, acquired by the Ministry of Education and available in Biblius, currently has over 400 children's literature available to all students and staff who have (or will have) access to it. Additions will be made during the year.
School service centers wishing to do so can purchase other books. These will then be available to them only through the service. At the moment, it is not possible to make purchases by school or by class.
Each loan is valid for 41 days, after which the book will be returned automatically. It is also possible to return a book in advance. If a reader has already checked out a book, but had not finished reading it before returning it, on the second checkout, the book will open where it left off.
Reading and Features
The digital books offered in Biblius can be read on tablet, computer, smartphone. Teachers can screen the works available on TNI or in distance education. On the other hand, in this case, it must be live, without video recording.
Teachers can assign a reading to their students in Biblius. Once chosen by a reader, the books can be read offline, giving young people the flexibility to read wherever they are. The book will always automatically open at the page where the reader was at each connection.
Basic accessibility features are available, such as the ability to magnify characters, adjust line spacing or margins, switch to night mode. A text-to-speech function is integrated, but Lexibar or WordQ tools can also be used. Ms. Lusignan indicated that other features are in development, such as annotation and dictionary. In addition, teachers may be able to assign readings to a particular student.
Several video clips are available on the site to understand and learn how to use it. Otherwise, most of the training will be provided by educational advisers, librarians and RÉCIT advisers in each setting.
Deployment in progress
The deployment of digital book lending in school libraries is one of the measures of the Digital Education Action Plan. Currently, 90 % of students in the public school network have access to Biblius. The connection is made through the Mozaik portal of Société GRICS by an intervention of the information technologies department of each school service center.
The deployment schedule in private educational institutions is expected to be published in the coming months. The deployment should also be done by the end of 2022. Regarding educational establishments outside CSS (indigenous and Inuit communities), a needs analysis is underway.
To follow the deployment and access Biblius: https://projetbiblius.ca/me-connecter-a-biblius/
Already published on the École branchée website: Digital books are coming to school libraries
Also: a post by Jean-Benoît Dumais of Coperation of the independent Libraries of Quebec : The consensus to give birth to Biblius