Québec School Libraries: Preparing Students for the Future

Submitted by Irazema Del Valle
Presenters: Shannon Babcock, Sandra Babbington & Julian Taylor
With great thanks to the conference committee, we were very pleased to present a session specifically focused on school libraries and how they are addressing student needs through access and innovation.
The session offered an overview of the actions and activities of school libraries in Quebec, as well as Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) mandated initiatives supporting school libraries.
Increased access to library resources and library professionals has led to the ongoing development of school library services. Under the Action Plan on Reading in School, school libraries have been receiving dedicated funding for both resources (since 2005) and the hiring of library professionals (since 2008).The Quebec School Librarians Network, a working group of school library representatives from across the English sector, have banded together to capitalize on these developments and have spearheaded a number of projects.
The network aims to increase and enhance Quebec school library services, through communication and collaboration. Thus far, the network has collaborated in a number of ways: developing virtual networks, creating workshops teaching information literacy skills to teachers and administrators, facilitating subject-area partnerships, experimenting with a variety of e-book formats, pooling best practices and resources, and generally trying to better serve K-11 students.
One project, addressing the information literacy needs of students and teachers as well as library personnel, now has a dedicated team at the MELS. Inquiry Process guidelines are being developed in connection with library standards and the Quebec Education Program as well as further actions addressing information literacy and digital citizenship.
With only thirty minutes to share and much interest generated, hopefully this is but a taste of what is to come. Watch this space next year to hear more about ongoing initiatives and school library developments.