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Growing Up: The Grande Bibliothèque Is Now 10 Years Old!

The Grande Bibliothèque celebrated its 10th anniversary on Monday April 27 during an official ceremony that was attended by such political and cultural figures as Robert Poëti, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, Manon Gauthier, member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal responsible for Culture, Lucien Bouchard, Premier of Québec from 1996 to 2001, and Robert Lepage, multidisciplinary artist

The Grande Bibliothèque has been hugely successful since its opening. It is the most-visited library in the francophone world, with 27 million recorded visits over 10 years. The library’s many remote-access services and collections, available through the Web portal and mobile application of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, make it part of daily life for thousands of residents from every region of Québec.

Speaking to an audience of distinguished guests, among which were her predecessors Lise Bissonnette and Dr. Guy Berthiaume, BAnQ Chair and Chief Executive Officer Christiane Barbe spoke of the institution's significance: “Since day one, the Grande Bibliothèque has been a meeting place for people from all walks of life. It makes me happy to know that they still wait impatiently for the doors to open each morning. They know that, in addition to being a quiet venue for reading and study, the Grande Bibliothèque is a place where people come to discuss and learn new ideas and skills, thereby contributing to the community’s creative spirit."

Un groupe de personne sur la scène de l'Auditorium.

Collaboration with Robert Lepage

The Grande Bibliothèque will mark its 10th anniversary year with a special cultural program, whose centrepiece—an exhibition entitled La bibliothèque, la nuit—results from a partnership with Robert Lepage’s production company, Ex Machina. CEO Christiane Barbe was “thrilled at the prospect of this truly remarkable collaboration with a great artist who is as highly regarded in Québec as he is abroad.” This must-see exhibition starting at the end of October is based on a book called The Library at Night, written by author Alberto Manguel—also a collaborator on the project—that takes visitors on a virtual tour of ten great libraries, both real and imagined. Other exhibitions and activities developed for the event will mark this anniversary year.

BAnQ numérique: A new Web platform

BAnQ’s digital projects are taking off! “We want to go further by literally transforming the physical reality and limitations of the information contained in our archives and collections so that all citizens, wherever they are, can easily access that information,” stated CEO Christiane Barbe. BAnQ numérique, the library’s new user-friendly digital platform will give all Quebecers access to the entire collection of digital heritage materials held by BAnQ, and to the circulating resources of the universal collection, such as the popular e-book collection and many databases, as well as to all existing library services. Continuously updated and improved, Québec’s major digital library will place users at the centre of the experience, enabling them to consume content across all platforms and screens and work together on collaborative projects.

These initiatives will bear fruit thanks to financial assistance received through the Plan culturel numérique du Québec that is playing a key role in promoting Québec culture online.


Furthermore, as part of the Conseil des arts de Montréal's Writer-in-Residence project—a collaboration between BAnQ and the Conseil des arts de Montréal—the Grande Bibliothèque is offering a one-year residency to a Montréal writer. From September 2015 to June 2016, author Gilbert Turp will work on a creative writing project and act as a cultural facilitator at the library.

New multimedia projection on the façade of the Grande Bibliothèque

The façade of the Grande Bibliothèque will come to life every evening until June 28 with Vivre et archiver chaque page qui se tourne, a new multimedia installation created and produced by visual design studio Turbine. The original sound design is by René Lussier. The joint production between BAnQ and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership pays tribute to Québec culture using images drawn from BAnQ's heritage collections. The installation will be displayed a number of times over the course of the year.

The rest of 2015 looks busy for BAnQ. In addition to completing the refurbishment of the Grande Bibliothèque's ground floor and increasing the pace of digitization, the institution will focus on taking its missions to the next level. Well prepared to meet the challenges facing libraries today, it will focus on living up to the motto for its anniversary year “De plus en plus grande” through ongoing growth and development. In its role as a breeding ground of culture and knowledge, the Grande Bibliothèque will continue to enrich the lives of all Quebecers.

Projection sur la façade rue DeMaisonneuve Ouest d la Grande Bibliothèque.

The façade of the Grande Bibliothèque will come to life every evening until June 28 with Vivre et archiver chaque page qui se tourne. The installation will be displayed a number of times over the course of the year.
Photo: Michel Legendre, BAnQ.

Group photo – From left: Gilbert Turp, writer, actor and director, writer-in-residence at the Grande Bibliothèque in 2015-2016; Ivy, poet and slam artist; Robert Poëti, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Montréal region; Jean-Paul Daoust, poet; Robert Lepage, multidisciplinary artist; Christiane Barbe, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Lucien Bouchard, Premier of Québec from 1996 to 2001; Lise Bissonnette, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Grande bibliothèque du Québec, then of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, from 1998 to 2009; Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec from 2009 to 2014, Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Hélène Roussel, Director General of the Grande Bibliothèque; Alexis Martin, man of the theatre; Marie-Thérèse Fortin, actor and host for the evening event.
Photo: Michel Legendre, BAnQ.

Lire vous transporte

Download books by Québec writers at Montréal-Trudeau Airport thanks to BAnQ, ADM and the ALQ 

Québec travellers who are subscribers of BAnQ's remote services are in for a digital takeoff thanks to a partnership between BAnQ, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and the Association des libraires du Québec (ALQ, the Québec booksellers' association). Passengers passing through Montréal-Trudeau Airport can choose from a selection of more than thirty e-books in both English and French, all written by Québec authors. 

"Lire vous transporte is a showcase that will help widen the reputation of talented Québec writers as well as developing travellers' taste for e-books. BAnQ is delighted to be a part of this initiative, and I take this opportunity to remind all Québecers that, with a simple online subscription, they can enjoy our collection of e-books, among other offerings," pointed out Christiane Barbe, BAnQ's Chair and Chief Executive Officer.  

Just click on an URL to download on your smartphone, tablet or e-reader the first chapter of a book featured in one of five categories: fiction, children's fiction, thriller, non-fiction/biography and practical guide. Complete instructions for downloading are posted in the airport’s rest areas, located mainly along the international jetty. If you enjoyed the preview chapter, you can read the rest of the story by borrowing the complete e-book from BAnQ's web portal or by purchasing it from the website (in print or digital edition). Users are invited to share their best reads on Facebook or Twitter by using the hashtag #lirevt.

Read the press release

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Denière mise à jour Monday, 18 May 2015



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