Pascale Grenier reads to Kian Mohammadzadeh and Marco Firmani during the French Storytime program at the Nellie McClung library branch. Dan Ebenal/News Staff

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

A funding boost is opening a new chapter on French language services at Greater Victoria public libraries.

The Greater Victoria Public Library will match a $15,000 contribution from the Canada-British Columbia Agreement on Official Languages for French-language Services.

GVPL surveyed library patrons to create a wish list of new materials.

“We got almost 100 responses, which is very good,” said librarian Delia Filipescu before a French Storytime session at the Nellie McClung library branch. “Most of them were asking for more programs, including French Storytime. It’s a good literacy opportunity for French-speakers.

Respondents also asked for more books, CDs and films from Québec; award-winning fiction translated into French; adult e-books; and books for early readers.

“We were pleased with the French-speaking community’s positive response to the survey,” said Maureen Sawa, GVPL’s CEO. “Thanks to this generous grant from the province of B.C., we can respond to our patrons’ interests.”

GVPL has more than 15,000 French-language items in its collection, plus digital resources in French. Examples of French digital resources include adult ebooks through MaBiblioNumérique, kids’ ebooks, audiobooks and activities through Biblioenfants, an online French encyclopedia, and newspapers through PressReader. GVPL offers French programming for kids throughout the year.

“We are proud to be supporting public libraries and meeting the needs of the Francophone community by improving access to French-language content,” said Adrian Dix, minister responsible for Francophone affairs. “Promoting child literacy and enjoying the leisure of literature is a passion of mine, and in the past, I have even published a ‘reading list’ of my favourite books, much like the Francophone community’s wish list of new materials.”

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