BAnQ for everyone | The press

The Marie Grégoire I saw a few days ago had nothing to do with the one who took on the role of President and Director General of the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in July 2021.

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The one whose appointment had been described by some as “partisan” then walked on eggshells.

Several observers had expressed their “discomfort” that this woman with no librarianship experience was being given the prestigious post. The former ADQ MP responded that she wanted to be judged on her actions.

Less than a year after this appointment, Marie Grégoire agreed to speak to me about the first part of her vision of what the BAnQ and library network should look like. In her opinion, this requires an approach of the so-called “learning society”, a concept that has been known in France for a few years and to which we should pay more attention.

This concept, defended by professionals from the world of education, proposes a society in which everything is in place to give citizens access to education from early childhood to the end of their life.

For this it is necessary to connect resources and places that accompany those who love to learn. We must also agree to move away from the traditional framework of education and training.

Libraries and archives can become important links in this chain. This is what Marie Grégoire wants to achieve with the institutions she manages.

The idea of ​​the learning society has been with me for a long time. […] It became clear that in order to be more meaningful in Quebec society, we need to play a role with everything we own. We have an obligation to transform the lives of Quebecers.

Marie Grégoire, Director General of the Library and National Archives of Quebec

The French have found a definition of what a learning society should be. Marie Grégoire has created an event that allows Quebec to have its own interpretation. A major forum will be held on June 15th, which will bring together big names from the worlds of education, sociology, early childhood, archives and libraries.

François Taddei, one of the report’s researchers On the way to a learning society Submitted to the French government in 2017, will speak via videoconference.

Four observers will hear from the panelists: Frédéric Bouchard, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Université de Montréal, Mia Homsy, President and CEO of the Institut du Québec, Régine Laurent, political scientist and President of the Special Commission on Children’s Rights and Protection of Minors, and Kim O’Bomsawin, filmmaker and sociologist.

Pauline Marois and sociologist Guy Rocher will each deliver the opening and closing speeches.

When she took office, Marie Grégoire read a BAnQ awareness survey. “Our logo is known to 9% of Quebecers. Well, it’s still a logo. We also learned that 41% of our services were well known. We appreciate a great love rating from subscribers. But what about other Quebecers? »

Marie Grégoire wants the collections to be used for new experiences that help people discover new professions that open new learning paths.

The medium of documentary plays a very important role in people’s lives, but it’s a bit underground. […] We acquire documents, we keep them, but communication, the democratization of knowledge, that’s what we want to initiate.

Marie Grégoire, Director General of the Library and National Archives of Quebec

I asked her if she was invading the Ministry of Education’s land. “Absolutely not,” she told me. For them, a learning society that achieves its goals is one that creates enormous synergies with everyone involved.

The more I heard it, the more I realized that we are dealing with archi-traditional models based on achieving diplomas.

But learning is something that has no end. We seem to forget it by poking around in front of the TV in search of a good show.

I have a lot of people around me in their 50s, 60s, 70s who are really curious. To do justice to this, they have the choice of going back to school or attending lectures that are held in lecture halls on Sunday afternoons.

Can we enrich the sources and means that make learning possible? Can we be creative in this area? Can we awaken the joy of learning? The Quebec society that we dream of tomorrow has a duty to reflect on these issues.

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