A wealth of French language digital resources for all learners
ONTARIO, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - So you're studying French as a second language
and you'd love to polish your skills by reading a current Quebec
bestseller—if only you knew which one might suit your tastes.
Or perhaps your child is in French immersion and is trying to find
information in French about crocodiles for a school project.
When French is not your first language, these dilemmas can seem
daunting. Fortunately, Ontario's libraries, school boards, colleges and
universities have been collaborating to provide a wide range of
electronic French-language products and services across the province.
Knowledge Ontario, a not-for-profit collaborative, coordinates these
initiatives, which include the following:
Resource Ontario, a collection of online databases with content in French or content
that users can easily machine translate into French. The databases
include everything from the broad Canada in Context collection, perfect
for high school students, to specialized topics and legal journals. knowledgeontario.ca/ressources
ONdemande, an online service where library users can get research help in French
through a chat session with a library staff member. ONdemande.ca
A partnership with BiblioCommons makes the library online experience more like that on a social
networking site. On a participating library's website, users can list
their favourite books, compare them with those of other users and post
comments about the books they've read, in both French and English.
BiblioCommons is one easy way to find recommendations and reviews of
French-language books available in their local library, says Jennifer
Stirling, manager of digital services at the Ottawa Public Library. "We
get a lot of feedback from people about how it's extended their ability
to find things," she says.
Jean MacGregor, coordinator of adult and information services at the
Ottawa Public Library, says ONdemande is a valuable aid for clients
studying French, helping both anglophones and francophones get access
to French-language databases. Because these databases are less numerous
than English-language databases, they can be harder to track down. "I
think they appreciate having [these services] available," says
The Township of Russell Public Library, located in a largely francophone
region just east of Ottawa, joined ONdemande this month. Like other
participants, it provides library staff members for a few hours each
week to answer online inquiries in French submitted by people across
Claire Dionne, the library's CEO, notes that the cooperative nature of
ONdemande—libraries pool the time of their French-speaking staff—is a
boon to libraries with few French-speaking staff members. "It makes it
possible for them to offer services in French that they couldn't offer
Thanks to Knowledge Ontario and its many partner organizations, it's
easy for adults and children studying French to move beyond the
assigned textbooks. If you'd like to hone your language skills by
reading a professional journal or devouring a paperback thriller—or if
your child is seeking a French online encyclopedia with a good entry on
reptiles—help is as close as your computer keyboard.
About Knowledge Ontario
Knowledge Ontario (KO) serves Ontarians through five digital services.
KO is a not-for-profit collaborative of public libraries, colleges,
universities, school boards, museums, archives, historical
associations, hospitals and health libraries. It is committed to equity
of access to excellent digital tools for all Ontarians. Knowledge
Ontario is funded through partner organizations and the Government of
KO in a nutshell: 2 minute video
SOURCE Knowledge Ontario
For further information:
Louise Slobodian, Communications