Frequently Asked Questions


BAnQ facilities

Top Are BAnQ's facilities open?

The Grande Bibliothèque is open, including the National Collection’s reading room.

Find out the latest on what's happening at the Grande Bibliothèque.

Staff members at the National Archives centres and at the Québec National Library process research requests by telephone and email. If your research requires it, we will schedule an appointment in a reading room. Otherwise, the reading rooms in these facilities remain closed.

Grande Bibliothèque

Top Is the Grande Bibliothèque open?

The Grande Bibliothèque is open to the public. However, it is not providing the usual services and a maximum of 650 people at a time may enter the facility.

The services currently available at the Grande Bibliothèque are:

  • Joining BAnQ
  • Accessing the stacks and the collections
  • Visiting the Espace Jeunes (Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • On-site reading of newspapers
  • Using a computer station or a seated spot to do individual work
  • Borrowing materials
  • Returning borrowed materials
  • Speaking with a librarian about your research project
  • Speaking with a Services Québec agent
  • Using the fablab equipment at Le Square (by appointment, from Tuesday through Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • Using photocopiers/scanners
  • Eating at Le Parva bistro
  • Printing documents using the computer stations (maximum of 5 pages per person, per day)
  • Participating in activities in the Auditorium (with proof of vaccination and a photo ID)
  • Printing your proof of vaccination free of charge

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, these are the only activities currently permitted at the Grande Bibliothèque.

For everything else, our staff and our digital services continue to be available online, by email and by phone.

Top What are the Grande Bibliothèque's opening hours?

For now, the Grande Bibliothèque is open:

  • Tuesday through Friday: from 10 am to 9 pm.
  • Saturday and Sunday: from 10 am to 5 pm.

The library and its phone services are closed Mondays.

Note that these opening hours are temporary.

Check the full schedule


Top How do I access the Grande Bibliothèque?

  • Patrons must enter the Grande Bibliothèque through the door on de Maisonneuve Blvd.
  • Patrons must leave through the door leading onto Berri St.
  • Users attending activities in the Auditorium must provide proof of vaccination and a photo ID.
  • The entrance via the Metro remains closed until further notice, as well as the Savoie–Saint-Denis and Jardin d'art–Ontario St. entrances.
  • The Grande Bibliothèque's parking lot is open. Once they have parked, patrons must go outside and enter the library though the door on de Maisonneuve Blvd.

Top Which on-site services are currently available?

  • Joining BAnQ
  • Accessing the stacks and the collections
  • Visiting the Espace Jeunes (Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm, and Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • Accessing the National Collection (Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • Using study spots, armchairs and computer stations
  • Borrowing materials
  • Returning borrowed materials
  • Speaking with a librarian about your research project
  • Speaking with a Services Québec agent
  • Using the fablab equipment at Le Square (by appointment, from Tuesday through Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • Using photocopiers/scanners (on the ground floor and at the National Collection)
  • Le Parva bistro (to eat on site, you must provide provide proof of vaccination and a photo ID)
  • Printing documents using the computer stations (maximum of 5 pages per person, per day)
  • A selection of activities in the Auditorium (to attend, you must provide provide proof of vaccination and a photo ID)
  • Free printing of your proof of vaccination

How can I join?

Enter the Grande Bibliothèque through the door on de Maisonneuve Blvd. Have a recent, valid piece of ID and proof of residence (digital or paper copy) ready. View the list of accepted documents. Subscriptions are valid for 2 years.

I've filled out the online services subscription form and I would like to borrow materials at the Grande Bibliothèque. Where can I get my library card?

Enter the Grande Bibliothèque through the door on de Maisonneuve Blvd. Have a recent, valid piece of ID and proof of residence (digital or paper copy) ready. View the list of accepted documents. Subscriptions are valid for 2 years.

My library card has expired. How do I renew my subscription? Can I do it by phone?

All subscriptions due to expire between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 have been automatically extended by a 2-year period.

Subscriptions that have expired before March 1, 2020, but for less than 2 years, can be renewed by phone under certain conditions. If  you are in this situation, please call 514 873-1100 or 1 800 363-9028, option 2, during opening hours, to check if your subscription can be renewed by phone.

If your card has been expired for over 2 years, enter the Grande Bibliothèque through the door on de Maisonneuve Blvd, with a recent, valid piece of ID and proof of residence (digital or paper copy). View the list of accepted documents.

My library card has expired. Can I still access the available online resources?

Yes. Exceptionally, access to online services is maintained for subscribers whose cards have expired.

Can I subscribe to online services without having to go to the Grande Bibliothèque?

Yes. Just fill out this form to send a subscription request.

Subscribers with a library card automatically have access to online services.

I've joined BAnQ, but I don't have my client number or password to access the online resources. Is there a way to recover them?

Yes. Just fill out this form.

If you have your client number, but not your password, please fill out the password recovery form or call 514 873-1100 or 1 800 363-9028, option 2, for staff assistance, during the library'sopening hours.

Can I choose books myself?

Yes. You can browse the stacks and choose materials yourself. You can access all the collections.

Can I find a place to read or study?

Yes. You can make use of the armchairs or study spots to read or work.

Do I need to reserve a spot to go to the Espace Jeunes?

The Espace Jeunes (the children's library) is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.

Do children have to wear a mask?

Children 10 years and older must wear a mask. Wearing a mask is recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 9.

Can I borrow books, movies, CDs or magazines without having to place them on hold beforehand?

Yes. You can take the materials you want to borrow off the shelves yourself.

However, to simplify your visit, you can have your item(s) placed on hold beforehand. Read the Borrow materials page.

Can I use the self-checkout terminals?

Yes. Users may use the self-checkout terminals located next to the service desks on each level of the library.

What is the loan period for materials?

Until further notice, all materials, including movies, are loaned for 21 days.

Can I pick up an item placed on hold by a friend or relative?

Yes. You can pick up materials placed on hold by a friend or relative if you have the item's reservation code.

Can I place a hold on an available library item?

Yes. Read the Borrow materials page.

I have library items that I haven't returned yet. Can I still place a hold on another item?

Yes. You can place a hold on up to 15 items at a time, including 10 movies or TV series. The maximum number of items you can borrow is 25.

I cannot come and pick up my reserved materials. What should I do?

Please delete your request by logging in to My account or by calling 514 873-1100 or 1 800 363-9028, option 2.

Until further notice, no fines will be charged for failing to pick up an item.

I placed a hold on an available library item but it's not in my reservations list anymore. What happened?

A number of reasons can explain why we cannot find the item you requested even if it is displayed as available in the catalogue. If that is the case, a request cancellation notification will be displayed in the subscriber's account, in the "Messages" section.

I have materials to return. How does it work?

There are a number of ways to return borrowed materials.

  • Materials can be returned to the self-service check-in terminals;

  • Users can also check in their materials at the ground floor service desk;

  • The drop chutes located by the main entrance on de Maisonneuve Blvd are in service during the Grande Bibliothèque's opening hours;

  • You may also return materials borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque to any of the City of Montreal's library (list of libraries), one of Quebec City's libraries (list of libraries) or the Guy-Sanche library located in the same building as BAnQ Gatineau. It's possible that materials will remain recorded in your account for longer than usual. For now, and until further notice, no late fees will be charged.

    The following items are not eligible for interlibrary returns:

    • CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, audiobooks and videocassettes;
    • Video games;
    • Materials borrowed through interlibrary loan;
    • Very large format items;
    • Rental best-sellers;
    • Multimedia kits such as language-learning methods;
    • Roadmaps or tourist attraction maps.
  • You can also mail your materials to the following address:

    Service de l'abonnement et de l'emprunt
    475, boulevard de Maisonneuve Est
    Montréal (Québec)  H2L 5C4

What is the loan period for materials?

Until further notice, all materials, including movies, are loaned for 21 days.

My borrowed materials are coming due and I cannot get to the library. Will I be charged late fees?

No. We have not been charging late fees since mid-March, nor will we be until further notice. Furthermore, you can now renew each borrowed item up to 3 times if it is not reserved by another user.

You may return materials borrowed from BAnQ to any the City of Montreal's library (list of libraries) or one of Quebec City's libraries (list of libraries). Because services are resuming gradually, it's possible that materials will remain recorded in your account for longer than usual. For now, and until further notice, no late fees will be charged.

You can also mail your materials at the following address:

Service de l'abonnement et de l'emprunt
475,  De Maisonneuve Blvd East
Montréal, QC H2L 5C4

Can I pay fines and fees charged to my account at the Grande Bibliothèque?

For health and safety reasons, the only fines that can be paid at the Grande Bibliothèque are for blocked accounts, and they can only be paid by credit or debit card.

Can I ask one of the on-site librarians a question?

Yes. Librarians are available to answer your questions at the service desks on every floor except the ground floor.

Can I meet with an on-site Québec Services agent?

Yes. A Services Québec agent is available on-site to provide employment assistance and information about government services to patrons:

  • Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 12 noon and from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Users can also speak to an agent by phone or videoconference.

Who can use study spots, armchairs and computer stations?

Study spots, armchairs and computer stations will be made available to all users not just subscribers.

Note that:

  • group work is not permitted; however, young users may be accompanied by a parent;
  • a face mask must be worn at all times.

Can I reserve seated spots and computer stations?

No, seated spots and computer stations cannot be reserved. Currently, users have free access to 513 seated spots and 64 computer stations. New seated spots will be added over the next few days.

For how long can I use a seated spot or a computer station?

There is no maximum time for using the seated spots.

The computer stations can be used for a maximum of 2 hours.

Top Which on-site services are not currently available at the Grande Bibliothèque?

  • Group study rooms and study carrels
  • Loan of laptops and tablets
  • Activities and group tours
  • Lockers

Top What remote services are available?

  • Subscription to remote services
  • Remote reference and information services
  • Service québécois du livre adapté (SQLA or adapted book service)
  • Interlibrary loan service
  • Services Québec
  • Activities

Is the reference and information phone service available?

Yes. The reference and information phone service is available.

Can I use the Ask a Question form?

Yes. You can use the email information and reference services.

Is the adapted book service back?

The adapted book service has resumed its activities, but no services are provided on-site. Orders can be placed through the catalogue or by calling 514 873-4454 or 1 866 410-0844.

Please expect longer wait times for requested books due to delayed deliveries by Canada Post.

In accordance with public health authority guidelines, patrons cannot access the collections. Placing a hold on materials by phone or by email is required before showing up at the library. The reading room is off-limits.

Services offered:

  • Phone service and email service
    • Reference and research assistance
    • Reading suggestions
    • Support for downloading adapted digital books
  • Ordering and mailing materials
  • Joining BAnQ

Is the interlibrary loan service currently available?

Yes. Patrons can transmit their interlibrary loan requests as they usually do. (Place an interlibrary loan request)

Can I speak to a Services Québec agents?

Yes. You can email services.quebec@banq.qc.ca to make a phone or videoconference appointment with the Services Québec agents at BAnQ. You can also meet with them at the Grande Bibliothèque.

Are there any on-site events at the Grande Bibliothèque?

No. However, several online activities are posted on BAnQ’s website. Please check the calendar of activities (in French).

Top What are the guidelines for visiting the Grande Bibliothèque?

In order to minimize health risks to patrons and staff:

  • Masks or face coverings are mandatory at all times.
  • Patrons experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 will not be allowed into the building.
  • Patrons must respect social distancing floor markings.
  • Patrons must wash their hands at designated stations.
  • Cash is not accepted.

Top What kind of measures are in place to protect patrons?

Various measures have been introduced to protect the health of patrons.

  • We limit the number of patrons inside the library at any one time.
  • Checks are carried out at the entrance of the building to ensure that patrons with COVID-19 symptoms do not enter the library.
  • Posters reminding everyone to respect social distancing measures and safety guidelines are displayed at the entrance and inside the building.
  • Floor markings ensure that patrons lining up inside and outside the building comply with distancing measures.
  • Employees ensure that patrons lining up comply with distancing measures.
  • All patron services employees wear masks or visors.
  • Physical barriers (clear partitions) have been installed at the service desks between staff and patrons, as well as between patrons themselves.
  • Surfaces are cleaned more frequently.
  • Study spots are cleaned every 4 hours.
  • In accordance with a specific guideline issued by public health authorities and a recommendation by the technical association for the industry of building services, the amount of fresh air in the Grande Bibliothèque has been increased. The systems supplying the public and administrative sectors of the building also operate more frequently.

National Archives

Top What archival research services do the National Archives offer?

Remote reference and information services

While waiting for the full reopening of our reading rooms, our staff members are at your service to support you in your research endeavours.

Contact us with your needs by filling out this form or calling us. We will get back to you as soon as possible by email, phone or videoconference. We can assist you with your research and copy certain pages for you, if need be (in compliance with the Copyright Act and any other restrictions) if the documents that are of interest to you are not available online.

If your request pertains to a specific archives centre, you can also contact this centre directly.

Viewing materials on site

If your research requires it, we can schedule an appointment with you at one of our centres. The appointment is made after you have discussed your research by phone with a member of our staff.

This means that the reading rooms at the archives centres remain closed, except for people who have an appointment

Top After discussing my research by phone, I have an appointment at a National Archives centre. What do I need to know?

  • Masks must be work at all times.
  • Upon arrival, researchers are asked to store all personal belongings in a locker or another designated space.
  • Researchers are assigned a place according to the type of materials they wish to view and are asked to refrain from leaving their seat.
  • Staff will make the required materials available to the researcher.
  • Only staff may access library materials on the shelves.
  • Using shared equipment such as photocopiers, computers, etc. is not permitted.
  • Researchers are allowed to use viewing and scanning devices by appointment, when it is the only way to access the materials. These devices are cleaned after each use.
  • Researchers may not use any research tools, such as kardex files or microfiche. Where possible, the required materials are scanned and given to researchers.
  • Reading areas are cleaned after each use.
  • E-payment is preferred.

Top What other National Archives services can I use?

Online resources

The Advitam research interface into the archives is accessible.

BAnQ also encourages its patrons to browse and use its digital services at banq.qc.ca, which they can use to remotely access its collections and archival holdings, borrow books in French or in English, read magazines and newspapers in French or in English, listen to music and watch videos.

Activities

Are there any National Archives-related activities offered on BAnQ's website?

Many online activities are posted on BAnQ's website. Please checx the calendar of activities (in French).

Digital copy services

Is it possible to place a document reproduction request?

Yes. Digital copy services have resumed. Please allow a longer wait time, due to high demand.

Donations and transfers

Do you still receive and process private archive donations?

Yes. However, visits to donor residences or offices, approval of new archival fonds and transportation of materials to our facilities are not possible in the short term. If need be, an archivist will email you to let you know the status of your request.

Do you still receive transfers of public archives?

Yes. The National Archives centres are once again receiving archival materials.

Support services for managing centralized and decentralized public archives

Can I send a request to change a records retention schedule?

Yes. You can complete and submit such a request.

Can I complete and submit a request to transfer public archives?

Yes. You can submit requests through the Advitam transactional tool.

Can I ask an archivist a question?

Yes. You can contact an archivist by email or by phone. Municipal, health and education government departments are specifically asked to contact their regional BAnQ archivist. [PDF - 120KB]

National Library

Top What services are now offered at the Québec National Library and at the National Collection (at the Grande Bibliothèque)?

Research assistance

While waiting for the full reopening of the National Collection at the Grande Bibliothèque and of the Québec National Library, our librarians are at your service to support you in your research projects. Read the guidelines.

Viewing materials on site

Users can access the National Library’s materials. Read the guidelines.

Top What other National Library services can I use?

Donations of published materials

Can I submit published materials as donations to BAnQ?

Yes. All submissions must be sent to achat@banq.qc.ca. Donations cannot be brought or sent directly to the facility.

Legal deposit

Can I ask questions or submit requests to the legal deposit service?

Yes. Questions and requests can be sent to depot@banq.qc.ca.

Can I submit the legal deposit of materials?

Yes, materials can be sent by mail to the following address:

Section du dépôt légal
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
2275, rue Holt
Montréal (Québec)
H2G 3H1

or brought in person to:

Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (Québec National Library), at 2275, Holt Street, Montréal, and at the Grande Bibliothèque’s National Collection.

Can I submit the deposit of digital publications?

Yes. Through the extranet. Send your questions by emailing pubelectro@banq.qc.ca.

ISBN request number

Can I request an ISBN number?

Yes. Through the extranet. Requests can also be emailed to isbn@banq.qc.ca and isbngouv@banq.qc.ca.

Bottin des éditeurs francophones canadiens (French-Canadian publishers' directory)

Can I send change requests to the publishers' directory?

Yes. Address change requests and questions can be emailed to isbn@banq.qc.ca.

Cataloguing in Publication (CIP)

Can I take part in the CIP programme?

Yes. Just fill in the Cataloguing in Publication Information form (in French).

Activities

Are there any National Library-related activities offered on BAnQ's website?

Many online activities are posted on BAnQ's website. Please check the calendar of activities (in French).

Digital copy services

Is it possible to place a document reproduction request?

Yes. Digital copy services have resumed. Longer wait times are expected due to high demand.

Useful general information

TopWhere?

Where is the Grande Bibliothèque and how can I get there?

Grande Bibliothèque: Map

Grande Bibliothèque

475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
Montréal (Québec) H2L 5C4

Phone: 514 873-1100 or
1 800 363-9028 (in Québec)
Fax: 514 873-9312

 

Berri-UQAM metro station
Buses: 15, 30 or 125

Paid parking (access from avenue Savoie and rue Berri)

Where is the Québec National Library and how can I get there?

Preservation centre: Map

Québec National Library

2275, rue Holt
Montréal (Québec) H2G 3H1

Phone: 514 873-1100
or 1 800 363-9028 (in Québec)
Fax: 514 873-7168

A parking lot located at the west end of the building is available to patrons free of charge.

Buses: 197, 94, 47, 27, 45, 10

Where are the National Archives centres?

See the BAnQ archives centres section

TopWhen?

When is the Grande Bibliothèque open?

See the opening hours

When is the reading room at the Québec National Library open?

The reading room at the Québec National Library is open to users who have scheduled an appointment to view documents.

When are the National Archives centres open?

See the BAnQ archives centres section

TopWho?

Who can use BAnQ's services?

All Québec residents have free access to BAnQ's services.

Is the Grande Bibliothèque accessible to persons with disabilities?

Yes, the Grande Bibliothèque facilitates accessibility by complying with recognized standards. It provides persons with disabilities with exceptional access to culture and information. It offers services, collections and equipment adapted to the various types of disabilities.

TopWhat?

What is Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)?

BAnQ, which resulted from the merging of the activities of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and Archives nationales du Québec, is a library-science and archival cultural institution of national stature dedicated to the acquisition, preservation and promotion of Québec's published, archival and film heritage. BAnQ makes a public library available to all Quebecers by offering a vast universal collection.

More specifically, the institution has, as part of its mission, to assemble, preserve permanently and promote Québec's published heritage materials together with any related document of cultural interest, and materials relating to Québec that are published outside Québec. BAnQ also has, as part of its mission, to provide democratic access to the heritage materials constituted by its collections, and to culture and universal knowledge, and to act, in this regard, as a catalyst among Québec library and information institutions, thereby contributing to the personal development of Quebecers. Finally, BAnQ has, as part of its mission, to supervise, support and advise public bodies in the management of their current and intermediate archives, as well as to ensure the preservation of, facilitate access to, and foster the promotion of public archives.

What collections can be accessed at the Grande Bibliothèque?

In addition to the National collection, which comprises all materials published in Québec, the Grande Bibliothèque has a universal circulating collection with over 4 million items, including 1.2 million books, 220 000 CDs and DVDs, and a vast collection of magazines, journals and newspapers from Québec and elsewhere. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) also makes an extensive and constantly expanding digital collection available to the public.

The Grande Bibliothèque's circulation and reference collection is divided into sections:

  • News and new releases
  • Arts and literature
  • Maps and plans
  • Science and technology
  • Economics and business, jobs and careers
  • History, geography and biographies
  • Social science and the humanities
  • Language
  • Music and film
  • Youth

BAnQ also makes adapted materials available for people with perceptual disabilities. 

What collections can be accessed at the Québec National Library?

The heritage collections at the Québec National Library can be accessed by users. More specifically:

  • Posters
  • Maps
  • Postcards
  • Prints
  • Documentary iconography
  • Early books
  • Artists' books and bibliophile books
  • Performing arts programmes
  • Art bindings
  • Art reproductions

What archival collections and fonds are available in the National Archives centres?

The 10 National Archives cemtres house millions of items.

With more than 60 kilometers of written documents, namely the equivalent of approximately 185,000 archive boxes, 1,200,000 maps and plans, 18,700,000 graphical materials (photographs, postcards, prints, architectural and engineering drawings), and more than 78,000 films, videos and sound recordings, imagine everything there is to discover, read, see and hear about the history of Québec and the men and women who have shaped that history over close to four centuries.

What types of digitized materials are available in the digital collection?

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec provides access via the Internet to digital versions of tens of thousands of Québec materials, including books, newspapers, music scores, fixed images of iconographic and cartographic items, sound recordings and government publications.

These digitized resources are augmented by dozens of electronic resources from Québec and elsewhere, in all disciplines.