Public libraries in Quebec: Strategic institutions for cultural development

Quebec’s policy on public access to reading materials marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2009. The province voted its first law on public libraries in 1959 to counter chronic underdevelopment of the library system and the Quebec Public Library Service was founded the following year. The article describes the origins and development of the public library network in Quebec and the role played by the Grande bibliothèque since the late 1990s. It concludes with a detailed analysis of the results of the policy and the current state of public access to reading matter in Quebec.