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aussi disponible en français
June 6, 2006
For immediate release

Increased Access to French Language Health Information Books Now Available

Community and Cultural Affairs

A large collection of new French-language books dealing with a range of health issues is now available and can be borrowed from Prince Edward Island community libraries.

The Department of Health, through the Prince County Hospital Health Resource Centre, and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, through the Provincial Library Service, formed a partnership to ensure the Island Acadian and Francophone population would have access to a new collection of French-language health information publications. The new French volumes cover a wide range of health topics including information on high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, nutrition, pregnancy, arthritis, chronic disease and other health issues.

Health Minister Chester Gillan expressed his pleasure that more French language health information now is available to the Island population. “Access to information is very important in front-line health care services,” Minister Gillan said. “We are very pleased that the Prince County Hospital has entered into this new partnership to make information more accessible through the Public Library Service.”

Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, noted that Island Francophones will now have access to over 400 new titles in French. “As Minister responsible for public libraries, and for Acadian and Francophone Affairs, I am happy that my department was able to participate in this initiative,” he said. “I want to invite Islanders to take advantage of this opportunity to borrow books from the new collection.”

Jean-François Savaria, French Services Librarian, reminded everyone that the books can be made available throughout the province. “Although the new French language books are physically housed in the three French language libraries on the Island, Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, Centre Belle-Alliance and Évangéline in Abram-Village, they can be borrowed from any of the 26 libraries in the province through Abbycat,” he said.

Abbycat is an online resource enabling anyone with internet access to search the Provincial Library Service collection and arrange to have books delivered to a local library for pick up. Abbycat offers both English and French search engines.

Élise Arsenault, coordinator of the project at the Prince County Hospital Health Resource Centre, said books were chosen based on results from five focus groups held to target the topics of interest to the Acadian and Francophone population. “The suggestions of the focus group participants were taken into consideration during the selection of titles,” Ms. Arsenault explained. “And, we hope to expand the collection by the end of September.”

This service was made possible through a financial contribution from the Société Santé en français under Health Canada’s Primary Health Care Transition Fund.

The French version of the Abbycat library catalogue can be accessed by following the link from the French Library Web page at

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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