A hidden treasure on the uOttawa campus – the Julien Couture Resource Centre

After several years of operation at the Hamelin Hall, the Julien Couture Resource Centre (JCRC) underwent a transformation of its spaces in 2020. New chairs, new tables and a new smart TV for movie projections, conferences and lectures are now available to users. With this modern equipment, the Centre expects to meet increasingly varied and rapidly changing needs of the university community and is ready to welcome new visitors this year.

 

Wait, what are you talking about? What is the Julien Couture Resource Centre?

The JCRC, located on the ground floor of the Hamelin Hall (MHN 02), has been a place to go to for all French and English language learners on campus for the last 40 years. It was originally founded as a Documentation centre to provide materials for teachers and students in teacher training. A few years later, teachers wanted to provide a self-directed study space for their students, so they decided to create a Student Resource Centre and provide it with tools to help them reach their language learning objectives. The Centre has ever since that time functioned as a complex environment generally divided into two complementary sections: The Learning area for all students requiring additional support in order to improve their French and/or English language skills and the Teaching area that continues to provide resources and assistance to the teachers. The Centre is open to the university community at large, but also to the Ottawa and Gatineau residents wishing to practice their language skills in French and/or English.

As a specialized library, the Centre has a wide variety of traditional and digital resources. In a context where French and English are used in parallel on a daily basis, and in constant practice of translanguaging between the two languages, the patrons also have an opportunity to peruse current affaires magazines as well as feature films, documentaries, reference works and board games.

 

Hmmm, is there anything else I should know about it?

Since its renovation, the Centre strives to further motivate its users to come and take advantage of its spaces and programming. Paco Lalovic, the Julien Couture Centre's Documentalist, explains that the library's redevelopment is really a result of the Centre's constant effort to meet the new expectations of the student and teacher community. According to him, it's essential to "be able to adjust [...] since that is what it means to listen to our users and meet their needs.”

To do so, the Centre now has updated its equipment and technology. In addition, since the transition of its collection to the new library management system Koha, it is now really straightforward to find the appropriate learning materials. The new platform allows its users to identify and bring together resources that meet their particular needs as well as to leave comments and provide the Centre staff with their feedback.

 

Interesting! Is that all?

It is not only the users who benefit from the new layout of the JCRC. According to Madison, one of the student staff members at the Centre, the redesign of the space makes it more open and brighter, creating a more enjoyable working environment. In addition, she says that "the new activities and reorganization of the Centre make her feel ever more useful and important."

The JCRC and its study area are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) and from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on Fridays until the end of the winter semester.

Here is a Top 10 of what you will find at the Julien Couture Resource Centre

 

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Emilie Azevedo & Laurie Hudon

January 2020

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