A.C. Hunter Library expands French resources for Francophone community in St. John’s.


More French resources and events are now available at the A.C. Hunter public library.

Gema Pazmino

Emma Tennier-Stuart at the A.C. Hunter Library. She was helping host a craft event for kids offered in English and French.
Emma Tennier-Stuart helps host a recent craft event for kids offered in English and French at the A.C. Hunter Library in St. John’s. Gema Pazmino/Kicker.

A.C. Hunter Library has been implementing more French resources for francophones since the end of last year, including bilingual and French-only events.

Coline Tisserand, the French specialist at the library, said she and her colleagues have been promoting the French language through library resources and programs.

“More and more people are taking French immersion classes. There is a need,” said Tisserand.

Tisserand was born in France and moved to St. John’s in 2018. She has been working at the library since October 2023.

Emma Tennier-Stuart, a library assistant at A.C. Hunter, said she has been working along with Tisserand to organize events in French for kids and adults the library.

She mentioned how there has been an increase of parents looking for French activities for their kids as well, which has led to after-school activities such as story times and craft programs offered in English and French.

“We’ve had a lot of French-speaking people coming to the library looking for French resources and being excited to see that we have them,” said Tennier-Stuart.

March is Francophonie Month, and the A.C. Hunter library is holding a rewarded scavenger hunt with different French words dispersed throughout the three floors of the library.

Coline Tisserand, the French specialist at the A.C. Hunter library said that the goal is not only to offer more resources in French, but also expand the catalogue of French books at the library.
The A.C. Hunter library aims to not only offer more resources in French but also to expand the catalogue of French books at the library. Gema Pazmino/Kicker.

Newfoundland and Labrador is not a bilingual province. However, both English and French are the official languages in Canada, and there are French communities in all provinces in the country.

Liz Fagan is a musician and a journalist at the only French newspaper in NL, Le Gaboteur. Fagan started learning French in Kindergarten and has been speaking mainly French since around 6 years ago.

“I decided to live a hundred percent in French, so I did.”

Fagan said that living as a francophone in St. John’s is easy for the most part, and mentioned the ACFSJ, Association Communautaire Francophone de Saint-Jean, as one of the resources for the French-speaking community in the city.

Most schools in St. John’s offer French as a second language. However, Fagan mentioned how just learning the language in schools sometimes may not be enough, emphasizing the importance of having more French resources.

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