Digitization process

Choosing books

Books from around the worldLibrarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, and children from all over the world suggest books that they think should be considered for our collection. Each book must be carefully evaluated before it can be added to the Library. Some books are very old and others are just like those that you might find in your school or public library. Most of the old books are out of copyright. This means that nobody owns these books so we can put them on the ICDL without getting permission from anybody. For the newer books, we must get permission from the people or the company that owns the words and the pictures in the books.

All of the books in the ICDL must meet our collection development standards. These standards are the rules that we use to choose which books can go into the ICDL. The rules were created by our Advisory Board of Librarians and our International Advisory Board.

Scanning books

Book and scannerBooks have to be scanned and saved into our database in order to get the book pages into our computers. Scanners are machines that take very detailed pictures of pages and save the images in a way that our computers can recognize. Some of the books that are scanned for the ICDL are cut up and sucked into a scanner one page at a time to be automatically scanned. Other books are scanned one page at a time without destroying the books. Some of the really old books in our collection have to be repaired before they are scanned because the scanning process could cause them to fall apart.

So, who digitizes our books? Sometimes the people who donate books scan them for us. Other times the people who work at the ICDL scan them. Sometimes we pay another company to scan books for us.

Gettings books into the ICDL

A few people at the University of Maryland put the information about books into a database. We call this information metadata. The people who donate books fill out a form so we know where to put their book in our library, so you can find it. They help us by answering questions like: Who is the author? Where was the book written? What is the book about?

Once we have all these things, we can add new books to the ICDL!