ICDL: Continuing to Grow Worldwide

For immediate release

Internet history has been made by The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) www.childrenslibrary.org, a free Web site of complete children's books from around the world created by the University of Maryland. Released today, this new version of the digital library is the first to provide free access in 9 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, Filipino/Tagalog, French, German, Hebrew, Persian/Farsi, and Spanish) to children's books in 28 languages.

Ben Bederson, technical director of the project says "We already have books in 28 languages, so it is only fitting that the Web site itself is now available in 9 languages to match. With visitors from over 200 countries, the ICDL has truly become the place to find children's books from Croatia to Singapore on the Web."

In addition, the library is also one of the few online libraries for children with books reviewed by child readers around the world. The ICDL works with children in the US, Germany, Honduras, and New Zealand to design, evaluate, and improve the library as it grows. You can read more about our partner sites at www.childrenslibrary.org/people/kidsteam.shtml.

This new version will be demonstrated as a part of the 22nd Annual Human-Computer Interaction Lab's Symposium and Open House on June 2-3, 2005. For more details on the event and to register, see http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/soh.

The ICDL is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Faculty, staff, and students from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (www.cs.umd.edu/hcil), the Department of Computer Science (www.cs.umd.edu) and the College of Information Studies (www.clis.umd.edu) research and maintain the library software and collection.

The materials included in the collection reflect similarities and differences in cultures, societies, interests, lifestyles, and priorities of peoples around the world. The collection's focus is on identifying materials that help children to understand the world around them and the global society in which they live. It is hoped that through a greater understanding of one another that tolerance and acceptance can be achieved.

The collection has two primary audiences. The first audience is children ages 3-13, as well as librarians, teachers, parents, and caregivers who work with children of these ages. The second audience is international scholars and researchers in the area of children's literature.

Contact

  • Mary Ramos, ICDL Press Coordinator, University of Maryland, Human-Computer Interaction Lab, 301/405-4197, 206/888-4635 (fax), maramos@umd.edu