International Children’s Digital Library to Expand Its Online Jewish Children’s Books Collection with Four New Partnerships for Children the World Over

For immediate release

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, MA - March 5, 2008 - The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) (, which has the world’s largest collection of children’s multicultural literature available freely on the Internet, has reached agreements with four prominent US-based Jewish libraries and research centers to make available via the ICDL works from their collections to children, parents, teachers and scholars the world over.  The agreements are projected to ultimately create the largest collection of Hebrew and Yiddish children's books obtainable for free online anywhere in the world.

Through these individual agreements, the ICDL will have access to exemplary works of Jewish children's literature from the libraries at:

  • Aaron Lansky’s National Yiddish National Books Center, Amherst, Mass.
  • Hebrew College of Boston, Boston, Mass.
  • Center for Jewish History’s:
    • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research,  New York, NY
    • Yeshiva University Museum, New York, NY

“Children’s literature is full of life lessons delivered by characters children can relate to.  But sometimes books and stories are forgotten, lost or unavailable.  The impact is that children lose an opportunity to access part of their history, the folklore or fabric of their ancestors’ lives – and the ability to learn from them and to preserve them for another generation.” said Tim Browne, Executive Director for the International Children’s Digital Library.  “These agreements will make it possible for children, parents and educators the world over to peruse what is projected to be the largest collection of online Jewish children’s literature anywhere.”

The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting cultural understanding and tolerance by presenting the best of children’s literature to children throughout the world. By making its extensive collection of books available online, it aspires to reach children, parents and educators who have limited access to libraries. The ICDL today has online more than 1,600 exemplary titles of its 5,000 books master collection, representing 38 countries and 42 languages.

About ICDL

Founded in 2002, the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) has the world’s largest collection of children’s multicultural literature available freely on the Internet. Funded initially by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the ICDL debuted at an international celebration at the US Library of Congress. The ICDL’s mission is to identify exemplary books that help children to understand the world around them and the global society in which they live, and make them freely available on the Internet. The materials in its collection, all presented in the original languages in which they were published, reflect similarities and differences in cultures, societies, interests, and lifestyles of peoples around the world. For more information, please visit the ICDL on the Web at

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NOTE TO EDITORS:  Experts from the International Children's Digital Library Foundation are available for interviews and/or commentary on a wide range of related topics including: the role of digital books in elementary education; using the Internet to fight global illiteracy; the digitization of books; and the role of the Internet in supplementing the world's libraries.