International Children's Digital Library Signs Historic Agreement with Google

Scanning, Book Search and Access Help to Bolster the Largest Online Children's Collection in the World

For immediate release


BOSTON, MA - November 13, 2008 - The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) (www.childrenslibrary.org), which is the world’s largest collection of children’s literature available freely on the Internet, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Google to augment its vast collection of public domain children’s literature with public domain titles digitized using Google’s state-of-the-art scanning technology. The result will be the addition of potentially thousands of scanned, searchable children’s books to the ICDL. As part of the agreement, the ICDL and Google will share their public domain titles making them available via the ICDL and Google’s Book Search.

“This is great for ICDL as it helps further extend the reach of their exemplary collection of multi-lingual children’s literature around the world,” said Judith Hottensen, Publisher, Weinstein Books. “By doing so, publishers, authors and illustrators can better reach children, parents, and teachers in some of the most underserved parts of the globe. The ICDL is a truly noble cause.”

The ICDL joins company with 28 other prestigious Google Book Library Project Partners but unlike these large state-of-the-art library systems, the ICDL is a small innovative non-profit that leverages technology to emphasize the pedagogical and unifying components of children’s literature through a user interaction that was designed by children from around the world. And, unlike its other 28 partners, the ICDL owns no books.

“Digitizing books is our single largest expense in providing free exemplary literature to children the world over,” said Tim Browne, Director of the International Children’s Digital Library. “Our relationship with Google is significant in that it catapults us forward light years in terms of scale. The Google scanning technology is best-of-breed and we are thrilled to have access to the technology as well as Google’s existing collections.

The ICDL is the most recent library to partner with Google Book Search. Other partners include Columbia University Libraries; University of Michigan; Harvard University; Oxford University; the New York Public Library; Stanford University; University of California; University of Texas at Austin; University of Virginia; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Princeton Library; the Complutense University of Madrid; the Bavarian State Library; the Library of Catalonia; the University Library of Lausanne; Ghent University Library; Keio University Library; Cornell University and the Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC) schools, including University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University.

About ICDL

Founded in 2002, the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) has the world’s largest collection of children’s literature available freely on the Internet. Funded initially by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and Microsoft Research, ICDL debuted at an international celebration inside the US Library of Congress. The mission of the non-profit ICDL Foundation 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 at least 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 ICDL on the Web at www.childrenslibrary.org.

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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.