International Children's Digital Library and University of Maryland Launch Children's Library iPad Application

For immediate release


COLLEGE PARK, MD - March 31, 2010 - As the much anticipated April 3 release date for the Apple iPad nears, the University of Maryland and the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) Foundation have unveiled a new children's reading and library application, .

ICDL for iPad brings to Apple's iPad access to the world's largest freely available collection of multi-lingual, online children's books with titles in more than 54 languages representing 64 countries. Through the ICDL for iPad app, children, parents, teachers and librarians will be able to access the International Children's Digital Library on the iPad and use the ICDL's award-winning children's search engine developed by researchers at the University of Maryland's renowned Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL).

"The ICDL has always believed in making children's books available on the web to kids everywhere, starting in 2002 via online desktops and laptops, then via the iPhone and now through the iPad. Thanks to our donors from around the world, we have been able to keep pace as technological change has moved quickly forward," said Ben Bederson, who is technology project director for the ICDL Foundation and a faculty member and former director in the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory.

Soon to be available free at Apple's iPad App Store, the ICDL for iPad application allows users to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of Apple's iPad user interface to read books from the ICDL's master collection.

"In today's digital and global age, children should be encouraged to read anytime and anywhere. ICDL for iPad does just that," said Michael Levine, Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The mission of the center, which is not directly associated with the ICDL, is to catalyze and support research, innovation and investment in digital media technologies to advance children's learning.

"By sharing rich cultural experiences from around the world, ICDL brings ebooks to a new level," Levine said. "The combination of rich content on an exciting new platform sets a standard for early learning and digital literacy. Parents and children will be delighted to play and learn together."

The ICDL for iPad application features ICDL's PopoutText technology, designed to make it possible for users to read story text clearly in the context of highly illustrated beautiful children's picture books - regardless of screen size.

Additional features of the ICDL for iPad application include:

  • Online reading - linkage to the full ICDL collection which has over 4,000 titles in 54 languages representing 64 countries
  • Simple navigation - find books with engaging interface quickly
  • One or two page view - takes advantage of iPad's "auto-rotation" feature
  • PopoutText - allowing exceptionally clear text in the context of highly illustrated pages

"Children's books on an iPad are drop-dead gorgeous," said Anne Rose, technical lead at the International Children's Digital Library Foundation. "The large format and advance screen technology of the iPad coupled with the nearly perfect rendering of illustrations and flawless readability of text make reading children's books with the ICDL for iPad truly magical. This is a perfect way to deliver children's educational and cultural content to the ever growing world of connected children, parents, teachers, and librarians."

ABOUT ICDL FOUNDATION

The mission of the non-profit ICDL Foundation is to administer and grow the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL), which was designed and developed at the University of Maryland's Human Computer Interaction Laboratory, under the direction of current HCIL director Allison Druin. The Foundation identifies 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. For more information, please visit ICDL on the Web at http://www.childrenslibrary.org/.

ABOUT HCIL

The University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction lab has a long, rich history of transforming the experience people have with new technologies. From understanding user needs, to developing and evaluating technologies that best respond to those needs, the lab's faculty, staff, and students have been leading the way in human computer interaction research and teaching since 1983. Visit HCIL on the Web at: http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/.

The leadership of the HCIL in field of human computer interaction (HCI) is reflected in the many awards and honors accorded to its three directors: founding director Ben Shneiderman, second director Ben Bederson, and current director Allison Druin. Most recent of these are: (1) the election of Shneiderman -- who has been widely honored for his role as a founding father of the field of HCI -- to the National Academy of Engineering; and (2) the winning by Bederson and Druin of the "Social Impact Award" award from the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, the Association for Computing Machinery. Bederson and Druin won for "their joint work in developing the International Children's Digital Library, their individual work in developing new methods that give children a voice in the development of new technologies, and for their work on electronic voting systems."

MEDIA CONTACTS

Lee Tune
University of Maryland
301-405-4679
ltune@umd.edu

Tim Browne
International Children's Digital Library Foundation
617-848-9600
tim@childrenslibrary.org

NOTE TO EDITORS

Screenshots available at http://en.childrenslibrary.org/press/screenshots.shtml#ipad