International Children's Digital Library

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The International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL) is a free online library of digitized children's books in 59 languages[1] from various countries. Designed specifically for use by children ages 3 to 13, the Library is housed by the International Children's Digital Library Foundation and was originally developed in the College of Information Studies and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Children can search for books by country, language, length, intended age group, content type, and emotional quality, among other qualifiers. An advanced search option is also provided for more experienced or older users, and all users can register to save search preferences and favorite books.

Books are selected based on quality and appropriateness and are presented in their original language with copyright permission from publishers or authors. The Library's ultimate goal is to foster a love of reading, a readiness to learn, and a response to the challenges of world literacy.[1]


The International Children's Digital Library was initially launched in November 2002 under the direction of University of Maryland Computer Science professor Dr. Allison Druin and in collaboration with researchers from other fields, such as information studies, art, psychology, and education, in order to better understand children's online habits and to encourage a love of reading and increased literacy. Children from Bowie, Maryland, tested the original Java prototype from 1999–2002, and since then children from five locations around the world have also contributed to the design process as the library's "Kidsteam Program".[2]

The 2002-2005 phase of development saw a working model of the Library accessed by over one million users around the world and home to 1,000 books. Funding initially came from the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In April 2006, the International Children's Digital Library became part of the newly formed International Children's Digital Library Foundation, a non-profit corporation under the leadership of Tim Browne as Executive Director and original project leaders Dr. Allison Druin, Dr. Ben Bederson, and Dr. Ann Weeks as Directors. The Library's principal support comes from the Library of Congress, National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Microsoft Research.


  1. ^ "International Children's Digital Library".
  2. ^ Druin; et al. (May 2003). "The International Children's Digital Library: Description and analysis of first use". First Monday. 8 (5).

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