UMD iSchool’s International Children’s Digital Library Featured on LA Times List of Free Reads During COVID-19

iSchool News - April 16, 2020

child with headphones on reading a book

Many publishers and audio entertainment companies have started offering a deluge of free e-books and audiobooks to keep readers of all ages engaged while they’re hunkered down at home. The Los Angeles Times published an extensive list of these online library resources for public access.

Featured in LA Times’ list is the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL,) a free online collection of the best in children’s literature founded by faculty researchers at the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL.) The collection includes over 4,600 books in 59 different languages. The ICDL aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children’s literature from the world community.

Many children grow up without knowledge of their family’s heritage and first language, so the ICDL was developed to provide children and their families with free access to the books of their culture, as well as the majority culture, regardless of where they live.The ICDL collection is constantly updated with resources that represent outstanding historical and contemporary literature from around the world.

The ICDL was founded by University of Maryland’s Dr. Allison Druin, Project Director for the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at UMD’s College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool), Dr. Benjamin B. Benderson, Technology Project Director for the HCIL and Computer Science Department, and Dr. Ann Carlson Weeks, Director for Collection Research for the HCIL. The website is maintained by Anne Rose, a UMD Faculty Researcher and Managing Director of UMD’s Future of Information Alliance who is responsible for the digital book processing and cataloging efforts, including licensing, and managing the volunteer translators.

To check out the International Children’s Digital Library, click here.