University, Nonprofits to Build Children’s Library in Cyberspace

University, Nonprofits to Build Children’s Library in Cyberspace
By Ronald Roach

COLLEGE PARK, Md.

A partnership of government, nonprofit, industry and academic organizations last month announced a five-year, $3.3 million plan to build a digital library of 10,000 children’s books drawn from 100 cultures as part of a long-term research project to develop new technology to serve young readers.

The library will be built by the Internet Archive, the largest library on the Internet, and the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab, a leader in children’s interface design. The library will be known as the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL), which is expected to serve children and libraries worldwide by providing a large-scale digital archive of literature for readers ages 3 to 13. “This is the beginning of a long-term project to provide children around the world with access to literature from different cultures in a way that is intuitive and accessible,” says Jane White, the ICDL’s director. “This collaborative effort by government, commercial, academic and nonprofit organizations will change the way children learn about other cultures, and strengthen libraries worldwide.”

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