Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5

A Report on Kids Help Design International Children’s

Digital Library
By: Abdulaziz Al shamsan
March 2010

In Kids Help Design International Children’s Digital Library

(Washington: icdlbooks.org, 2008), Jeffery Thomas

describes how the International Children’s Digital Library

(ICDL), a nonprofit foundation, offers for free its collection

of more than 2,500 books on a completely noncommercial

site with no advertising.

Kids Help Design International Children’s Digital Library

covers Jeffrey views and impressions of (ICDL) contribution

to help children to understand the world around them and

the global society in which they live by compelling all the

world’s finest children’s books available in every language

for free.

I was impressed with Jeffrey Thomas writing style. For

example he encourage people to participate and log on

the website: “It’s waiting for you online, whether you are

interested in learning a foreign language through

literature, enlarging your world view, or just looking for a


good story to read yourself or to a child”(1). He was

successful in his emotional introduction bringing to our

attention that it is purely free as part of (ICDL) social

responsibility activity: “The books are in 48 different

languages and beautiful to behold, and you can easily

search for the ones that will make you feel happy, sad,

scared or merry, or the ones with bugs, worms and

spiders. The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL),

a nonprofit foundation, offers for free its collection of more

than 2,500 books on a completely noncommercial site

with no advertising”(1). Also he shows how accurate he

was when he listed the number of books available in each

language: “Current holdings for the top 10 languages are

English (1,471), Persian (407), Mongolian (237), Spanish

(123), German (80), Serbian (77), French (46), Arabic (26),

Filipino/Tagalog (24) and Yiddish (23)”(1).

Although I was aware of the presence of thousand of

electronic books, I appreciated Jeffrey article about (ICDL)

imitative: “Both in terms of the fight against global

illiteracy and in promoting cross-cultural literacy, the ICDL

can play an important role by providing access to


materials from around the world. “Even in wealthy parts of

wealthy countries — say Washington, D.C., or Maryland —

public schools regularly have kids that speak 30 or 40

different languages at home. That’s just part of the world

we live in,” said Ben Bederson, an ICDL director and

associate professor of computer science at the University

of Maryland. “If their parents didn’t bring books from their

home country with them, they may just not have access to

them.” the ICDL has a thousand volunteers working on

getting every one of its books published in every

language. It is eager to receive more books from

publishers and rights holders, Bederson said”(2).

Jeffrey elaborated on the collaboration between (ICDL),

government, and private sector such as Microsoft

Research: “Founded in 2002, the ICDL was initially funded

by the National Science Foundation, the Institute for

Museum and Library Services, and Microsoft Research. An

interdisciplinary research team at the University of

Maryland did the actual work of creating the digital library

and its interface. Since there had been virtually no

previous published work on the subject and since the


researchers believed the best designs for children come

from children, the designers worked with children to see

what they were interested in and how they looked for

books online, said Bederson, one of the principal

investigators”(2).

As partners they designed a unique search interface. The

search buttons on the ICDL Web site, for example, enable

children to look for books based on the color of their

covers. “Lot of times kids are just looking for a book to

read and they don’t really have anything in mind: “Kids

can also search for books that other children found funny

or that made them feel happy, sad or scared”(3).

Kids Help Design International Children’s Digital Library is

a very remarkable article. Jeffrey highlighted the project

and explained directly how kids can benefit of such tool. I

think governments and private sectors should collaborate

and contribute to society by creating similar project

covering other books targeting different segments. The

only weakness I noticed in the article was focusing on

(ICDL) that positioned some parts of the article as an

advertising material.
For more information about children books, visit the

International Children’s Digital Library on the foundation’s

Web site.