Tuesday, April 28, 2009

International Children's Digital Library

The International Children's Digital Library is a project that digitizes children's books from around the world. The books are uploaded as digital scans; since the library's obtained the rights from publishers to digitize these books, they don't allow you to download, copy, or print them, just view them online (although I'm sure someone can find a way around this). Books are searchable by keyword, age group, length, and even cover color (which I think is a fun category).

The metadata isn't all that detailed--it lists the author, the illustrator if there is one, the publication year, language, publisher, and a short summary. I don't think this is much of a problem, though, since the users they're targeting, kids and possibly their parents and teachers, aren't going to be really concerned about much beyond that; it's a lot like a listing for a kid's book in a public library system. Rights information shows up in the scans. Books aren't translated into other languages, but that's because the project was created in part for children coming from other countries to the States, so they can learn in their native language while they're still young. Overall, this is an interesting and fun resource, and hopefully they'll be able to expand it in the future.

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