OT: International Children's Digital Library

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Dec 5 19:44:30 EST 2002


On Tue, 03 Dec 2002 23:05:00 +0200, Tarja Rainio wrote:

>I thought the list members might be interested in this link:
>
>http://www.icdlbooks.org
>
>It is a just opened children's digital library which at the moment has 200
>works in 20 different languages. The aim of the library is to introduce c.
>10000 books from 30 different cultures during the next five years according
>to the promo material.
>
>I haven't checked out the library myself, since the minimum software
>requirements are too high for my system (they intend to have versions with
>lower system requirements later on) and I can't enter it, but it does sound
>very interesting.

It is extremely interesting.  I wonder at their decision to start with the
really high-end system, but they might be trying to sell the idea to
someone.  The search engine isn't great either.  It looks pretty--for those
who can't access the site, they use thumbnail images of the actual covers of
the books you can look at--but it's not very flexible.  Since they scan
those covers, there are some books where the title is not visible from the
cover, and you don't know what you're getting until you select the book to
read it.  Kind of a fun surprise, but unpleasant to a control freak like me.
The other thing I would really like to see would be the option of searching
based on language.  Since I can't read Finnish, it doesn't do me any good to
pick a book in Finnish.

But those are the picky details that I hope will be resolved over time.  The
selection is sparse now, but assuming the 10,000 titles they eventually want
to have, this is going to be very impressive.  The book reader itself seems
very user-friendly--a big plus.  I particularly liked being able to select
books from certain regions of the world: if you choose, say,
Australia/Oceania, you get "books about this region," "books from this
region," and "books that take place in this region."  I think I should say
that the search engine is good at what it does, but it doesn't do a lot.
When they add the capability for keyword/text searching, this should
improve.

Anyway, thanks for the link, Tarja.  I spent far too much time exploring
this.  :)

Melissa Proffitt

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