School of Information Sciences

Digital Libraries Colloquium Series

Sponsored by the School of Computer Science-Carnegie Mellon University, the School of Information Sciences-University of Pittsburgh, the University Library System-University of Pittsburgh, the University Libraries-Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Dr. Allison Druin

Associate Dean for Research & Director of the HCIL, University of Maryland, College Park

When: Friday, April 15, 2011, 3:00 PM
Where: Room 501 IS Building, 135 North Bellefield Avenue, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh


"The International Children's Digital Library: A Library for the World's Children"




Abstract: Educators from Canada are working with pre-school children in rural South African community centers.  Mongolian Public School children have "Digital Storytime" twice a week in rural classrooms. The children of Arab immigrants are learning about their parents' culture in Michigan charter schools. In Taiwan, English is being taught to working mothers and children.

All of these people are using the International Children's Digital Library (, the largest freely-available digital library of children's books from around the world.  For almost a decade, this research has been led by the University of Maryland; more recently, a non-profit foundation was created to sustain this work. In addition, the library is now available for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and netbooks.  This presentation will show how users are exploring this digital library to support numerous and diverse literacy activities.  A live demonstration of the online library will be presented along with a discussion of how new mobile storytelling tools have been developed for children to share the stories they create.

Bio: Allison Druin is an Associate Dean for Research in the iSchool at the University of Maryland and is Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.  For almost 10 years, she has led the design research for the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL).  To do this, she leads a unique intergenerational research team, where children (ages 7-11) partner with an interdisciplinary group of researchers to develop new technologies for children. With this team, she has helped to developed new digital library and storytelling tools with such partners as the U.S. National Park Service, Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Nokia, UNICEF, and many others. In 2010, the ICDL was given the "American Library Association President's Award for International Library Innovation" and named one of the "25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians."



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