International Children's Digital Library

Our Mission

The ICDL Foundation promotes tolerance and respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best of children's literature from around the world.

Library News and Notes

April 19, 2021

Dear Readers,

It has been over 20 years since we launched the International Children’s Digital Library. In that time, we have served about 15 million people reading over 1,000,000 hours of children’s books. We launched at a time when the concept of reading books online was a bit odd, and almost unheard of for children’s books. After all these years, as far we know, we are still the largest collection of freely available complete children’s books from around the world. And we did that without ever exposing children to commercial activities or risking their privacy.

But for many years, we have served this mission without any funds. And now all of the founders have moved on to other things in their lives. The servers are very old and dusty and there is no one to maintain them. Our licenses for the books are for use only by the ICDL so while we have considered a number of alternatives, none of them really made sense.

And so now it is time to say goodbye and read with the innumerable other resources in the world. The ICDL has been our labor of love, and we will always remember these books, the volunteers, libraries, publishers, and readers around the world with great fondness.

Keep reading!

- Founders Ben Bederson, Allison Druin, Ann Weeks, Anne Rose and Tim Browne (in memoriam)
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