Introduction to the GDL

The Global Digital Library (GDL) is a web platform where high quality books can be accessed, printed, translated, and used in and out of classrooms worldwide.

What is the Global Digital Library?

The Global Digital Library (GDL) is a web platform where high quality books can be accessed, printed, translated, and used in and out of classrooms worldwide.

It is free to use and open source, meaning that the content and illustrations of the books are free for use by anyone, anywhere on any device, can be translated into any language or adapted to fit different audiences. 

The GDL is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and is a flagship of the Global Book Alliance (GBA), an international effort to transform book development, procurement, and distribution to ensure that no child is without books. 

The GDL’s collection is rapidly growing. The list of contributors is growing too – in addition to a wide variety of public materials provided by USAID and some ministries of education, a number of private contributors such as Pratham Books, and Storyweaver have seen the benefit of open license sharing and have contributed high-quality content.  At present the GDL contains nearly 4000 titles of early grade reading materials for use in and out of classrooms, both fiction and non-fiction in nearly 50 languages. The GDL also contains teaching guides, mini-games, and other extras.

For most languages the GDL supports, there are at least 20 books available that language, and by end of 2020 the GDL will contain materials in 100 languages. In addition to major languages such as English, Arabic, and Spanish, the GDL also supports underserved languages, such as local African and Asian  languages. This provides a rare opportunity for children from these regions to learn to read in the language in which they speak and understand.

The GDL relies on its users to translate materials, which can be easily done within the platform using common online accounts such as Facebook or Google.

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