ICDL’s Mission and Goals

What are the mission and goals of the International Children’s Digital Library?

I mentioned in a previous post—the post about exploring multilingual information access—that the ICDL’s mission is to create a collection of children’s literature in as many languages as possible, paying great attention to quality.  The ICDL encourages children to critically think about what it means to be a global citizen who tolerates and respects diversity.  Languages, cultures, traditions, ideas, values, histories, and many other elements are all essential aspects of diversity.  Although it is primarily targeted toward children, individuals of all ages can access the ICDL at no cost.

The ICDL states that “children and their families deserve to have access to the books of their culture, as well as the majority culture, regardless of where they live.”  Although the ICDL has very good intentions, the term “deserve” popped out at me.  In my opinion, “deserve” gives off a bad/negative vibe because it seems to be associated with worth.  The Oxford Dictionaries’ definition for “deserve” is: “Do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate).”  I wonder how the statement’s meaning would alter with the use of different terms.

Information access—multilingual information access—is a critical component of the ICDL’s interface.  Human beings have the inherent right to information.  To deny an individual information is, perhaps, equivalent to committing a crime.  The ICDL strongly believes that the world is a much richer place when all languages and cultures are valued.


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