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Learning how to read is essential for achieving #EducationForAll. Last week saw the launch of the Global Digital Library that will collect existing high quality open educational reading resources, and make them available on web, mobile and for print, aiming to make children around the world have an equal opportunity to read. The initiative is set in motion in partnership with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Today, more and more people have access to education. Despite this positive development, 617 million youth and adolescents worldwide do not know how to read. Sometimes this is because they don’t have access to education, but for many there are no high quality reading resources available in their native languages. The goal of the Global Book Alliance is therefore to provide access to free, high-quality, early grade reading resources in languages that children use and understand. As a flagship activity within the Global Book Alliance, The Global Digital Library (GDL) is being developed to increase the availability of high quality reading resources in underserved languages worldwide.

The GDL will collect existing high quality open educational reading resources, and make them available on web, mobile and for print. It will also facilitate translation and localization of these resources to more than 300 languages. The GDL’s initial purpose is to support access to high quality early-grade reading resources. Other types of learning resources may be included at a later stage. By the end of 2020, the library aims to provide books in more than 100 languages.

The GDL is aimed at many different types of users and the platform will be open for everyone. Intended users include ministries of education, school managers, teachers, donor agencies and their implementing partners, international and national non-governmental organizations, local publishers, digital distributors and content providers, and households in developing countries.

This is an international effort involving multiple stakeholders working to transform book development, procurement and distribution to ensure that no child is without books. The mission of the Global Book Alliance is to guarantee that children everywhere have the books and learning materials they need to learn to read and read to learn.

The idea to develop a Global Digital Library for reading resources came from All Children Reading: a Grand Challenge for Development (ACR) in 2014. ACR and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) subsequently conducted joint feasibility work in 2015 and 2016, which outlined important parameters for such a project, and is now moving towards making the dream of #EducationForAll a reality. The GDL-platform is being developed and will initially be operated by the Norwegian Digital Learning Arena (NDLA).

For more information on this initiative, check this link: