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Global Digital Library surfing - Photo:Julie Berg, MFA Oslo
Julie Berg, MFA Oslo

The Global Digital Library

The Global Digital Library, GDL, is a valuable tool for ensuring that more children and young people gain access to the books they need to learn to read. Today, 617 million children and adolescents lack this basic skill.

The GDL has been developed to increase the availability of free, high quality reading books in languages children and young people use and understand. Openly licensed books are collected and made available both for use on digital devices and in print-friendly formats.

You can access the Library here:  

At the moment, books are available in 15 languages. By the end of the year this will have increased to 25-30 languages, and by the end of 2020 to at least 100 languages. The GDL platform also makes it easy to translate or adapt existing books to more than 300 languages.

The GDL follows established principles for universal design and accessibility, aiming to make content accessible for all users, including those with disabilities.

The Global Digital Library was launched in April 2018. It is funded and managed by Norway as a global good, and is a flagship initiative under the Global Book Alliance (GBA). The Alliance works to provide children everywhere with the books and learning materials they need to learn to read, and to read to learn. Members of the Alliance include UNICEF, UNESCO, the World Bank, The Global Partnership for Education, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa  (ADEA), Save the Children, World Vision, USAID, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Australian Aid, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the GDL here: If you would like to contact the GDL, please use the contact form available here: