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Ben Bederson ’86
Bederson ’86 Develops Online Library for Kids

A new digital library will make thousands of children’s books from 100 cultures available online to kids around the world thanks to Ben Bederson ’86 and a team of his colleagues at the University of Maryland at College Park.

The International Children’s Digital Library, a five-year, $3.3 million project, is a joint effort of the nonprofit Internet Archive and the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Bederson is director of the lab and assistant professor of computer science.

The Web site,, which was launched in November with 200 books in 15 languages, will hold about 10,000 titles by the project’s completion.

Bederson’s team worked with grade-school children to develop the design of the graphic-intensive site, which has colorful icons that allow even the youngest children to navigate it easily.

The International Children’s Digital Library is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Ben Bederson earned his B.S. in computer science at Rensselaer and his Ph.D. in computer vision and robotics at New York University.

Rensselaer Magazine: March 2003
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