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Saturday, 26th September 2009

Read.gov Launches Today With Numerous Features

First publicly announced in this Library of Congress news release from September, Read.gov officially launches today.

The site comes by way of The Center for the Book at LC.

[You'll find] "resources from throughout the Library designed to encourage the reading of books and to interest users in learning about the authors and illustrators who create them."

What follows are some Read.gov features that we noticed while reviewing the site and reading this blog post.

+ Read Classic Books (in their Entirety) Online
Move through a book page-by-page (forward or backwards) by simply clicking on the page you're currently reading or looking at. The LC Book Reader also allows you to see facing pages, the option to go directly to a specific page, zoom (in and out), and the ability to view the book in "scroll" mode. At the moment books are available in two categories: Teens and Kids.

Some of the titles available today are: The Raven, A Christmas Carol, A Wonder-Book for Girls & Boys (Teens) and The Baby's Own Aesop, Baseball ABC, Denslow's Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose Finger Plays, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Wonders of a Toy Shop (Kids).

+ Episodic Reading: The Exquisite Corps Adventure

Our "Exquisite Corpse Adventure" works this way: Jon Scieszka, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has written the first episode, which is "pieced together out of so many parts that it is not possible to describe them all here, so go ahead and just start reading!" He has passed it on to a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who must eventually bring the story to an end.

Every two weeks there will be a new episode [a total of 26] and a new illustration. The story will conclude a year from now..."This story starts with a train rushing through the night...." No one knows where or how it will end!

+ Author Webcasts
More than 20 webcasts are currently available including presentations by: Steven King (and Family), R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Jan Brett, Jane Goodall, Kay Ryan, Neil Gaiman, and Sara Paretsky.

+ Suggested Reading Lists

+ The Storybook Adventure Game

+ Local and Community Resources
Information about, "Book Fairs, Storytelling Festivals and Other Literary Events Across the U.S.A. and Around the World" and One Book Projects (By State or Country). Australia, Canada, and the UK have One Book Projects.

+ A New Online Book Club: Books and Beyond
Accessible via Facebook.

+ How to Stay Current With the Site and the Exquisite Corpse Adventure
Read.gov offers two RSS feeds or e-mail update lists.

1) Center for the Book and Read.gov (Center for the Book Activities and Read.gov Updates)
RSS ||| E-Mail

2) Exquisite Corpse Adventure (Notification when New Episodes Become Available)
RSS ||| E-Mail

This blog post by Matt Raymond has more including some comments by a member of the web development team.

Kudos to everyone at LC and the Center for the Book put this site together. We're looking forward to more content and features. Well done!

Source: LC

See Also: When discussing digitized children's books (as we did above) it's important to mention the non-profit International Children's Digital Library. It's home to digitized books that you can read (full text online) in 16 languages, a very cool search interface, an iPhone app, and iGoogle Gadget.


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