Create My File

How do I create my collection file?

You should use your integrated library system or library management system (e.g., Sierra, Follett, Atriuum, Polaris, Koha, etc.) to generate a list of picture books in your children's/youth collection (including nonfiction, see more collection details below). Since each automated ILS/LMS is different, please contact your system's support if you need assistance creating that file.

What file types do you accept?

The only file types accepted are .xlsx .csv or .ods. For security reasons, XLS IS NOT ACCEPTED. When you create your file, it should have a name and extension like LaddLibrary_Fall_2019.csv.

What if my system does not offer the required file type?

With most systems/databases, you can usually choose which file type to use when exporting and saving files. However, if you're using an older version of Microsoft Office, it may be that you're limited to a .xls file type in Excel. In this case, you can try using free online file conversion software like Zamzar. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to help you through a file conversion and cannot be responsible in the possible case of file corruption on these sites.

Which areas of my children’s/youth collection can or should I include in my file?

You CAN include your entire children’s/youth collection in your file – the CAT report will run no matter what (i.e., large file sizes are not an issue). That said, the report (see a sample here) is based on a cross-reference of your collection with ours, and our collection ONLY includes the following picture books:

  • fiction and nonfiction
  • physical books
  • suitable for grades K-3
  • published or distributed in the U.S. since 2002
  • English or English bi/multilingual

So, if you want the most accurate snapshot we can (currently) offer, you should NOT include the following areas of your children’s/youth collection in your file:

  • Board Books
  • Early/Easy/Leveled Readers
  • JUV/Teen/YA/Middle-Grade Books
  • Digital/Audio Books
  • Foreign Language (unless bi- or multi-lingual with English included)

Please note that we DO include nonfiction picture books (like biographies, folklore/folktales, poetry or songs, and informational books) in our collection. If your library’s classification system separates these from fiction picture books, you should ensure that you pull nonfiction titles into your file before uploading to get the most accurate report of your diverse holdings.

Should I include nonfiction titles in my file?

Yes! See question above.

How does the CAT identify the matches between my collection and the Diverse BookFinder collection?

ISBNs – and we only need ONE ISBN for each title. We know that each picture book title has multiple associated ISBNs. Our database includes EVERY ISBN for each title in our own collection. Therefore, we only need ONE ISBN from each of your titles in order for the report to identify matches between our collections.

Should I pull a title-level (bibliographic record) or item-level (item record) file of my children’s/youth holdings?

Title-level is better. You CAN run an item-level file, as long as the ISBNs are included in the file. However, the numbers included in the CAT report are based on unique titles and not number of items. In other words, if you have more than one copy of a particular diverse title that matches a title in our collection – it will only appear as ONE match on your report.

We understand that many -- especially larger libraries or library systems -- are concerned with the tracking of individual items, which may make running a title-specific file from your ILS or LMS challenging. However, during our pilot phase, all but one library was able to do so with the help of their IT staff. The most important thing is pulling at least ONE ISBN for each title in your collection into the file.

Should I run one file, or multiple, for a library system with many branches (i.e., multiple children’s/youth collections)?

You are welcome to run one report based on your library system’s entire children’s holdings, keeping in mind that the results are based on unique title holdings. You are also welcome to run a separate report for the children’s/youth collection at each branch (if you’re looking for comparative data). Combined, this will probably give you the most complete snapshot of your library system’s diverse titles.

How should I format my file?

ISBN is the only required field to run a report. However, including book titles in your file allows us to answer any book-specific questions that may arise. Ideally, the ISBN and title will each be formatted as a single field without other content around them. Please try and place the ISBN in one of the first columns. ISBN can be ISBN 10, ISBN 13, or both mixed and matched. ISBNs can include hyphens, spaces, be not delimited, or a combination. 

Here are links to two sample files: 
Sample File 1 | Sample File 2

**Since ISBN is the most important piece of information for the CAT to work, please ensure that your ISBN numbers are formatted correctly. Many spreadsheet programs (Excel, OpenOffice/Calc, LibreOffice, etc.) will drop leading zeros or trailing "x"'s in ISBNs, or display ISBNs in scientific notation (e.g. "9.78E+12"). If you notice this is happening on your file, there are a couple Excel workarounds. See here or below:

  • Open the original export file from your database
  • Right click the column header for the ISBN field(s)
  • Select "Format Cells"
  • Select "Text"
  • Save


  • Open the original export file from your database
  • Right click the column header for the ISBN field(s)
  • Select "Format Cells"
  • Select "Custom"
  • Type "##########" for an ISBN 10 field or "#############" for an ISBN 13 field
  • Save


  • Open the original export file from your database
  • Right click the column header for the ISBN field(s)
  • Select "Format Cells"
  • Select "Custom"
  • Type "0000000000" for an ISBN 10 field or "0000000000000" for an ISBN 13 field
  • Save


Got your file formatted and ready to go?

Click on Generate My Report on the left!