FAQ / Help

What is the Collection Analysis Tool (CAT)?

It is a free, online tool designed to help you diversify your picture book collection.

How does it work?

You upload a file containing ISBNs and titles for your picture book collection (including nonfiction). We cross-reference this file with the Diverse BookFinder collection to identify your multicultural picture books. We then provide a report of who (which racial/cultural groups) is represented and how (what themes predominate for each group) within this subset of your collection. This approach reveals the strengths and gaps in the racial/cultural representation within your collection. You can then use the Diverse BookFinder Search Tool to identify books to add to your collection that enrich your picture book holdings.

What is the Diverse BookFinder?

The Diverse BookFinder is a growing collection of thousands of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and people of Color (BIPOC). It is not a list of recommended titles. This distinction is important to understand before continuing any further. Click here to learn more about who we are and what we do.

What do I need to get started?

You’ll need to create an account and upload a file containing ISBNs and titles for your children’s picture book collection. If you are part of a multi-branch library system or a multi-school system, it's OK to request multiple accounts under the same institution. However, in the interest of accommodating all those who wish to use the tool, if you represent one school or library, please do not request multiple accounts under multiple user names.

I created an account but never received an email with the link to create my password -- what do I do now?

First step -- check your email's Spam folder! The sender should be diversebookfinder@bates.edu. If it's not there, contact us directly -- if there was a typo when you entered your email address, we'll have to re-send you the link manually.

How do I create my 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 on the Create My File link to the left). Since each automated ILS/LMS is different, please contact your system's support if you need assistance creating that file.

Why won't my file upload?

Most upload problems are related to file type. The only file types accepted are .csv, .xlsx, or .ods format. For security reasons, XLS FORMAT IS NOT ACCEPTED. 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.

Is my data secure? What does the Diverse BookFinder do with it?

All accounts are password-protected and can only be accessed using the username and password you created. The report generated from the file you submit is confidential. Submitted files will be held in a repository and utilized by the Diverse BookFinder to benchmark the number and nature of racially/culturally diverse picture book holdings nationally. This will allow us to generate benchmark documents by national region, service area type, and collection budget size. Any reports we generate for these purposes will reflect aggregate data, without making mention of specific libraries, their collections, or their collection content. These benchmark documents will provide useful information to librarians as they consider their collections within broader contexts and facilitate granular and gross tracking of growth and change over time.

I am from a library located outside of the U.S. -- can I use the CAT?

This project is funded by the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for U.S. libraries and museums. Therefore, the CAT's primary focus is on libraries in the United States. If you are a library located outside of the United States, or are located in a U.S. territory and are interested in using the tool, please contact us directly.

How do I change my account details?

Click on the My Account link to the left to edit your user information. You should only be editing your username, password, and/or email address. Library information should remain the same, except in rare instances of institution change of address or name.

What if I have other questions or problems?

Please reach out to our team directly using the Contact Us link to the left.