We are proud of our recent summer effort to address a majority of the cataloging issues that, for so many years, looked problematic in our database. With our large number of cataloging records from various catalogers, we knew it was time to update our merge to bring together many more titles or records that had variances. Thus, meeting our subscribers’ needs in a more precise way. While there is always more work to be done, we can now firmly say that not only do we have the largest collection of reviews and awards, but also the most well-integrated database in the industry.
Merging all the same title records into one record is critical for our users as they are interested in seeing all the dimensions of a specific title in one place. However, professional reviews, national and international awards, best books lists, curriculum tools, etc. are usually associated with specific editions of a book. For example, when a new publisher reprints an older book, it receives a new ISBN and date while keeping the original title and author. An award might have been announced for a previous edition, with its own unique ISBN. From a user’s perspective, it is not essential to understand which edition won the award or was reviewed but to know that a title is an award winner and well-reviewed. Bringing it together is a gargantuan task.
How did we achieve this goal, this challenge of integrating like titles? By focusing our multi-talented staff on the very cataloging issues that required attention and then applying high-level programming technology. Such technology had to address local practices, which often varied from the standard. Such variances included author formats – including or omitting a middle name or initial, or even the sequence of a name, first name-last name when the standard calls for last name-first name. Then there were the issues of missing articles, missing sub-titles and abbreviations, all further exacerbating the challenge. Many times, previously, authors remained unmatched or multiple records were generated. Older titles, prized in CLCD for completeness, had even more issues. We did our best to resolve those issues.
By the combination of cutting-edge machine processing and data analysis by programmers and librarians, a cleaner, more user-friendly database has emerged. We invite you to explore and welcome your comments as we continue our efforts to remain the unrivaled best children’s literature database.