173 respondents from doctoral-granting institutions described their current cataloging structures and reporting hierarchy.  The survey asked respondents the following:

“Beginning with the highest level of administration in your specific library, (for example, the Director/ Dean/University Librarian level) record the reporting or organizational structure of your library in relation to your cataloging unit, including all “hierarchical” levels within the cataloging unit itself or any units that primarily report to cataloging.  Do not include any divisions, units, or departments that are not in a direct reporting line to cataloging or between the cataloging unit and the top level administration in your library. “

When respondents were sorted by institutional types, doctoral-granting institutions were the most likely to report deep hierarchical structures.  The average number of layers in the reporting structure for cataloging units in a doctoral institution was 4.77 layers, with the most common report being 5 layers.


Breaking down the analysis by the number of reporting layers demonstrates several patterns. We will analyze these patterns in-depth in the next blog posts (which will be linked below as they are posted, as well.)

To visualize the overall staffing for Cataloging Units in relation to their reporting structure, the following graphic was developed.  Each individual icon represents 1 FTE, with partial icons representing quarter, half, or three-quarter FTE. Icons placed on lines represent staffing that is a mix of both categories (for instance, some respondents reported cataloging unit heads and catalogers/subject specialists in the same hierarchical layer.)


The following blog posts will look at the demographics and details of each one of these groups individually: