In this post, we will explore the profile of the doctoral institutions that reported having 6 layers in their organizational hierarchies.  Overall, 173 respondents answered this question:

“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. “

Of those respondents, 34 indicated they had six layers in their reporting structures.  This was the third largest group.


A six layer reporting structure broke down along these lines:

  • Library Director (often titled Dean, University Library, etc.)
  • Assistant Library Director (often titled Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, or Assistant University Librarian)
  • Coordinator or Head of Unit
  • Cataloger or Subject Specialist
  • Technician, Copy Cataloger, or Library Assistant
  • Student or Hourly Assistant

Profile of the Library

First, we will layout the general profile of the libraries reporting a 6 layer hierarchy.  This will cover such details as the institutional student FTE, library collection size, annual budget, library employee FTE, and whether it is part of a multi-library system.

Student FTE

Respondents to this category indicated that a student population of between 5,001 and  over 40,000 with the most popular response between 30,001 and 40,000 students.

Student FTE
less than 1,000 0
1,000-5,000 0
5,0001-10,000 2
10,001-15,000 7
15,0001-20,0000 4
20,001-25,000 3
25,001-30,000 4
30,001-40,000 8
40,000+ 5
Not known 1
Not reported 0
Total 34

Collection Size

Respondents indicated that their library’s collection size ranged between 100,001 and over 5,000,000 volumes, with the majority of respondents indicating between 1,000,001 and 5,000,000 volumes.

Collection Size
less than 10,000 volumes 0
10,001-100,000 volumes 0
100,001-500,000 volumes 1
500,001-1,000,000 volumes 1
1,000,001-5,000,000 volumes 20
5,000,000 + volumes 12
Not known 0
Not reported 0
Total 34

Annual Budget

Respondents indicated that the annual budget for their library ranged from 1,000,000 to over 20,000,000, but almost two thirds of the respondents were not familiar with their library budgets.

Annual budget
less than $1,000,000 0
$1,000,000 – $5,000,000 2
$5,000,001 – $10,000,000 3
$10,000,001 – $20,000,000 4
$20,000,000+ 4
Not known 21
Not reported 0
Total 34


Library Employee FTE

Respondents reported that their library was staffed by 1 to over 150 employees, with the most common response being over 150 employees.

Total Employee FTE for Library
1-10 2
11-30 2
31-50 5
51-70 3
71-100 2
101-150 5
150+ 13
Not known 2
Not reported 0
Total 34

Multi-library system

Over two-thirds of the 34 respondents in this category indicated that they were part of a multi-library system.  The number of libraries in the system ranged from 2 to over 10 libraries, with the most commonly reported number being 10 or more libraries.

Multi-library System
no 10
2 5
3 3
4 0
5 4
6 0
7 1
8 2
9 0
10+ 8
Not known 1
Not reported 0
Total 34

Of those multi-library systems, there was a variety of cataloging unit support, with the most commonly reported number (7 respondents) indicating at least 2 cataloging units supporting the multi-library system.

Multi-Library w/cataloging units
None 10
1 6
2 7
3 4
4 0
5+ 5
Not known 1
Not reported 1
Total 34


Cataloging Unit Profile

Now, we’ll take a look at what a cataloging unit in a 6 layer hierarchy looks like. First, we’ll look at the name of the unit and the division it reports to.  Next, we’ll examine average employee FTE for the cataloging unit, as well as the faculty status of the professional cataloging employees, and the titles for those positions.  Following that, we will look at how often outsourcing is done and whether the unit helps out with the digital library or institutional repository. Finally, we will look at system that cataloging employee work with – such as the ILS, cataloging utility, and content management systems for the digital library and institutional repository.

Name of the Cataloging Unit

All of the respondents reported a name for their unit, although two respondents indicated that the cataloging unit or cataloging tasks had been split among several units. Twelve of these responses included both of the terms “cataloging” and “metadata” with a differing identifier of the unit, including:

  • Cataloging and Metadata Management
  • Cataloging and Metadata Services
  • Cataloging and Metadata
  • Cataloging and Metadata Unit
  • Cataloging and Metadata Department

Please note that sometimes the order of the terms were reversed (ex. Metadata and Cataloging Department.)  

In 5 of responses, only the term “Cataloging” was present, either alone or paired with other functional terms, such as:

  • Cataloging Services Department
  • Cataloging Department
  • Cataloguing Division
  • Cataloging
  • Cataloging and Archival Processing

In 5 of the responses, only the term “Metadata” was present, either alone or paired with other functional terms, such as:

  • Metadata Services
  • Metadata Department
  • Receiving and Metadata Services
  • Metadata Team

Other names included:

  • Bibliographic Services
  • Knowledge Access
  • Monograph Team

Additional names for the cataloging unit reflected more of the typical functions of the larger “technical services,” such as:

  • Resource Acquisitions and Management
  • Collection Management Services
  • Technical Services Department
  • Technical Services
  • Acquisition and Discovery Services
  • Central Technical Services

The two respondents who indicated that the unit had been split into multiple units or that the cataloging tasks were spread across other units reported the following titles for the new units:

  • Resource Acquisitions and Description
  • Metadata Creation and Organization
  • Metadata Design and Analysis
  • Stacks Organization and Maintenance
  • Digital and Electronic Collections
  • Genera Collections and Finance
  • Special Collections and Archives


Name of the Division

Respondents reported a variety of division names, half of which included traditional keywords such as “Technical Services” or “Collections”:

  • Technical Services
  • Technical Services Department
  • Technical and Access Services
  • Technical and Automated Services
  • Collections
  • Collections and Technical Services
  • Collections Access and Discovery
  • Collection Management Services
  • Collections Access

Other names include:

  • Resource management
  • Digital Initiatives and Collaborative Services
  • Library Technology
  • Knowledge Access and Resource Manager
  • Bibliographic and information Technology
  • Information Resources
  • Information Services
  • Information Technology and Discovery Services
  • Library Technology and Knowledge Management Services
  • Content Discovery
  • Scholarly Information Resources


Cataloging Unit FTE

The cataloging units in a 6 layer hierarchy are often composed of an average of 18.9 employees, with 5.5 being a professional  level (defined in the survey as a “salaried employee whose position requires an MLS/MLIS or equivalent degree”), 9.1 para-professional employees (defined in the survey as a “salaried employee whose position does NOT require and MLS/MLIS or equivalent degree, although such a degree may be held by the employee in the position”), and 4.4 hourly employees (defined in the survey as “non-salaried, non-benefited position, usually paid by the hour, and whose position does NOT require an MLS/MLIS or equivalent degree, although such a degree may be held by the employee in the position”.

Average Cataloging Unit FTE
Professional 5.5
Para-professional 9.1
Hourly 4.4
Total 18.9


Faculty Status of Professional Cataloging Employees

When it came to determining the faculty status of the professional cataloging employees, there was a variety of responses. Below is the a breakdown of each time a status was indicated. Seven of the 34 respondents indicated mixed statuses, with two or more statuses reported.   They were (3) a mix of faculty tenure, faculty non-tenure and non-faculty with continuing appointment, (1) mix of faculty tenure and non-faculty with continuing appointment, (2) mix of faculty tenure and non tenure, and (1) mix of faculty tenure track and non-faculty no continuing appointment.

Faculty status of Professionals
Faculty, tenure-track 14
Faculty, non-tenure track 11
Non-faculty status, but with continuing appointment 15
Non-faculty status, no continuing appointment 3
Other 1
Not known 0
Not reported 0

Titles of Cataloging Unit Employees

Professional cataloging employees often included the unit head as well as those performing the day to day professional cataloging duties. Many titles reflected university level position designations such as “Associate Librarian” or “Assistant Librarian.” The most popular was “Metadata Librarian.” Titles for library specific tasks in non-administrative positions included:

  • Acquisitions Librarian
  • Bibliographic Access Officer
  • Cataloger (4 respondents)
  • Catalog Librarian (2 respondents)
  • Cataloging Librarian (5 respondents)
  • Catalog Management Librarian
  • Cataloger/Metadata Specialist
  • Cataloging and Metadata Librarian (2 respondents)
  • Database Maintenance Librarian
  • Database Management Librarian
  • Digital Production and Metadata Librarian
  • Discovery Metadata Librarian (3 respondents)
  • E-Resource Metadata Librarian
  • Electronic Resources Catalogers
  • Expert Librarian
  • Librarian
  • Metadata and Cataloging Librarian (3 respondents)
  • Metadata Coordinator (2 respondents)
  • Metadata Creation Professional
  • Metadata Development Librarian
  • Metadata Librarian (6 respondents)
  • Metadata Management and Cataloging Librarian
  • Monographs Cataloger
  • Original Cataloger
  • Principal Cataloger (3 respondents)
  • Resource Access Librarian
  • Resource Acquisition and Management Librarian
  • Serials Cataloger (2 respondents)
  • Special Collections Cataloger
  • Special Collections Librarian

In addition to these commons titles, title variations included specific specialties such as rare books cataloging, languages or geographic region specialties, or special formats.

Para-professional catalog employees titles were most commonly reported as “Library Assistant” or “Library Associate.” The remaining were highly varied, but included the following:

  • Archival Processing Specialist
  • Associate
  • Audiovisual Metadata Specialist
  • Bibliographic Services Officer
  • Cataloging Assistant
  • Cataloguing Assistant
  • Classification Specialist (2 respondents)
  • Clerical and Technical staff
  • Clerk
  • Copy Cataloger (2 respondents)
  • Data Control (2 respondents)
  • Data Control Specialist (2 respondents)
  • Library Assistant (9 respondents)
  • Library Associate (6 respondents)
  • Library Catalog Specialist
  • Library Data Administration Specialist
  • Library Operations Associate
  • Library Specialist (5 respondents)
  • Library Specialist Supervisor
  • Library Technical Assistant
  • Metadata & Cataloguing Assistant
  • Metadata Analyst (2 respondents)
  • Metadata and Workflow Professional (2 respondents)
  • Metadata Creation Professional (2 respondents)
  • Metadata Management and Special Projects Cataloger
  • Metadata Management Professional
  • Metadata officer
  • Metadata Production Specialist (2 respondents)
  • Metadata Specialist (2 respondents)
  • Monographic Order Specialist
  • Music Cataloger
  • Operations Manager
  • Projects Specialist
  • Receiving & Cataloging Specialist
  • Senior Library Assistant (2 respondents)
  • Senior Library Specialist
  • Serial Subscriptions Specialist
  • Serials Cataloger
  • Slavic Language Metadata Specialist
  • Spanish and Portuguese Cataloger
  • Specialist
  • Technical Assistant
  • Technical Services Assistant
  • Technical Services Specialist

Hourly cataloging employee titles were only reported by eleven of the respondents, twelve of which were student based positions, such as:

  • Student Assistant (4 respondents)
  • Student Employee (3 respondents)
  • Student Worker (3 respondents)

The remaining had some variation of “specialist,””technician,” “clerk,” “assistant,” or “associate” such as:

  • Library Assistants (4 respondents)
  • Bibliographic assistant (2 respondents)
  • Catalog Technician
  • Cataloging and Metadata Associate
  • Cataloging and Metadata Specialist
  • Cataloging and Metadata Supervisor
  • Co-op Cataloger
  • Coordinator
  • Coordinator of Monographic Cataloging
  • Coordinator of Database Maintenance
  • Coordinator of Metadata and Digital Resources
  • Coordinator of Non-Print Material
  • East Asian Collection
  • Library Assistant Senior
  • Library Associate
  • Library Clerk
  • Library Monographic Assistant
  • Library Specialist
  • Processing and Database Management Technician
  • Serials, Catalog, and Database Management Technician
  • Specialist
  • Student (s)
  • Student Library Employee

One respondent also reported titles that include “coordinator” for several hourly positions.



The majority of respondents indicated that they were outsourcing work.

Outsourced Tasks
Yes 21
No 9
Not known  0
Not reported 4
Total 34


Digital Library/Institutional Repository Work

Over half of respondents indicated that their unit was supporting the work of the Digital Library or the Institutional Repository in their library.  Another 10 respondents indicated a that they were “sort of” helping with that work.

Provide support for Digital Library or Institutional Repository?
Yes 18
No 1
Sort of 10
Not known 1
Not reported 4
Total 34


Systems/Tools Used


The most common used ILS for respondents reporting a 6 layer hierarchy was Symphony and Millenium, followed by Sierra and Voyager, Aleph 500 and Alma.

Integrated Library System (ILS)
Aleph 500 4
Alma 3
Evergreen 0
Horizon 0
Invenion –TIND 0
Kuali OLE 0
Millenium 6
Polaris 0
Sierra 5
Symphony 6
Virtua 0
Voyager 5
Worldshare Management Services 0
Other 0
Not known 1
Not reported 4
Total 34


Cataloging Utility

Connexion was the most commonly used cataloging utility.

Cataloging Utility
OCLC Connexion 27
Sky River 0
Other 3
Not known 0
Not reported 4
Total 34


Digital Library Content Management System

There was a fairly even spread of digital library content management systems, but the most reported CMS was CONTENTdm. Some respondents reported more than one Digital Library.

Content Management System for Digital Library
Collective Access 0
DSpcae 7
EPrints3 0
Fedora/Hydra 7
Fedora/Islandora 5
Greenstone 1
Omeka 3
Other 6
We don’t have a DL 0
Not known 1
Not reported 0
Total 48


Institutional Repository Content Management System

BePress DigitalCommons was the most commonly used CMS for Institutional Repositories in this category.

Content Management System for Institutional Repository
BePress DigitalCommons 9
D-Space 7
Fedora Commons 1
Fedora/Hydra 5
Greenstone 0
Invenio 0
Opus 0
SimpleDL 0
SobekCM 0
Other 0
We don’t have an IR 2
Not known 5
Not reported 2
Total 34