In this post, we will explore the profile of the doctoral institutions that reported having 4 layers in their organizational hierarchies.  Overall, 173 people 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, 40 indicated they had four layers in their reporting structures.  This was the second largest group.


A four 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 and Catalogers or Subject Specialists
  • Catalogers and Technicians, Copy Catalogers, or Library Assistants

Profile of the Library

First, we will layout the general profile of the libraries reporting a 4 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 their institution had a student population between under 1,000 and  over 40,000 with the most popular response between 10,001 and 15,000 students.

Student FTE
less than 1,000 1
1,000-5,000 6
5,0001-10,000 2
10,001-15,000 8
15,0001-20,0000 6
20,001-25,000 6
25,001-30,000 3
30,001-40,000 5
40,000+ 1
Not known 2
Not reported 0


Collection Size

Respondents indicated that their library’s collection size ranged between 10,001-100,000 volumes and over 5,000,000 volumes, with almost half 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 3
100,001-500,000 volumes 8
500,001-1,000,000 volumes 7
1,000,001-5,000,000 volumes 18
5,000,000 + volumes 2
Not known 2
Not reported 0
Total 40

Annual Budget

Respondents indicated that the annual budget for their library ranged from less than $1,000,000 to over $20,000,000, but half of the respondents were not familiar with their library budgets.

Annual budget
less than $1,000,000 1
$1,000,000 – $5,000,000 8
$5,000,001 – $10,000,000 4
$10,000,001 – $20,000,000 4
$20,000,000+ 1
Not known 22
Not reported 0
Total 40


Library Employee FTE

Respondents reported that their library was staffed between 1 and over 150 employees, with the two most common response being 11-30 employee and 71-100 employees.

Total Employee FTE for Library
1-10 3
11-30 9
31-50 6
51-70 5
71-100 9
101-150 3
150+ 2
Not known 3
Not reported 0
Total 40


Multi-library system

Just over half of the 40 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 three most commonly reported numbers being 2, 3 or 10 or more libraries.

Multi-library System
no 18
2 5
3 5
4 0
5 4
6 1
7 2
8 0
9 0
10+ 5
Not known 0
Not reported 0
Total 40

Of those multi-library systems, there was a variety of cataloging unit support, but the most commonly reported number (9 respondents) indicated that just 1 cataloging unit supported the multi-library system.

Multi-Library w/cataloging units
None 18
1 9
2 4
3 1
4 1
5+ 5
Not known 0
Not reported 2
Total 40

Cataloging Unit Profile

Now, we’ll take a look at what a cataloging unit in a 4 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

Six respondents reported that the cataloging and metadata employees were either not a specific unit (but part of a larger more general division) or that they were split between many units. Of the remaining 36 respondents, the following titles were reported (some by more than one respondent):

  • Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement
  • Acquisitions and Discovery Services
  • Acquisitions and Technical Services
  • Catalog Department
  • Cataloging (5 respondents)
  • Cataloging and Metadata Management
  • Cataloging and Metadata Services
  • Cataloging and Metadata Unit
  • Cataloging and Preservation
  • Cataloging Department (3 respondents)
  • Cataloging Services Department
  • Cataloging Support
  • Cataloging, Original
  • Cataloguing and Metadata
  • Collection Management
  • Collection Services
  • Collections and Access Team
  • Description Analysis and Metadata
  • Digital Scholarship
  • Discovery Services Dept.
  • Metadata and Cataloging
  • Metadata and Cataloging Department
  • Metadata and Discovery Services
  • Metadata and Monographic Resources
  • Metadata Services
  • Metadata Services Department
  • Special Formats Metadata and Cataloging
  • Standards Management and Assessment
  • Technical Services (4 respondents)

Name of the Division

Nine of the respondents indicated that they report directly to the library dean or director. The most popular response was “Technical Services” or “Technical Services Department,” with 12 respondents reporting that title.   Remaining respondents indicated division titles along the following lines:

  • Collections and Discovery area
  • Collections and Technical Services
  • Collections Directorate
  • Collections, Acquisitions, and Discovery
  • Digital Services Division
  • Direction des Acquisitions, du Traitement, et de la Conservation des collections
  • Division of Technical Services and Library Systems
  • Information & Research Services
  • Library Services and Quality Improvement
  • Library Technology
  • Resource Acquisition, Management & Discovery
  • Resource Management
  • Scholarly Resources Management
  • Technical Services
  • Technical Services and Collection Management
  • Technical Services Department


Cataloging Unit FTE

The cataloging units in a 4 layer hierarchy are often composed of an average of 6.3 employees, with 2.4 being a professional  level (defined in the survey as a “salaried employee whose position requires an MLS/MLIS or equivalent degree”),2.9 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 1 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 2.4
Para-professional 2.9
Hourly 1.0
Total 6.3


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. Four of the 40 respondents indicated mixed statuses, with two or more statuses reported.   They were (2) a mix of faculty (tenure) and non-faculty with continuing appointment and (2) a mix of faculty tenure and non-tenure

Faculty status of Professionals
Faculty, tenure-track 17
Faculty, non-tenure track 9
Non-faculty status, but with continuing appointment 10
Non-faculty status, no continuing appointment 5
Other 2
Not known 1
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.  Of the non-administrative titles, the following list includes the professional titles reported (some more than once):

  • Acquisition & Discovery Services Coordinator
  • Acquisitions and Resource Management librarian
  • Acquisitions Librarian
  • Associate Librarian for Cataloging and Cataloging Projects
  • Authorities Librarian
  • Catalog Librarian (3 respondents)
  • Catalog Management Librarian
  • Cataloging Coordinator (2 respondents)
  • Cataloging Librarian (3 respondents)
  • Cataloging Librarian and Metadata Coordinator
  • Cataloguer
  • Cataloguing & Metadata Librarian
  • Cataloguing and Metadata Coordinator
  • Collection Services and Metadata Librarian (2 respondents)
  • Database Maintenance Liaiason
  • Digital Initiatives Librarian
  • Director of Technical and Access Services
  • Electronic & Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian
  • Electronic Resources Librarian
  • Electronic Resources Metadata Librarian
  • EResources and Serials Coordinator
  • Head of Acquisitions and Technical Services
  • Head of Cataloging (2 respondents)
  • Head of Technical Services (2 respondents)
  • Librarian
  • Librarian (______ Language Specialist)
  • Librarian and Head
  • Library Technician
  • Manager of Metadata Services
  • Metadata & Cataloging Librarian
  • Metadata and Cataloging Librarian
  • Metadata and Cataloging Management Librarian
  • Metadata and Discovery Services Director
  • Metadata Librarian (2 respondents)
  • Metadata Services Librarian
  • Metadata Specialist (2 respondents)
  • Monographs Cataloger
  • Monographs Original Cataloger
  • Original cataloging
  • Principal Cataloger
  • Principle cataloger
  • Processing Archivist
  • Resource Description Librarian
  • Serials Catalog Librarian
  • Serials Cataloger (2 respondents)
  • Special Cataloguer
  • Special Collections Catalog Librarian
  • Special Formats Catalog Librarian
  • Systems librarian
  • Team Leader for Metadata and Monographic Resources
  • Team Leader for Standards Management and Assessment
  • Technical Processes Manager
  • Technical Services Librarian (2 respondents)
  • Technical Services Manager


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

  • Acquired Cataloging Associate
  • Acquisition technician
  • Acquisitions – Cataloguing Officer
  • Catalog Editors
  • Catalog Technician
  • Cataloger
  • Cataloger, Binding, Shelf Preparation and Preservation Technology Coordinator
  • Cataloging Associate (2 respondents)
  • Cataloging Coordinator
  • Cataloging Specialist
  • Clerk Specialist
  • Collections and Access Officer
  • Copy Cataloger
  • Database management technician
  • Documentation technicians
  • Head of Database Maintenance Section
  • Head of Marking
  • Instructional Support Associate
  • Instructional Support Technician
  • Library Assistant (9 respondents)
  • Library Assistant for Documents and Technical Services
  • Library Associate (2 respondents)
  • Library Specialist
  • Library Technical Assistant (5 respondents)
  • Library Technician (2 respondents)
  • Marking Associate
  • Metadata Production Associate
  • MetaData Specialist
  • Metadata Technician
  • Music Cataloging Associate
  • Professional and Scientific Associate I
  • Receiving & Rapid Cataloging Associate
  • Senior Cataloguing Officer
  • Senior Library Assistant
  • Senior Serials Cataloging Associate
  • Serials Cataloging Associate
  • Special Formats Cataloging Specialist
  • Supervising Library Technician
  • Techniciens en documentation
  • Unit Manager


Hourly cataloging employee titles were usually student or assistant based positions, such as:

  • Archival processing assistant
  • Cataloger
  • Cataloging Assistant (2 respondents)
  • Collection Support Assistant
  • Collections Management Assistant
  • Copy cataloger
  • Digital projects assistant
  • Government Documents Technician
  • Graduate Assistant, Non-Teaching
  • Library Assistant (3 respondents)
  • Library Information Specialist Senior
  • Library Specialist
  • Library Technician (2 respondents)
  • Monograph Cataloging Technician
  • Part time Clerk
  • Senior Library Specialist
  • Serials Technician
  • Student Assistant (5 respondents)
  • Student employee
  • Student metadata technicians
  • Student Worker (3 respondents)


The majority of respondents indicated that they were outsourcing work.

Outsourced Tasks
Yes 22
No 13
Not known 0
Not reported 5
Total 40

Digital Library/Institutional Repository Work

Thirteen respondents indicated that their unit was supporting the work of the Digital Library or the Institutional Repository in their library.  Another 14 respondents indicated a that they were “sort of” helping with that work.

Provide support for Digital Library or Institutional Repository?
Yes 13
No 8
Sort of 14
Not known 0
Not reported 5
Total 40


Systems/Tools Used


The most common used ILS for respondents reporting a 5 layer hierarchy was Sierra, followed by Voyager, Aleph 500, Millenium and Symphony, Alma, and Horizon and Worldshare Management.

Integrated Library System (ILS)
Aleph 500 5
Alma 2
Evergreen 0
Horizon 1
Invenion –TIND 0
Kuali OLE 0
Millenium 4
Polaris 0
Sierra 10
Symphony 4
Virtua 0
Voyager 7
Worldshare Management Services 1
Other 1
Not known 0
Not reported 5
Total 40


Cataloging Utility

Connexion was the most commonly used cataloging utility.

Cataloging Utility
OCLC Connexion 30
Sky River 0
Other 3
Not known 2
Not reported 5
Total 40


Digital Library Content Management System

There was a fairly even spread of digital library content management systems, but the most reported CMS was CONTENTdm.

Content Management System for Digital Library
Collective Access 1
DSpcae 4
EPrints3 0
Fedora/Hydra 1
Fedora/Islandora 4
Greenstone 0
Omeka 1
Other 4
We don’t have a DL 2
Not known 0
Not reported 9
Total 37


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 11
D-Space 10
Fedora Commons 0
Fedora/Hydra 1
Greenstone 0
Invenio 0
Opus 0
SimpleDL 0
SobekCM 0
Other 4
We don’t have an IR 1
Not known 0
Not reported 13
Total 40