109 respondents from doctoral institutions answered both a question that analyzed the current hierarchy of their cataloging unit and the hierarchy that was present 10 years prior.

The current structure question was presented as follows:

“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 the direct reporting line to cataloging or between the cataloging unit and the top level administration in your library.”

The historical structure question was presented as follows:

“Using the same technique, indicate the hierarchical structure of your cataloging unit and library 10 years ago (around 2006).  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 the direct reporting line to cataloging or between the cataloging unit and the top level administration in your library.”

The change over the last decade appeared as follows:

Current Hierarchy Layer
2 Layer 3 Layer 4 Layer 5 Layer 6 Layer 7 Layer
Change in number of layers from 10 years prior -2 layers 0 2 0 1 0 0
-1 layer 3 4 4 4 0 0
Same 5 7 17 17 7 7
+1 layer 0 1 5 7 6 5
+2 layers 0 0 0 2 2 2
+3 layers 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 8 14 26 31 16 14

 

Reductions in hierarchy levels over 10 years

Reductions that lead to the 2 and 3 layer hierarchies over the last 10 years were mostly due to reductions in upper administration outside of the cataloging unit (such as at the level of a division head or an associate dean/associate university librarian).

Reductions that lead to the 4 layer hierarchy over the last ten years have  been more variable, usually resulting from combining hierarchical layers together (such as technicians with para-professionals or professionals with unit heads), or combining layers of administration together (eliminating associate dean positions and reporting directly to the library dean or director).

Reductions that lead to a 5 layer hierarchy over the last ten years have also been very mixed.  In some circumstances, entire structures changed (such technical services units that were merged together to create a larger unit with less reporting structure.)  With large structural changes, measuring the change in job as reflected by job title and reporting line becomes blurry.  About half of the respondents in this category also indicated that some of the cataloging duties and tasks, along with the titles for those performing those duties, were merged.  This seems particularly true with professional and para-professional duties, as well as between para-professionals and hourly employees.

Advertisements