ALCTS Exchange Presentation

Presentation Title
Now, what do you want me to do? New and emerging roles for Cataloging and Metadata Librarians

May 9, 2017, 3:05 pm Eastern

The roles and responsibilities within library cataloging units have been shifting over the past decade and will continue to shift dramatically in the coming years. In 2016, the Organization and Structure of Cataloging Units in Academic Libraries survey aimed to take a snapshot of that shift. The survey received almost 700 responses from the U.S. and international library community. One of the focal points of the survey was an investigation of the types of tasks that Cataloging and Metadata Librarians are asked to perform, as well as the anticipated skills needed to meet future demands. Some of the surprising trends involved the increasingly hybrid workloads of cataloging and metadata librarians as they take on dual roles in Special Collections, Electronic Resources, Acquisitions, and other library units.

One of the ways to visualize this shift in work and responsibilities is to map out existing workflows, particularly between library units. In early 2017, the Utah State University Libraries engaged in a workflow mapping process across the Technical Services division in order to better understand the changes in how library collections are acquired, ingested, and maintained. The data resulting from this process helped inform staffing and organizational decisions for the library. This presentation will utilize the results from the 2016 survey, as well as real-time survey answers from the ALCTS Exchange participants, to demonstrate how tasks and responsibilities are divvied out both within and outside of the traditional cataloging unit. It will then demonstrate ways, such as workflow mapping, for cataloging and technical services units to identify how the division of responsibilities and patterns of work in their own organizations provides the blueprint for the cataloging/metadata professional of the future.

Before this presentation on May 9, please read this post for a summary of the research project.

The slides for the presentation are available here.