This post is to give some background information on this research project for participants in the ALCTS Exchange. Since we have posted over 75 entries on this blog, we wanted to have a quick summary that you could use to get an overview of the project without needing to dive too far into the data.

As mentioned on the About page of this blog, “The roles and responsibilities within academic library cataloging units have gradually been shifting over the past several years. To deal with these changes, catalogers on both the librarian/faculty levels as well as professional or paraprofessional staff have had to respond by shifting workloads to ensure that necessary cataloging tasks are carried out. With many of these new and upcoming tasks and workflows that academic library cataloging units are completing comes change to the organizational structure of these units.”

In order to gather information about the past, present, and future of academic library cataloging units, a survey was administered in March and April 2016. With around 700 responses to the survey, a lot of data was shared with how different academic library cataloging units have been changing in recent years.

During the ALCTS Exchange presentation, we will share information about the tasks that librarians and staff members in cataloging units are currently doing along with the skills that will be needed for the future.

In addition to the traditional cataloging tasks completed (e.g. original and copy cataloging, authority work, serials and e-resources cataloging), more catalogers are getting involved in non-MARC metadata formats such as Dublin Core, MODS, METS, PREMIS, and EAD. To discover more information about these types of tasks and how they are handled by different levels of positions, see the following blog post.

In addition to tasks being completed, there are several cataloging type tasks that aren’t completed at many libraries. This post gives an overview of these tasks based on the size of the institution. Outsourcing has also become very prevalent in academic library for traditional cataloging tasks.

Before the ALCTS Exchange presentation on May 9, feel free to review more of the content of this blog and let us know your thoughts.