Organization Of Collections

While the cataloguing standard is now under review, it can be argued that organization of the collection is still of the utmost importance. A comprehensive, logical organizational system will enhance browsing and aid in reader’s discovery.

Last updated: March 31, 2015

Competency: Catalogues all types of library materials according to relevant bibliographic control standards

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Understands the general structure, relationships and relative importance of library Catalogue systems and software (RDA,OCLC, Library of Congress, RLIN, Dewey, Library of Congress Subject Heading, AACR2, MARC, Dublin Core, crosswalks and thesauri)
  • Applies relevant national and international bibliographic control standards (RDA,AACR2, MARC, Dublin Core etc.) to organize materials and resources at a level appropriate for the library and the materials
  • Understands and uses the Cataloguing functions of integrated library systems
  • Understands and performs copy or original cataloguing as needed, providing descriptive cataloguing, classification and subject analysis appropriate to the content  
  • Maintains authority control and provides appropriate references in the library’s Catalogue
  • Applies in-depth knowledge of cataloguing standards to assess bibliographic records for accuracy and completeness
  • Selects appropriate subject headings and call numbers for accurate identification and placement within the collection; understands the broader context (national and international) in which collections function
  • Uses cataloguing tools and services available from bibliographic utilities; assesses and learns new tools promoted by bibliographic utilities.


Competency:  Manages the Catalogue to ensure that library users have optimal access to the collection

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Establishes cataloguing standards and procedures
  • Amplifies the core purpose of the Catalogue to provide library users with the best possible access to the collection
  • Updates the catalogue to reflect accurate bibliographic holdings and item information
  • Pursues knowledge of current library trends and innovations; identifies how they may impact bibliographic control and resource management and how they may be adopted to advantage
  • Identifies and learns new tools and technical skills that will improve cataloguing productivity and enhance access to library resources (e.g. federated search, tag clouds)
  • Articulates the need for and works to provide bibliographic links in the Catalogue to electronic and other remote resources (see also: E-Resources Management competencies)
  • In a consortium environment, contributes to and adheres to the shared standards for cataloguing.


Competency:  Ensures collection value and integrity

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Conducts inventories of library materials, analyzes usage and maintains appropriate records in support of maintenance procedures
  • Creates and maintains collection profiles
  • Understands the challenges and benefits of floating collections
  • Manages gifts to the collection, including relations with donors, appraisals of value, record-keeping and arrangements for long term stewardship
  • Recognizes items of true historic value and recommends their preservation and conservation for this library or for another collection.
  • Identifies items in need of repair and evaluates the cost effectiveness of repair, replacement and/or withdrawal


Competency: Develops and manages the library’s collections of electronic resources and provides distributed access to them

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Understands the concepts behind e-resource management systems and maintains awareness of available products
  • Selects, organizes and maintains the library’s collection of e-resources and manages the library’s subscriptions and/or purchases of e-resources (content coverage, usage rights, licenses, usage statistics, etc.)
  • Interprets usage data for electronic journal and database subscriptions and recommends adjustments to allocation of resources or renegotiation of license agreements
  • Evaluates, configures and maintains an OpenURL service for linking online resources to identifying services (A & I databases, Catalogues, etc.)
  • Evaluates, implements and maintains metasearch tools for streamlined access to library resources
  • Understands and implements options for authenticated access to e-resources appropriate for the parent institution
  • Evaluates e-resource expenditures, assessing the relative merit of e-vendor options (including cloud hosting) in terms of integration with the ILS and alignment with the librry's mission
  • Evaluates, configures and maintains services for restricting access to e-resources applicable within the institutional context (e.g., proxy service, single sign-on, Shibboleth, etc.).
  • Understands popular e-reader technologies and formats (, ePub, audiobooks in .mp3, WMA, etc.)
  • Teaches staff how to access e-books from catalogue or shared publisher platforms across devices: e-readers, tablets, mobile phones, laptops and in library labs or on public access computers


Competency:  Researches and designs systems and services to provide optimal access to resources

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Organizes and effectively displays information so that it is meaningful and accessible to users
  • Determines and provides the appropriate mix of technologies, formats and delivery channels to meet the needs of a variety of users
  • Identifies any factors that impede the use of resources and communicates with the information resource designers about usability improvements
  • Collaborates with IT and other departments, acting as a user advocate, to develop, implement and evaluate new systems and services that better meet users' needs
  • Recognizes the special information access needs of user groups (those with disabilities, those with English as a second language, immigrants, etc.), and provides them with the best possible access appropriate to the library
  • Researches and assesses emerging technologies for improved delivery of information resources
  • Identifies opportunities to cooperate with other libraries, departments or community organizations to share information resources.

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