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Calculate the value of time saved

360 MARC Updates is the OPAC updating service that maintains e-resources in your catalog efficiently and effectively. Have you asked yourself how much your library could save if you didn’t have to spend your time correcting or updating bibliographic data, verifying provider coverage dates, and maintaining tens of thousands of changing access URLs in your MARC records each and every month?

The 360 MARC Updates calculator helps you learn the true costs of cataloging your e-resources, and helps you estimate the amount and value of time you could get back to pursue other important library work.

Contact us to learn more about the 360 MARC Updates service.

How to use the calculator
The calculator determines an estimate of the time and costs associated with cataloging library e-resources based on values you enter and consider to be accurate for your organization. A single resource title may appear in more than one provider package or aggregation, so the calculator uses your count of e-resource "holdings" rather than “titles” in order to represent each instance of that resource in the calculations.

Estimated Costs

Holdings Information

Estimated number of electronic holdings
Percent that are simple records (ie, require just copy cataloging, probably by student workers)
Percent that are difficult records (ie, require the attention of a library paraprofessional to be resolved)
Percent that are most complex records (ie, require the attention of a cataloger or other technical services expert)
Note: the three above percentages must add up to 100%.

Types of Records

Average time (in minutes) to complete simple records
Average time (in minutes) to complete difficult records
Average time (in minutes) to complete most complex records

Salary Information

Student hourly rate
Paraprofessional hourly rate
Benefits variable
Cataloger hourly rate
Benefits variable


Based on the data provided above, the cost in time and dollars for cataloging your electronic holdings is roughly as follows:


Student workers
Paraprofessional staff


*Default values used in the 360 MARC Updates calculator

The default value of 98,000 total electronic holdings is an average of total e-serials holdings (55,000) and total ebook holdings (141,000) reported by a cross section of libraries in response to ProQuest surveys.

Manual MARC record updating durations are based on information gathered by ProQuest’s CONSER-certified catalogers during discussions with librarians who are currently attempting to catalog their own e-resource MARC records:

  • Updating a catalog record for an e-serial or ebook that the library already holds in print takes about two minutes each, and is done by student staff.
  • Updating a catalog record for an e-serial or ebook that the library does not hold in print requires cataloging staff to locate and download a record from OCLC. This is done by paraprofessional staff, and takes approximately 10 minutes per title.
  • In certain cases (approximately 5% of the time), a holding represents a serial that the library does not have in print, and requires investigation by professional catalogers since paraprofessional staff are unable to locate appropriate copy cataloging records; or when there are issues that simply require a greater level of expertise. Records in this category take approximately 30 minutes per title.

Unless otherwise noted, costs for Salary Information are based on 2012 figures in Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-2015 Edition, at

  • Student assistant: $9.50 per hour is based on information gathered from the websites of a cross section of academic libraries.
  • Paraprofessional staff: $26,800 per year and $14.74 per hour.
  • Librarians: $55,370 per year and $26.62 per hour. Note that serials catalogers likely have a higher average salary than do librarians in general.
  • Paraprofessional and professional staffs typically have benefits costs of about 50% of their annual salaries. These costs include health benefits, contributions to retirement accounts, sick leave and vacation pay, and other incidental costs.