The Association of Research Libraries Position Description Bank (ARL PD Bank) is a collection of position descriptions (PDs) from major academic and research libraries. The ARL PD Bank fosters the sharing of information through a browseable and searchable database that provides access to a national collection (or bank) of PDs. The ARL PD Bank supports the management of PDs for individual institutions, providing an effective organizational method and system that supports findability as well as archiving for long-term digital preservation.
The ARL PD Bank was developed based on specifications determined by Library Personnel Officers through focus groups and other feedback channels. The intent is for the ARL PD Bank to be maintained as the individual institutions use it to manage their documentation in instances such as when positions change, new positions are developed or positions are eliminated. The ARL PD Bank will thus provide a useful source for current PDs and will depict the evolution of positions, and library functions and services as reflected over time in the PDs.
Perhaps the most common collaboration between personnel officers from different academic libraries is the sharing of position descriptions. This is usually initiated by a request for samples over an electronic mailing list. The responses are 'hit or miss' and not often distributed to the whole list, and neither the responses nor the requests are archived. Additionally, library human resources management staff spends a considerable amount of effort managing (archiving, locating, and retrieving) and distributing position descriptions. These documents serve as important elements of effective human resources management and are only useful if maintained, organized and accessible. Techniques for and effectiveness in managing these documents vary from institution to institution.
ARL Directors have been contacted and asked to identify a lead for their institution’s orientation to the ARL PD Bank and as a point of contact for the project team. These individuals will help identify or may serve as institutional administrator for the ARL PD Bank and have the ability to approve other users and assign rights to individuals at their institution. Access to the ARL PD Bank is currently limited to those individuals identified as the lead for their institution.