Documentation: Introduction

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 collection (or bank) of PDs throughout Canada and the United States. 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 is accessible online:

The ARL PD Bank was developed based on specifications determined by Library Personnel Officers through focus groups and other feedback channels. The ARL PD Bank provides a more useful source for current PDs and will depict the evolution of positions, and library functions and services as reflected over time in the PDs.

The opportunity:
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.