Now Online! A renewed Research Library Position Description Bank

Research Library PD Bank logo

The Research Libraries Position Description Bank (RL PD Bank), previously known as the ARL Position Description Bank, will be jointly governed and financed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), and the George A. Smathers Libraries of University of Florida (ex officio), with continued management by the George A. Smathers Libraries. This new configuration reinforces the broad value of the RL PD Bank to the international research library community and establishes an equitable governance structure.

The RL PD Bank will be governed by a steering committee composed of a representative from each association and the University of Florida Smathers Libraries (ex officio). A user advisory group will be led by a member of the Smathers Libraries team, with representation from across the shared membership. The new structure will officially begin this Fall.

Many thanks to the many individuals who contributed to the success of the service to date, particularly to Judy Russell, dean; Brian Keith, systems analytics librarian; Bonnie Smith, director of Human Resources; and the team at the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.


In 2012, the ARL Board of Directors authorized the establishment of the ARL Position Description (PD) Bank. Initially, the PD Bank was only available to ARL members. Beginning in 2014, library consortia that included at least one ARL member institution joined the ARL PD Bank as a group and obtained access for their non-ARL members. ASERL was the first consortium to join, followed by CARL in 2015. RLUK most recently joined in 2021.


More Information

For further information, please consult the RL PD Bank website or contact one of the association’s executive directors:

Mary Lee Kennedy, ARL Executive Director

John Burger, ASERL Executive Director

Susan Haigh, CARL Executive Director

David Prosser, RLUK Executive Director

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of research libraries in Canada and the US whose vision is to create a trusted, equitable, and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepare library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide. ARL’s mission is to empower and advocate for research libraries and archives to shape, influence, and implement institutional, national, and international policy. ARL develops the next generation of leaders and enables strategic cooperation among partner institutions to benefit scholarship and society. ARL is on the web at

About the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries

Founded in 1956, ASERL is one of the largest regional research library consortia in the United States, serving 38 institutional members in 12 states. ASERL provides highly acclaimed programming, cultivates important conversations, and nurtures relationships among library leaders in the Southeast. By working together, ASERL members provide and maintain top-quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities. ASERL is housed in the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. See for more information.

About the Canadian Association of Research Libraries

CARL members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries. Enhancing research and higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL develops the capacity to support this mission, promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and advocates for public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

About the Research Libraries UK

Research Libraries UK (RLUK) is a consortium of 39 of the leading and most significant research libraries in the UK and Ireland.  Our purpose is to shape the research library agenda and contribute to the wider knowledge economy through innovative projects and services that add value and impact to the process of research and researcher-training. We also contribute to the health of society through the preservation and sharing of knowledge: one of the pillars of an open society.

About the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

The Smathers Libraries collaborate with University of Florida (UF) faculty, students, and staff, as well as the University’s collaborators and constituents, to facilitate knowledge creation that contributes to UF’s standing as a preeminent public research university. The Libraries encourage creativity and inquiry necessary to support the University’s global ambitions and play an important role in attracting and retaining top students, faculty, and staff. The Libraries collaboratively envisioned and created the RL PD Bank to support shared community needs for access, preservation, analysis, and planning using position descriptions. The Libraries continue to have an active and engaged role in managing and developing the RL PD Bank.