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Sample Job Description

MLA’s sample job description was developed to

  • determine distinct areas of responsibility in a sample "director" job description;
  • use descriptive, low-jargon terminology applicable to multiple job situations (and familiar to human resources personnel); and
  • create a flexible tool for members that could be used in a variety of job situations and contexts.

The following description uses the example of a director in a small or one-person library to provide inclusive coverage of appropriate job responsibilities. Each area noted below has a major, overarching responsibility [numbered (1), (2), (3), etc.], and is followed by the actions or tasks required to carry out that major responsibility.

Various elements of the description can be used in job descriptions for specific library personnel. For example, tasks within the Resource Management section might be used for a cataloger or a collection development librarian; the Customer Service and Marketing sections could be used for a reference librarian or access services.

Note: This older-content page is currently undergoing review and revision, but remains live on MLANET because of member request.

Sample Director’s Job Description

(1) Planning

Plan and set goals and objectives for the future of the information center. This responsibility includes determining the services needed, the most effective way to provide them, and the resources necessary to support them.

  • Develop an information center strategic plan that is responsive and conforms to the organization's mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Participate in internal meetings to coordinate information center goals and objectives with those of the organization.
  • Conduct research, user surveys, focus groups, or benchmarking studies to determine the products and services the information center will offer.
  • Attend conferences, workshops, seminars, and classes to maintain knowledge of changing technologies and developments in the health care and information industries.
  • Implement, evaluate, and, if necessary, adjust the strategic plan on an annual basis.
(2) Marketing

Market and promote the information center and its products and services. This responsibility includes publications, programming, and public relations.

  • Develop and distribute promotional information center materials such as newsletters, brochures, and information packets.
  • Develop in-service and outreach programs to market services and interpret information center resources.
  • Develop seminars and workshops that support the goals and objectives of the organization.
  • Establish and maintain rapport with current and potential information center clients.
  • Participate in policy-making forums and advisory groups and committees at the local, state, and national level.
  • Represent the information center at internal and external meetings and functions.
  • Establish information center support through development activities such as library friends, advisory committees, or fundraising activities to assist in the promotion of the information center products and services.
  • Develop key contacts in the medical, health, and information communities.
(3) Customer Service

Provide proactive customer-oriented services provided by the information center. This responsibility includes activities like reference/research services and accessing resources.

  • Provide professional and personal assistance to clients in answering inquiries, locating information, and interpreting resource catalogs.
  • Conduct manual and computerized information research to support information center requests.
  • Develop individual client current awareness and selective dissemination services based on personal information profiles.
  • Set hours and develop processing procedures for the circulation and loan of materials and document delivery to support research services and to ensure resources are accessible to clients.
(4) Fiscal Management

Manage the information center's financial resources. This responsibility includes developing and administering budgets and identifying new revenue sources.

  • Develop short- and long range-information center budgets supporting the strategic plan.
  • Prepare, justify, gain approval for, and administer the annual personnel and operational budgets.
  • Review and approve expenditures monthly and track them against the approved budget.
  • Prepare applications for grants and administer funds received to increase information center revenues.
(5) Human Resources

Manage the information center's personnel. This responsibility includes hiring, training, and evaluating personnel.

  • Define responsibilities and write position descriptions for information center personnel and review them annually.
  • Recruit, select, appoint, train, motivate, and evaluate information center personnel and adjust personnel and policies accordingly.
  • Review the performance of information center personnel annually.
  • Provide staff development and continuing education opportunities for information center personnel.
(6) Administration

Manage and direct information center operations and facilities. This responsibility includes activities like establishing goals, monitoring statistics, developing work plans, managing facilities, and supervising on a day-to-day basis.

  • Establish information center policies and procedures to implement the strategic plan and monitor compliance.
  • Collect, prepare, and analyze information center reports and statistics.
  • Develop, direct, and coordinate the information center's work plan.
  • Delegate and monitor duties and responsibilities to the information center personnel based on the work plan.
  • Plan and conduct information center staff meetings.
  • Develop and maintain information center facilities including space design and utilization, furnishings, equipment, and security.
  • Supervise day-to-day operations of the information center.
(7) Resource Management

Prepare and maintain information center resources. This responsibility includes all technical service activities such as acquiring, processing, cataloging, maintaining, and circulating resources.

  • Establish guidelines for the resource collection development that reflect the information center’s goals and objectives.
  • Develop policies and procedures to evaluate, acquire, discard, process, organize, maintain, and circulate or loan information resources.
  • Perform evaluation studies to ensure information resources are responsive to client needs and information center goals.
  • Process and prepare print or electronic resource additions and maintain the condition and order of resources to ensure their availability to information center clients.
  • Catalog or index resources in accordance with national and international standards.
  • Select or design classification schemes to make resources accessible to clients.
  • Administer copyright compliance and contractual commitments.
(8) Technology

Coordinate the development and application of information center technology. This includes selecting, designing, implementing, evaluating, and monitoring computer equipment and software.

  • Design and implement automated systems for resource collection, management, and access that are responsive to the organization's goals.
  • Regularly evaluate and adjust automation requirements for the information center.
  • Evaluate, select, implement, and monitor computer equipment and software for the information center.
  • Develop, oversee, and evaluate Internet and organizational intranet applications.
  • Train users and information center personnel in the use of new technology and provide documentation, manuals, and guides.


Original Project Team
Polly Porter, chair
Eric D. Albright
Gale A. Dutcher
Janice E. Kelly
Katie Bartholomew, C. Berger and Company
Kate E. Corcoran, staff liaison