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Public Libraries Embracing Technology and Shaping the Future

“Hey Siri, what’s the future of the public library?” Siri: “I don’t have that information in future of the public.” “Huh?” Computer assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs are becoming commonplace. If you need directions, want to buy groceries, or are looking for suggestions for a new wardrobe, technological help is just a request away. Judging by the nonsensical answer that Siri gave when asked about libraries, technology isn’t yet equipped to answer all of our questions. However, there is no doubt that computerized assistants and Artificial Intelligence are impacting every facet of society.  

Examples of AI

Already, thanks to Artificial Intelligence one can:
  • Walk into clothing store Uniqlo, where an AI-powered kiosk shows products and measures the customer’s response through neurotransmitters and then makes suggestions. Customers don’t even have to press a button to indicate likes and dislikes as the kiosk knows the answer based on how the consumer’s face reacts.
  • Place an order with voice or text through the My Starbucks Barista app, and then drive to the nearby Starbucks to grab the drink.
  • Visit an Amazon Go store, take items off the shelf and leave, all without stopping at a cashier. Sensors track the purchase and charge your Amazon account. This details Amazon and other retailers’ attempts to go high-tech in grocery retail.
  Read about other interesting examples of what AI is doing in this Fortune article.  

How Libraries Can Use AI

As we as a society try to manage this new technology, people are calling on the library community to lead the way.   One way AI and libraries already work well together is through collection development. ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) incorporates sophisticated machine learning to pioneer the use of behavioral analysis and data to help librarians make more informed selection decisions. With ESP, librarians are still very much integral to the library’s workflow, with the tool simply designed to complement the librarians’ experience and knowledge. After all, as stated in a 2018 blog from IFLA “a search is only as good as the search terms put in”. Another way libraries can support new technologies is by providing a communal space for people to gather, work and play. Libraries can boost technological literacy by sponsoring informational seminars or holding technology-focused makerspaces that let people learn and experiment. This is especially important to support patrons who don’t have internet access in their homes.   Technology also holds great promise to assist librarians by freeing them up from back-office duties. As machine-learning technology enables computers to do more sophisticated tasks that once required human thinking, librarians will have more time to work hand-in-hand with their communities, focusing on programming and other value-add activities.  

The Role of the Librarian

Importantly, librarians are required to educate people about AI, helping them understand how to use it in order to enhance daily life and develop their career, while learning of potential pitfalls and how to protect personal data online.   “AI is happening faster than most people think, and the public is not adequately prepared for it,” Palo Alto City Library Department Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne told the Urban Libraries Council.  “Everything we do will somehow be impacted by AI. The public library, in our teaching role, can play a very important part in preparing the public for what’s ahead.” (In October, le Conge Ziesenhenne was chosen to serve as Palo Alto’s assistant city manager.)   It’s certain, the spread of Artificial Intelligence technology brings with it a combination of exciting opportunity and change. However, with forethought and planning, libraries can ensure they are not only prepared for the changes AI will bring, but that they are positioned to shape and then lead the world that AI is helping to create.    

“Hey Siri, what’s the future of the public library?”

Siri: “I don’t have that information in future of the public.”

“Huh?”

Computer assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs are becoming commonplace. If you need directions, want to buy groceries, or are looking for suggestions for a new wardrobe, technological help is just a request away.

Judging by the nonsensical answer that Siri gave when asked about libraries, technology isn’t yet equipped to answer all of our questions. However, there is no doubt that computerized assistants and Artificial Intelligence are impacting every facet of society.

 

Examples of AI

Already, thanks to Artificial Intelligence one can:

  • Walk into clothing store Uniqlo, where an AI-powered kiosk shows products and measures the customer’s response through neurotransmitters and then makes suggestions. Customers don’t even have to press a button to indicate likes and dislikes as the kiosk knows the answer based on how the consumer’s face reacts.
  • Place an order with voice or text through the My Starbucks Barista app, and then drive to the nearby Starbucks to grab the drink.
  • Visit an Amazon Go store, take items off the shelf and leave, all without stopping at a cashier. Sensors track the purchase and charge your Amazon account. This details Amazon and other retailers’ attempts to go high-tech in grocery retail.

 

Read about other interesting examples of what AI is doing in this Fortune article.

 

How Libraries Can Use AI

As we as a society try to manage this new technology, people are calling on the library community to lead the way.

 

One way AI and libraries already work well together is through collection development. ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) incorporates sophisticated machine learning to pioneer the use of behavioral analysis and data to help librarians make more informed selection decisions. With ESP, librarians are still very much integral to the library’s workflow, with the tool simply designed to complement the librarians’ experience and knowledge. After all, as stated in a 2018 blog from IFLA “a search is only as good as the search terms put in”.

Another way libraries can support new technologies is by providing a communal space for people to gather, work and play. Libraries can boost technological literacy by sponsoring informational seminars or holding technology-focused makerspaces that let people learn and experiment. This is especially important to support patrons who don’t have internet access in their homes.

 

Technology also holds great promise to assist librarians by freeing them up from back-office duties. As machine-learning technology enables computers to do more sophisticated tasks that once required human thinking, librarians will have more time to work hand-in-hand with their communities, focusing on programming and other value-add activities.

 

The Role of the Librarian

Importantly, librarians are required to educate people about AI, helping them understand how to use it in order to enhance daily life and develop their career, while learning of potential pitfalls and how to protect personal data online.

 

“AI is happening faster than most people think, and the public is not adequately prepared for it,” Palo Alto City Library Department Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne told the Urban Libraries Council.  “Everything we do will somehow be impacted by AI. The public library, in our teaching role, can play a very important part in preparing the public for what’s ahead.” (In October, le Conge Ziesenhenne was chosen to serve as Palo Alto’s assistant city manager.)

 

It’s certain, the spread of Artificial Intelligence technology brings with it a combination of exciting opportunity and change. However, with forethought and planning, libraries can ensure they are not only prepared for the changes AI will bring, but that they are positioned to shape and then lead the world that AI is helping to create.

 

 

“Hey Siri, what’s the future of the public library?” Siri: “I don’t have that information in future of the public.” “Huh?” Computer assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, … Continued

Press Release

ESP Receives Platinum in 2020 Modern Library Awards

collectionHQ, the world’s leading collection performance improvement solution, is delighted to announce that its ESP product has received a platinum award in LibraryWorks’ sixth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs.) The MLAs were created to recognize the top products and services in the library industry in a truly unbiased format.

collectionHQ, the world’s leading collection performance improvement solution, is delighted to announce that its ESP product has received a platinum award in LibraryWorks’ sixth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs.) The MLAs were created to recognize the top products and services in the library industry in a truly unbiased format.

collectionHQ, the world’s leading collection performance improvement solution, is delighted to announce that its ESP product has received a platinum award in LibraryWorks’ sixth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs.) The … Continued

Download the full Press Release
Blog

Top Charts from Lois – September 2018

Being a busy librarian means it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest hot titles - let alone find time to sit down with my favourite book. However, today I will be checking out one of these top Adult Fiction titles from collectionHQ's Discovery to celebrate "Read A Book Day". Which one will you choose?
  • Lee Child - The Midnight Line
  • Peter Robinson - Sleeping in the Ground:DCI Banks
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
  • The Late Show - Michael Connelly
  • Munich - Robert Harris
        *Titles are based on circulation statistics from UK public libraries. 

Being a busy librarian means it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest hot titles – let alone find time to sit down with my favourite book. However, today I will be checking out one of these top Adult Fiction titles from collectionHQ’s Discovery to celebrate “Read A Book Day”.

Which one will you choose?

  • Lee Child – The Midnight Line
  • Peter Robinson – Sleeping in the Ground:DCI Banks
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  • The Late Show – Michael Connelly
  • Munich – Robert Harris

 

 

 

 

*Titles are based on circulation statistics from UK public libraries. 

Being a busy librarian means it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest hot titles – let alone find time to sit down with my favourite book. … Continued

Blog

Top Charts from Lois – February 2018

Many of my patrons tell me how they love to escape with a good Mystery & Detective novel. Check out this sample of pre-published Mystery & Detective titles that ESP predicts will circulate well in library collections over the coming months: Death of an Honest Man, M. C Beaton - available in February The Policeman’s Daughter, Trudy Nan Boyce - available in February The Disappeared, C. J. Box - available in March The Punishment She Deserves, Elizabeth George - available in March I’ve Got My Eyes on You, Mary Higgins Clark - available in April Queen Anne’s Lace, Susan Wittig Albert - available in April Stay tuned for more Top Charts from me, Lois the Super Librarian. To find out about my collection performance improvement adventure with collectionHQ and ESP, click here. *ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) considers the potential circulation of titles in the U.S.A. To find out more about ESP, click here.

Many of my patrons tell me how they love to escape with a good Mystery & Detective novel. Check out this sample of pre-published Mystery & Detective titles that ESP predicts will circulate well in library collections over the coming months:

Death of an Honest Man, M. C Beaton – available in February

The Policeman’s Daughter, Trudy Nan Boyce – available in February

The Disappeared, C. J. Box – available in March

The Punishment She Deserves, Elizabeth George – available in March

I’ve Got My Eyes on You, Mary Higgins Clark – available in April

Queen Anne’s Lace, Susan Wittig Albert – available in April

Stay tuned for more Top Charts from me, Lois the Super Librarian. To find out about my collection performance improvement adventure with collectionHQ and ESP, click here.

*ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) considers the potential circulation of titles in the U.S.A. To find out more about ESP, click here.

Many of my patrons tell me how they love to escape with a good Mystery & Detective novel. Check out this sample of pre-published Mystery & Detective titles that ESP … Continued

Blog

Top Charts from Lois – January 2018

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2018 is off to a great start. As many public library patrons begin the new year with resolutions to eat well and keep fit, here is a sample of the pre-published titles in vegetarian cooking that ESP* predicts will circulate well in library collections:
  • Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson - available in February
  • Vegetariano by Slow Food Editore - available in March
  • The Plant-based Diet Meal Plan by Heather Nicholds - available in February
  • Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff - available in February
  • Sweet Potato Soul by Jenne Claiborne - available in February
Stay tuned for more Top Charts from me, Lois the Super Librarian. To find out about my collection performance improvement adventure with collectionHQ and ESP, click here.   *ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) considers the potential circulation of titles in the U.S.A. To find out more about ESP, click here.

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2018 is off to a great start. As many public library patrons begin the new year with resolutions to eat well and keep fit, here is a sample of the pre-published titles in vegetarian cooking that ESP* predicts will circulate well in library collections:

  • Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson – available in February
  • Vegetariano by Slow Food Editore – available in March
  • The Plant-based Diet Meal Plan by Heather Nicholds – available in February
  • Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff – available in February
  • Sweet Potato Soul by Jenne Claiborne – available in February

Stay tuned for more Top Charts from me, Lois the Super Librarian. To find out about my collection performance improvement adventure with collectionHQ and ESP, click here.

 

*ESP (Evidence-based Selection Planning) considers the potential circulation of titles in the U.S.A. To find out more about ESP, click here.

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2018 is off to a great start. As many public library patrons begin the new year with resolutions to eat well and keep … Continued