A New Leadership Brief From the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) Examines How Public Libraries Can Lead the Responsible Use of AI
From the Urban Libraries Council:
Today, the Urban Libraries Council issued a new leadership brief that outlines five ways libraries can integrate cutting-edge artificial intelligence in their work. Being on the front line of new technology is a common position for libraries, and the rapid growth of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT in the past year has made this an urgent topic for library leaders.
“As generative AI tools become more accessible, effective and less expensive, there are new opportunities for libraries to lead,” said ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. “While there are persistent concerns that must be addressed on AI being used for misinformation, the opportunities in front of us are manifold. This includes responsible applications that improve efficiency, speed up communication and serve as a useful tool for showcasing and validating library services and resources.”
The ULC report looks at how libraries can prepare for a swift integration of AI across library services, resources and operations. The report also includes insights from library leaders in Boston, Multnomah County (OR), New York City, Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose.
ULC Recommendations on How to Integrate Generative AI at Public Libraries
- Move from informing to practicalizing such as leveraging AI tools for performance improvements at branches and in program design.
- Leverage prompt engineering skills of library professionals who are already trained to find bodies of information using keywords or phrases.
- Advance information literacy of staff and patrons through hands-on use of AI, such as workshops where participants learn how to generate short stories and poetry with AI.
- Create an AI-focused digital inclusion network to ensure equitable access to the economic benefits of new AI powered technologies.
- Advocate for the responsible use of AI to ensure these advancements benefit the community at large, and that foundational standards of education, innovation and access to information are preserved.
Direct to Full Text Leadership Brief: Explorations of Generative AI for Library Systems
5 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.