Teen participants in Boston Public Library’s “Drag vs. AI” program test their makeup and props against facial recognition software. (Photo: Kathy Pham/American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts)

Dragging AI

September 1, 2020

In November 2019, Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Teen Central hosted a digital privacy instruction workshop for teens that centered on facial recognition technology. Titled “Drag vs. AI,” the workshop partnered BPL with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU-MA) and Joy “Poet of Code” Buolamwini, artificial intelligence (AI) scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology … Continue reading Dragging AI


Libby the Librarian greets students at University of Pretoria Libraries in South Africa. Photo: Mariki Uitenweerde/University of Pretoria in South Africa

What the Future Holds

June 1, 2020

Here we offer insights and predictions from five library thinkers who shared their perspectives at the Symposium on the Future of Libraries during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. From core values such as privacy and sustainability to more novel innovations such as the use of robots, we explore what the … Continue reading What the Future Holds


Dispatches, by Win Shih and Erin Rivero

Voice Assistants

June 1, 2020

Both Alexa and Google Assistant let you run a set of tasks with a single voice command. For example, when you say, “Hey, Google, good morning,” Google Assistant will execute a predefined sequence that can include: adjusting your lights and thermostat; providing a weather report; estimating your commute time; looking up your calendar; providing reminders; … Continue reading Voice Assistants


Dispatches, by Bohyun Kim

A New Tech Revolution

May 1, 2020

In the May issue of American Libraries, without seeking her permission, this column ran with a photo of Professor Kim in all editions. After publication, she notified us of this mistake. We were not able to correct  the print edition of the May issue. We have corrected it in the online, PageSuite, and PDF editions of the column. We apologize for the error.   … Continue reading A New Tech Revolution


From left: Ee Min Hoon, Philip Schreur, Toru Aoike, and Eero Hammais

IFLA: Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining

August 26, 2019

The session was sponsored by the Knowledge Management and Information Technology sections with the Big Data special interest group. Frank Cervone, director of information technology for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, kicked off the program by asking, “Is AI real?” AI has been actively embedded in public and personal spaces, … Continue reading IFLA: Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining



Dewey Decibel: AI in Academic Libraries

Dewey Decibel Podcast: AI in Academic Libraries

April 30, 2019

In Episode 37, Dewey Decibel explores how two academic libraries use AI to reach students and advance research. First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Nicole Coleman, digital research architect at Stanford (Calif.) University Libraries, about the importance of AI for libraries and the university’s multiple AI programs. Then Bohyun … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: AI in Academic Libraries


Loida Garcia-Febo

Exploring AI

March 1, 2019

The impact of even this early wave of artificial intelligence (AI)—including voice assistants and machine learning (ML)—is still uncertain in many fields, but it is time to include AI on our professional agenda and in our national conversation. In talking with librarians working in this area, it’s clear that while AI can be useful, it … Continue reading Exploring AI


Dispatches, by Jason Griffey

AI and Machine Learning

March 1, 2019

For example, Google’s Android operating system records, measures, and collects information and sends that data to servers. These servers use billions of data points collected from tens of millions of users as input for their machine learning systems. When you ask an Android phone to show you pictures from the beach, a complex set of … Continue reading AI and Machine Learning


Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential


Bohyun Kim, chief technology officer at the University of Rhode Island Libraries in Kingston

An AI Lab in a Library

June 26, 2018

“AI began to be used more in the 1980s, when expert systems were developed to mimic the human decision-making process,” Kim said. The technology has advanced profoundly because the internet “allows a vaster scale of data, and high-speed computing has multiplied the power of processing.” Advances in artificial neural networks have produced a technique called … Continue reading An AI Lab in a Library