How do library staff view librarian robotics? Librarian staff’s ignored humanistic views on the impact and threat of robotics adoption

WANG, Zheng (2019) How do library staff view librarian robotics? Librarian staff’s ignored humanistic views on the impact and threat of robotics adoption. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S02 - Knowledge Management with Digital Humanities/Digital Scholarship. In: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on libraries and librarianship, 22 August 2019, Corfu, Greece.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2751
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

How do library staff view librarian robotics? Librarian staff’s ignored humanistic views on the impact and threat of robotics adoption

Background: The last few years have seen the emerging trends of AI application in various areas. And the intelligent robot is an indispensable part of AI, even as tangible embodiment of AI in social common perception. Robots play potential substitution effect both in knowledge-intensive and labour-intensive fields, including library field. Library work is the representative one blended with knowledge and labour, so it’s also the typical case where robotics apply, or affect. The recent research in library field and popular opinion mainly put the spotlight on technique itself, in addition, some research focus on robot experienced users, with technology optimism tendency. However, there is a considerable group who is overlooked, whose voice is ignored in a certain extent, that is common “library staff”. More importantly, most of them are not directed decision maker of robot adoption, but they are the direct affected ones in library. So it is essential to make library staffs’ voice heard. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to capture the perception from library general staff on robot adoption in library, to identity the stance of librarians who are indispensable stakeholder in AI age, and to form more comprehensive understanding on library robot and AI adoption. Findings: There are diverse understanding on robotics among library staff. The staff from libraries with different development degree lack consensus on robotics. Adoption of robotics depends on specific working environment. Job insecurity affected by robotics indeed exists in librarian staff, which is relevant with age and employment/engagement form. The reliability and accurateness of robotics are doubted by some librarian. Originality/value: This study provides a complementary understanding from library staffs’ view on robot adoption. Present a more comprehensive look includes various specified stakeholder on AI adopted in library, and to open a discussion of its potential benefits and threats. Aligning to the existing technical approach, this study complements a humanistic viewpoint.

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