Director’s Brief

Honestly, aiming for the topic of artificial intelligence and virtual assistants, trying to stay within the page limit was HARD! But I felt I did a fairly decent job at presenting it in a way that is informative but convincing to a degree. I feel the future of libraries will be shaped by these technologies, yet unless we embrace these changes and create opportunities to integrate them seamlessly (without too much push back) we will always be chasing the future instead of becoming a ally to it. Hope you all feel the same way. – DTL

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  1. Wow Danny, your Brief was so good! From the appealing graphics, to the layout of your information, to the issues you acknowledged toward the end. For such a potentially huge topic (like you mentioned at the beginning), you really pulled out the features and information that is specifically applicable to library services. Under your Programming for library use section, I loved the idea of VA assisted book clubs or story times for the physically impaired. It’s such a good idea, did you find any examples of that service being implemented anywhere?

    You also touched on some really good issues that didn’t cross my mind until I read your reasoning. Collecting and sharing personal data is definitely a big concern but I thought your second concern about perpetuating gendered stereotypes on AI and how this would affect their interactions with patrons was a really interesting glimpse into a problem that we will probably have to face sometime in the near future with the growth of VA/AI.

    This was awesome and a really interesting read!

    1. Seeing how our world still has to deal with equality on so many fronts, we have to remember that diversity must extend itself into the areas we build as well. We got a long way to go, and having everyone be satisfied will always be hard, but I think not impossible.

  2. Stunning, Danny. Do you mind if I ask you what program you created this with? Thanks for taking the long view for us here. I think the points you make, especially in your closing remarks regarding human biases’ effect on our tech, is incredibly timely, especially if we’re to create the foundations now.

    1. Thanks Jeff! I used trusty Ol’ Canva ( and some royalty free graphics. But of course a little bit of design know how helps too! I can’t wait to read yours brother!

      1. Awesome, thank you! Canva! Didn’t realize Canva could do this, I’ll have to play around with it. I wanted to use InDesign for this but didn’t have access outside of work.

  3. Hi Danny,
    I really liked the design of your director’s brief, the photos you included were really cool! The subject matter was very interesting as well and you tackled it well by pointing out how people are already integrating virtual assistants in their daily lives (I use both Alexa and Google Assistant myself). I think that implementing the help of a VA would really alleviate some of the duties from the many that library staff is responsible for, as well as create an opportunity for patrons to learn more about the usefulness of AI in our world.

    1. Thanks Esther! I got Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri going at my house and even though it feels maddening trying to remember everyone’s name (haha) it’s been nice being able to ask random questions, songs, and facts and getting them answered in mere seconds. I been testing out how far I can shout the commands and still have them answer me correctly.

  4. Great graphics! I love Canva but I never used it this way! I have to admit I have not been an adopter of VA or AI personally, but after reading your blog I can easily see how it could be incorporated into libraries. It actually dovetails with my own director’s brief about 24 hour access and unstaffed library services–which AI and VA makes even easier (and more likely). It definitely feels like we are in the middle of a huge paradigm shift, it reminds me of the late 90s (when the Internet and first appeared), now everything that they talked about 30 years ago, that seemed so far away is actually on our doorstep. To me, it feels like a great time to be a librarian.

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