Emerging Technology Planning – An Artificial Intelligence System

Introduction

Professor Stephens shared a few articles about technology, and I have used those to write blogs about my experiences along with sharing what I would do in certain situations. One of those articles spoke about beacon technology that was being used to help museum goers access artifact information on their cellular devices as they passed within proximity of that artifact. This led me to think about a solution that could help the Dr. Martin Luther King Library (MLK) which is located on San Jose State University’s campus. The solution wouldn’t exactly be a beacon or use that technology in particular, but instead, it would help everyone looking for a new novel or podcast without spending too much time online or in the library scanning bookshelf after bookshelf.

Purpose and Benefits

I have proven to myself that technology can be implemented in almost any aspect of our lives. I am proposing an Artificial Intelligence program that helps avid readers find their next adventure, whether it be through the Wizarding World or for a first time Joe Rogan experience. I know what you are thinking, “That idea already exists in libraries.” Well, yes, but I am talking about a widely implemented Netflix or Spotify experience across all libraries and platforms. This system will be implemented with a new database and will allow children, teenagers and parents of all ages to find suggested readings based on their history and current selections. 

Artificial Intelligence will offer a new, updated recommendations tool. It will not be meant to take away librarian positions, but in fact solidify employees working in their library. Artificial Intelligence will help library patrons by allowing new computer systems to be installed, which will lead to having the latest technology in libraries; a new user interface (UI) that will include images of the titles or podcasts with descriptions, which in turn, will lead to a new way of finding titles faster than ever before and the ease of having all of the information above stored in your account where you can access it from anywhere. This may seem like a small addition to a library, but if you are like me, you know that finding different titles can be a daunting task especially if you already read or listened to their recommended section. 

Details about the library

The MLK library has four self-checkout stations on the ground floor including computer systems on each floor in various sections. We also have coin machines and printers where students can pay to print out assignments or anything they find interesting (B&W 15-29 cents per page and 46-91 cents for Color). The MLK also has a Teen HQ where primarily high school students have access to a gaming lounge, a recording studio included with high quality microphones, Pro Tools (music software), sound boards and speakers. The Makerspace 3D printers, CNC machines, Serger’s, Soldering Irons and Vinyl Cutters are available through the Teen HQ but are also free for SJSU students, faculty and staff. This would be a fantastic location to roll out the Artificial Intelligence tool. Along with the change, the library could also add an additional area in the Teen HQ focused on programming and Artificial Intelligence. This would allow new opportunities for learning not only for the MLK’s patrons, but for its staff and volunteers as well. 

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service

  1. Ability to optimize and improve internal business operations within the library
  2. Enhance the library check-out systems by providing updated features, functionality and performance
  3. Help make patrons more aware of other library services it offers (Teen HQ, etcetera)
  4. Promote A.I. (technology) based learning in the Teen HQ alongside the Makerspace area
  5. Allow patrons to see how the library appreciates and values the use of technology
  6. Include the implementation of A.I. voice assistants e.g. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Alexa that have access to the new database 

Description of Community you wish to engage

We would like to engage with everyone that visits the library, from San Jose State University students to Professors at the University as well as the patrons and the Homeless community that help keep the libraries’ doors open. Another important group that the library will be engaging with are the individuals that work in the technology sector including engineers and computer system analysts.

Action Brief Statement

For patrons

Convincing library visitors that by implementing Artificial Intelligence they will have an easier time browsing and choosing novels and podcasts which will allow for more time spent in the library relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere because the work of browsing for novels and guessing what titles might be interesting are already done for them.    

For staff

Convince library staff and administrators that by having Artificial Intelligence added to the library’s automation system they will have more free time to work on projects that have been left on hold which will help change the way the library functions because of the small implementation that will eventually take care of a fairly sized task.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

Relating to A.I.

Artificial Intelligence. (2019, February 05). Retrieved October 08, 2020, from http://www.ala.org/tools/future/trends/artificialintelligence

Garcia-Febo, L. (2019, February 21). Exploring AI. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/exploring-ai/

Libris A ProQuest Co., E. (2019, April 15). How AI Can Enhance the Value of Research Libraries. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=how-ai-can-enhance-the-value-of-research-libraries

Wheatley, A., & Hervieux, S. (2019, January 01). Artificial intelligence in academic libraries: An environmental scan. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://content.iospress.com/articles/information-services-and-use/isu190065

Relating to Libraries

Coleman, C. N. (n.d.). Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://library.stanford.edu/projects/artificial-intelligence

Cox, A. M., Pinfield, S., & Rutter, S. (2019). The intelligent library: Thought leaders’ views on the likely impact of artificial intelligence on academic libraries. Library Hi Tech, 37(3), 418–435. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1108/LHT-08-2018-0105

Massis, B. (2018). Artificial intelligence arrives in the library. Information and Learning Science, 119(7/8), 456–459. https://doi.org/10.1108/ils-02-2018-0011

Schreur, P. E. (2020). The Use of Linked Data and Artificial Intelligence as Key Elements in the Transformation of Technical Services. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 58(5), 473–485. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1080/01639374.2020.1772434

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service

The Artificial Intelligence recommendation tool will have to be added to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. library’s existing list of Policies & Procedures. The goal will also be written in their Library Mission and Goals in addition to their five-year strategic plan. The most important involved group besides the American Library Association will be the library itself and, if needed, the university that is associated with that library. They will be able to help and guide the process through to its end. The MLK’s Policies & Procedures site is the most appropriate place to look at example policies, if one is not familiar with the process already. We will not be needing this information per say but being added to the Technology and Internet policy would be beneficial.  

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service

Staff at the MLK library will have the option to learn about the new recommendation tool and how it works. Training will be provided by the providers and they will be available until the staff feel comfortable to help patrons without hesitation. Everyone works at their own pace, but an end goal will be set, and this will give everyone a goal to work forward to. As far as payment methods are concerned, Artificial Intelligence custom solutions can cost anywhere from six thousand to three-hundred thousand dollars, but the price could vary and increase depending on the customization. The type of customization that will be implemented may not be that expensive, but overtime, the Return on Investment (ROI) will also increase substantially, if used and marketed correctly. The best way to receive funding will be through government funding either through the city or the county (if planning to expand). 

The pro-bono contract will include the rate being charged, the payment schedule, project scope, as well as limitation of warranty, payment logistics, severability and integration, among other terms. In-kind contributions will not be necessary because the library will take the upfront cost. The goal is to provide a new system, way to search, and experience for the MLK’s patrons. 

Action Steps & Timeline

The A.I. project will be prototyped on paper or sketched out using graphic design tools showing each of the following steps from beginning to end. The timeline could extend out to more than a year if needed but could be completed in as little as eight months. As long as the Dean, Outreach and User Engagement, and Technology Coordinator agree on the preliminary plans, the rest of the steps will flow smoothly. The overall goal will be to finish in as little time as possible. 

Here is an example of a proposed timeline:

Months 1 – 3 (Phase 1 (Development) – Up to 12 weeks):

  1. Idea is pitched to lower level staff, gathering feedback with Research and Development (R&D) [1 week]
  2. Idea is pitched to Dean and executives, deciding on whether it will continue or not [1 week]
  3. Reach out to patrons and public, gathering feedback about the idea [2 weeks]
    1. If enough agree with the idea, continue
    2. If not enough agree, revisit step 1
  4. Reach out to an Artificial Intelligence Consultant(s) and their team [1 week]
  5. Define the project goals [1 week]
  6. Define milestones [1 week]
  7. Decide on the timeframe [1 week]
  8. Review the funding considerations and payment options with ROI timeline [2 weeks]
  9. Re-evaluate with all staff, Dean and executives to ensure best case scenarios [1 week]
  10. Close out first phase of implementation [1 week]

Phase 1 timeline total: 12 weeks

Months 4 – 8 (Phase 2 (Implementation) – Up to 16 weeks):

  1. Begin to develop new database for library (including everything the previous catalog contained) [5 weeks]
  2. Install new touch pad check-out stations on every floor *7 public floors* [2.5 weeks]
  3. Purchase & Install A.I. voice assistants on every floor *7 public floors* [1 week]
  4. Implementation, installing database to new check out stations [2 weeks] 
  5. Testing phase 1 [2 weeks]
  6. Testing phase 2 with corrections [2 weeks]  
  7. Training employees phase 1 & 2 [1.5 weeks]
  8. Grand Opening and Evaluation Period [Day of]

Phase 2 timeline total: 16 weeks

*Plan listed above is subject to the minimal time designing and implementing an Artificial Intelligence system in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library including the minimal amount of testing time. The recommended plan for a project of this nature is 52 weeks (1 year) accounting for change, error and additional testing.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

The MLK Library will have two temporary specialists, from the consultants team, and two volunteers that will join the library during the middle part of phase two when the testing phases 1 and 2 are underway. The volunteers on the team will be for moral support. The ideal candidates will be past project managers who have knowledge in A.I. or have worked on massive projects of any kind. They will be able to provide their past experiences as examples. The specialists will be able to help until two weeks after the implementation and project have been deemed a success while the volunteers can stay as long as they like. 

One way the MLK Library can generate more hours is by providing workshops on Artificial Intelligence by bringing in data scientists, and A.I. specialists to instruct various classes catered towards teens, college students and adults. The library will offer tours to those professionals who sign up and from there they can reach out to those who might be interested.   

Training for this Technology or Service

Training will be designed to get library staff and personnel, along with volunteers to up to speed on the new interface and Artificial Intelligence technology. When new volunteers join the library, they will be enrolled in a two-hour training course on how to use and help others use the new platform. Patrons will be able to learn about the new system through the MLK Library website. The Library will list the steps needed to use the new system successfully. 

The Information Technology Services group will be the first to use the tool with hands-on experience. After the group feels comfortable, they will work with the hired consultants to come up with the training phases listed in the timeline above. The best way to deliver the training will be as an online class put together by the consultants/ITS group. Once the group decides on the course(s) and a deadline, staff and volunteers can complete that before they start assisting patrons. There will be an added section to the MLK Library website with all the information outlining how to use the tools and benefits as well.  

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

The MLK Library uses the largest social media platforms to communicate with their patrons and followers. The new technology will be advertised using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in posts that show how it works. Basic marketing will also be used to encourage new visitors as well as existing to come and see the new check-out stations and system. The Library has over two-thousand three hundred followers on Twitter, over two-thousand followers on Facebook and the same for their Instagram page. The new Marketing goal will be to attract new users from all working sectors so we can gather data through surveys. Promoting the new system to San Jose State University students will be the easiest, since the library stands tall adjacent to the tower lawn and across the street from San Jose City Hall. There is no doubt that this library is slow on any day of the week. 

During the day, hundreds of students come in and out of the library’s doors eager to find a spot to sit in and either relax or study. Having banners around the library or promoting the system on the library’s website will sure catch the attention of many. The library can write posts on their social media platforms and tag “@SJSU” so that students and others following can catch up on what is happening. Advertising to the public could be tricky but the best way is to ‘focus your efforts on writing compelling titles that draw and encourage people to click through and continue reading (Beese, 2016)’. Having a catchy title will be great for all the newcomers but for the loyal patrons that visit the library regardless, they will visit no matter what. 

Evaluation

For Patrons

Guests and visitors will have a chance to fill out surveys after they have used the new system and then after six months. In the survey, the library will ask about the ease of use and what improvements they would like to see going forward. After each class or training session, the library would be open to feedback about how patrons think these groundbreaking changes are.  

For Staff

Staff and volunteers will be able to use the metrics and benchmarking for improvements overtime. After a couple months of collected data, the library will be able to evaluate the attendance for classes, the surveys, social media input and any other feedback collected. 

The MLK Library’s stories about these changes with feedback will allow other libraries in the branch or district to mimic the same process. The library will be adding 21st century technology into library settings, allowing for the growth of new and future technologies. We are giving our patrons an opportunity to learn something that will change our lives going forward. The goal will be to gather at least a couple of years’ worth of data then bring that to the attention of the County of Santa Clara. With the data collected, the County will be able to decide if branching off to different locations will be suitable and beneficial for that area.  

References:

Beese, J. (2016, August 16). 5 Highly Effective Ways to Increase Social Media Shares. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-shares/

Danielsen, A. (2017, October 27). How long will your machine learning project take? Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://medium.com/collektive/how-long-will-your-machine-learning-project-take-f6d9ce31cdaa

How to Create a Project Management Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/how-to-create-a-project-management-plan/

King Library Floor Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://library.sjsu.edu/floor-plans/king-library-floor-plans

Quiambao, L. (2019, January 23). How to Write a Project Plan in 8 Easy Steps. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.wrike.com/blog/how-to-write-a-project-plan-easy-steps/

SJSU Library Staff Directory. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://library.sjsu.edu/staff-directory/sjsu-library-staff-directory

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