Library Watch
Android librarian ushers in the future of library
A reader interacts with android librarian Tu Xiaoling

The intelligent bookshelf at Shanghai Library can make an inventory of books and also locate a book on a real-time basis.
Visitors to Shanghai Library has recently met a new “librarian” at the registration desk in the lobby on the ground floor. Its name is Tu Xiaoling, the first android librarian introduced by Shanghai Library which made its debut at the groundbreaking ceremony of Shanghai Library East in 2017.

“Currently, the android and the human librarian are complementary to each other. In some cases, assistance from the human librarian is needed to provide certain services. While the android librarian answers repetitive questions raised by the readers without feeling tired, the human librarian can put more effort in providing consultancy in areas that are more complicated and professional,” said Shanghai Library.

Going electronic and intelligent are the two major trends in the development of libraries. The early stage of going intelligent took the form of the self-borrowing service and device, such as the 24-hr book pavilion. The next steps are precise identification, mobile borrowing and customized information push. The android librarian is one of the practices Shanghai Library has adopted in its development of going intelligent. Apart from the android, there will be several intelligent applications the library provides for its readers.

In the future, Shanghai Library East will give full play to the intelligent library. When asked what kind of experience and service the readers can have in an intelligent library, librarians of Shanghai Library say it all depends on the readers.

In other words, the library will be what the readers need.