At A Glance: ARL Members on Generative AI


Early in May, ARL conducted a quick poll of its member representatives to get a grasp on their "current perspectives on generative AI adoption, its potential implications, and the role of libraries in AI-driven environments."

There were four key findings included in a blog post dated May 9, 2023.

1. The perception of generative AI from those surveyed was largely positive in terms of how ARL library representatives believed it might enhance library services in the near-term.

2. Asked to what extent their institutional library might be currently exploring or actively implementing generative AI technologies, most respondents indicated engagement as being in initial stages of exploration. Only 11% indicated that they were actively implementing use of generative AI technologies.

3. As to what applications they thought would be potentially most relevant and impactful on library operations, directors indicated that chatbots for user services would be the most likely form to be implemented over the next 12 months. However close behind were automated cataloging and metadata and work in research data analysis.

4. Survey results indicate significant concerns within ARL institutions about the technology's impact on academic integrity, publishing, authorship, and research integrity.

5. ARL Libraries expect to begin integrating discussions of AI into their educational work with both professional staff and students to ensure appropriate understanding of the pitfalls that may be encountered as adoption grows.

Work done by the University of Delaware, one of NISO's Voting Members, drew particular attention:

...the University of Delaware held a half-day research sprint among library staff who support research and curriculum to collaboratively learn about large language models and explore the use and potential challenges of generative AI in library services. During this research sprint, the team explored Elicit, Chat GPT, ResearchRabbit, Scholarcy, and Paper Digest. After putting each tool through its paces and articulating its strengths and weaknesses, the team discussed where they feel their expertise fits into this landscape, and how they will need to support researchers as these tools gain greater adoption.  

Similarly, a note was made that the University of Florida has a natural language processing specialist on staff to support faculty and students. 

More in-depth discussion is available on the ARL web site