Journal article: “How artificial intelligence could change the work of academic libraries: applying the literature on skills and theory of professions”

The article linked below was recently published by the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).


How Artificial Intelligence Could Change the Work of Academic Libraries: Applying Skills Literature and Occupational Theory


Andrew Cox
University of Sheffield


Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 114.

DO I: 10.1002/asi.24635


The likely impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on work, including professional work, is disputed, but unlikely to leave them untouched. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to examine the likelihood of adoption of different approaches to AI in academic libraries. As theoretical lenses to guide the analysis, the article draws on both the literature in library and information science (LIS) on the skills of librarians and on the notions of jurisdiction and hybrid logics derived from the sociological theory of professions. The article begins by outlining these theories, then reviews the nature of AI and the range of its potential uses in academic libraries. The main focus of the article is the application of AI to knowledge discovery. Eleven different potential approaches that libraries could adopt for such AI applications are analyzed and their likelihood assessed. Then, it is examined how a series of internal and external factors could influence the adoption of AI. In addition to reflecting on the possible impact of AI on librarianship, the article contributes to understanding how to synthesize the literature on skills with the theory of the profession and presents a new understanding of librarians as hybrids.

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