Webinar to shed light on future of AI in libraries

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Jisc is hosting an interactive webinar to encourage the library community to be bold in digitisation choices to support research and researchers with collections, and to feel more confident with the impending introduction of AI into the community. Jodie Double of the University of Leeds and Ines Byrne of the National Library of Scotland will join Peter Findlay of Jisc’s content and discovery team on the webinar on 22 November 2023.

AI seems set to become intrinsic to many areas of tech, humanities, science and research. The webinar will examine how higher education libraries might respond to the demand for more data and make their collections AI ready to support new forms of humanities, arts, and social sciences (HASS) research.

Ines Byrne, digital transition manager at the National Library of Scotland, has been overseeing the successful delivery of collections via the Data Foundry, the library’s datasets of collections. During the webinar, Ines will cover why they built the Foundry, what the challenges were in doing so, and what might the opportunities be for universities to get collections out there to address the needs of both researchers and machines.

Jodie Double, digital content and copyright manager at the University of Leeds, will discuss the risks for organisations when publishing collections and how to think about and manage them. She will also explore how to move forward through a digitisation process that provides access to collections so both people and machines can consume them in an age of AI.

Jodie has been involved in a wide variety of digital collection and preservation initiatives at Leeds and is currently considering how the library can best release data collections.

Following the success of the Jisc Podcast miniseries “Is AI for Me? Perspectives from the Humanities”, aimed at supporting librarians who work with humanities, arts and social science researchers in the digital age, Jisc recognised the need for researchers to gain the most from AI technologies. They need to develop skills and methods to utilise tools, and equally importantly, to be able to access data easily and transparently to undertake research.

Paola Marchionni, head of engagement, content and discovery in Jisc’s digital resources team, said: “Libraries have a huge role to play to widen the use of their collections in the age of AI and to ensure that collections are prepared and managed in ways that support both human-led and machine-led approaches.

“This is all very complex, and institutions are at different stages in this journey. With this webinar, and hopefully more to follow, we at Jisc are keen to explore what libraries are doing and how we can best support the sector.”

Jodie Double added: “Due to the complexity of digital collections, it is important to harness the collective knowledge and skills of information specialists. Through a collaborative effort by research software engineers and experts in the field of digital humanities, along with librarians and archivists, we can mitigate potential risks whilst delivering substantial benefits to our local community of users. This will in turn open up new opportunities for knowledge creation and insights into our collective collections.”

To hear how you can make sure your collection is AI ready with Ines and Jodie, register here for the webinar.

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