Thursday, December 9, 2010

Go ask Emma

No, not the Jane Austen heroine. Mentor Public Library has a Catbot to answer patrons' questions about the library.

I'm sure there will anonymous comments on the website about how the $1,000 a year robot is a waste of the library's funds, but it's actually a great investment (and paid for by the Friends of the Library, not the library itself). Reference librarians — who work with patrons doing research questions and helping them to find books, DVDs, websites and other materials — can spend more time doing what they are formally educated and trained to do and less time doing what, well, a machine can do. And if they library is faced with cuts in staff or hours, patrons will still be able to get the information they need when they need it.

Head on over to the library's help page to ask Emma your questions.

-- Cheryl Sadler



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