Strategies for Librarians in the Hot Seat
by Dick Kaser
IT is once again commanding headlines this spring. From the latest AI chatbots to the social media and content wars, it’s difficult to take it all in. The authors in this issue help you focus on AI as a tool and social media as a weapon, highlighting e-resources and pointing out ways to navigate this volatile terrain without getting burned.
No subject has been in the news more than ChatGPT—and how it is both a blessing and a curse. In their thoughtful essay about AI in higher education, Chad Mairn and Shelbey Rosengarten—both from St. Petersburg College—liken current concerns about AI to Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, cautioning you against seeing this creation as a monster to be abandoned.
Cal LaFountain, in his article about AI tools for libraries, recommends trying ChatGPT at your reference desk and in your media lab. And Suzanne LaPierre suggests that you not shy away from facial recognition apps either—as scary as that technology may seem—as she reviews and recommends some fun and fascinating ways that museums and archives are using facial recognition and AI to open up their photo collections.
In her EDTECH article, Carolyn Foote discusses how you and your community can counter fire with fire when it comes to content challenges, and she provides a list of resources focused on how to fight back against those who would censor your diverse collection. Finally, Amy Mikel and Michael Blackwell share a way that you can take the offensive by proactively opening up your digital ebook collection to those students who have been deprived of access to certain titles, even if they reside far outside your district.
Although flames may appear to be shooting in all directions, the stories in this issue will not encourage you to panic, but rather to take advantage of the opportunities these challenges present.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor