12 Digital Initiatives and Library 2.0

We have already talked about electronic resources and digital initiatives as part of the broader offerings of libraries, but they still warrant specific mention in their section. Part of being a librarian in the modern world is understanding digital technologies enough to teach patrons how to use these abilities themselves.

The modern library, also known as Library 2.0, is a new approach to library services that emphasizes user-centeredness, collaboration, and the use of technology. This new paradigm shifts the focus from traditional library services to one that is more responsive to the changing needs of library users and the wider community.

One of the key features of Library 2.0 is the use of Digital Initiatives to enhance library services. This includes the use of digital technologies such as the Internet, social media, and mobile devices to provide access to information and resources. For example, libraries now offer online databases, e-books, and digital exhibits and collections that can be accessed from anywhere. The use of open-source programs like Omeka has made patron-focused online exhibits and collections creation increasingly easy and intuitive. Modern libraries also provide access to digital tools such as 3D printers and virtual reality headsets to support learning and innovation.

Another important aspect of Library 2.0 is the emphasis on collaboration and user-centeredness. Libraries are now working closely with community organizations and other partners to co-create services and programs that meet the needs of their users. This approach encourages active participation and engagement and allows libraries to respond more effectively to the changing needs of their communities. Digital initiatives can also allow libraries to collect feedback and data from patrons who visit the associated websites, which can help them better understand and respond to the needs and preferences of their users.

Digital literacy is also an important aspect of Library 2.0. Libraries are now providing digital literacy training and resources to help patrons learn how to access, evaluate, and use digital information effectively and safely. This includes training on how to use digital tools, how to identify credible sources of information, and how to protect personal information online.

Overall, the modern library, or Library 2.0, is a new approach to library services that emphasizes user-centeredness, collaboration, and the use of technology. It represents a shift from traditional library services to one that is more responsive to the changing needs of library users and the wider community. With the help of digital initiatives, libraries are now providing access to information and resources that are more convenient and accessible than ever before. This approach is helping to create a more informed, engaged, and digitally literate society.

Artificial Intelligence and Library 2.0

A word cloud on words related to artificial intelligence.
With the advent of GPT 3.5, GPT 4, and other AI tools, knowledge of artificial intelligence and how to interact with it is becoming increasingly important in the context of digital literacy.

When we first wrote this textbook, we used an artificial intelligence tool known as ChatGPT, also known now as GPT 3.5, to create several of its chapters. We did not imagine that a more powerful and capable version of GPT would be created by OpenAI.ChatGPT is a natural language processing model that uses syntax, context, and its rigorous body of text that it has already analyzed to provide thorough and accurate responses to uses prompts and queries. While there are many limitations and drawbacks to ChatGPT’s operations, there are also many benefits to using this technology and other technologies in education. As students and many other members of the public are using ChatGPT at an increasing rate for a wide range of activities, librarians should at least know how to use this technology. If they do not use it themselves, they will at least be able to help others navigate the use of this tool.

ChatGPT was released by Open AI in November 2022. Almost immediately, students, researchers, and others began to harness a wide range of uses for this artificial intelligence. ChatGPT was used to write school essays and academic research papers, advertisements, and public service announcements. Even religious scholars used ChatGPT to write sermons. As noted above, we used ChatGPT to write some parts of this textbook. Some of these uses were ethical. For example, we took ChatGPT’s output and edited it to be as correct as possible and fit within the context of the textbook we were writing. Other uses can be argued to not be ethical, such as using ChatGPT to write a school paper when it is assumed that one will write the paper on their own without any external assistance. Some professionals even regard the use of ChatGPT in professional contexts to be unethical. For example, the journal Science completely banned any content that was generated with artificial intelligence. Even content that has been modified heavily since it was generated through AI is not allowed. Other journals have less strict rules.

Artificial Intelligence is much more than ChatGPT. For example, it has been built upon and improved in the next model created by OpenAI, GPT 4. ChatGPT was renamed to GPT 3.5, and ChatGPT refers to both services. GPT 3.5 refers to the legacy version of ChatGPT. The old version primarily responded in narrative text in English. It could occasionally form tables and code, and could even create basic musical notation using the ABC computer-readable system. GPT 4, on the other hand, can take basic text, or phrases, and generate a wide range of outputs, including tables, music notation, text in languages other than English, and whole website templates. It can also explain mathematical principles and applications in easy-to-understand texts. In addition to narrative products, GPT 4 can also write in rhyming poetry. There are also a host of plugins and custom GPTs available for GPT 4 users. However, you must pay a subscription fee for access to GPT 4.

Other artificial intelligence tools include Nolej, which uses GPT-3 to generate interactive educational formative assessments that use H5P. Another use of AI is Jasper.ai, which incorporates GPT 3 into marketing and advertising assets. Bing, Google, Notion, and BandLab are other organizations that have incorporated ChatGPT and similar AI tools into their preexisting services and products. Every day there are new applications or Generative AI tools created for almost every kind of media.

Programming and Professional Development

How should Library 2.0 respond to these developments? Should librarians assist patrons in learning how to use AI if they suspect that the patrons have unethical motives? Should there be age or context restrictions regarding ChatGPT use like there are for other websites and technologies? These are all answers that individual libraries and librarians will have to answer for themselves.

If there is to be any educational programming or services related to GPT in the library, it should probably be related to the art of prompt engineering. Prompt engineering is the process of creating the most effective input for an artificial intelligence tool, service, or system. If the prompt has been engineered enough, the results, output, or product, will be close to the goal of the user. If a user does not make much of an effort to refine or calibrate their input, the tool will not have much guidance on what exactly is desired in the output. Therefore, you will have to continuously refine the prompt or ask it to repeat its previous output but change specific elements. At times, even well-engineered prompts will result in content that must be run through multiple refinements. This is a process called “iteration.” Occasionally, especially in regards to ChatGPT 3.5, the result of the last prompt will lose one or more of the desirable qualities of the products generated for the first prompt. Still, sometimes it is helpful to have a broader prompt at first and then be increasingly specific. At the very least, though, you should make a plan of what exactly you want to receive from the AI tool.

Librarians, educators, and other professionals can help members of the public learn how to create the most effective prompts for AI through classes, seminars, and handouts. For some guidance on providing content and programming, you can consult a presentation given to Reed Hepler to the Idaho Library Association called Proactively Enhancing Patron Technology Literacy.

Artificial Intelligence Groups

There are multiple groups meant to assist librarians in navigating a Library 2.0 world. Even if one does not support the use of Artificial Intelligence in the world, they should at least embrace the reality of AI Literacy. Two major communities of practice exist. The first, Artificial Intelligence for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, is an international, participatory organization.

The second organization is called Artificial Intelligence in Libraries, and was created by Reed Hepler and multiple colleagues. While many of its members are from academic libraries, and the United States, there are participants from many types of libraries from around the world. They have monthly meetings and discuss best practices and use cases.

Generative Artificial Intelligence Tools

Here are some tools that the authors have found useful in their work with various outputs. All of these are open or at least have a persistently-free tier available to users. The authors are committed to promoting equitable access to technology and open, or at least free, technological tools.


ChatGPT: chat.openai.com

Google Bard: bard.google.com

Bing.AI: bing.com/?/ai


Getimg.ai: getimg.ai

Dall-e 2: openai.com/dall-e-2

Freeflo: freeflo.ai

Canva Free Text-to-Image Generator: canva.com/your-apps

Microsoft Designer: designer.microsoft.com/

Ideogram: ideogram.ai

Lexica: lexica.art

Playground: playground.com

Leonardo.ai: leonardo.ai

Text-to-Speech Audio

Text-to-Speech Online: https://www.text-to-speech.online/

Speechify: speechify.com

Music Audio

Riffusion: riffusion.com


Adobe Express Animate-from-audio tool: https://new.express.adobe.com/tools/animate-from-audio.

Typpo: typpo.app

Website Design

Deblank: deblank.com

AI Content Checker – see Guidance on AI Detection and Why We’re Disabling Turnitin’s AI Detector 





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Introduction to Library and Information Science Copyright © 2023 by College of Southern Idaho is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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