AI Librarian Ellie Saves at Least 2 Jobs
Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library is the oldest cultural institution in Varna city and a leading library institution in Bulgaria with responsibilities supporting the educational, informational, social, and cultural functions. Digital transformation is in the focus of library activities in the past years.
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The library staff is not available 24/7. Outdated telephone or written correspondence in the library has been replaced by modern communication channels, such as e-mail, online chat, messenger, which take a lot of time from the librarians and interrupt their daily tasks affecting their performance.
The decision to implement an AI chatbot as a digital librarian was taken as part of the measures to restructure and optimize the work process. The tasks assigned to the AI chatbot upgraded existing services. The use of an AI chatbot is mainly focused on providing information on topics most widely used in the communication “reader / user-librarian-reader”, as well as performing searches in the library database. Created in 2019, Ellie became the 1st AI digital assistant librarian in Bulgaria.
Since the implementation of the AI chatbot Ellie in the direct activities of the library, it resulted in:
- Saves at least 2 jobs, and the employees who have performed these activities can be redirected to other tasks that correspond to their qualifications.
- Lead to exponential increase in communication between readers and the library
- Ellie takes care of 23% of the requests for re-assignment of borrowed literature, one of the most successful functionalities of the chatbot
- In 2020, for 13 weeks during the lockdowns, Ellie was the only communication with the library
- Duping the pandemic, 34% to 42% of the users communicated with the chatbot at night
- Extended library working hours and successfully replaces employees after 17:00
- The AI module was trained to over 15,000 customer questions
“Through its timely and personalized help, the AI chatbot Ellie is part of the library’s overall strategy for attracting users. Its implementation has become an ideal tool for increasing the interest of the readership and the authority of the library. The chatbot provided an opportunity to take full advantage of technologies that effectively save time. The implemented innovation allows processing a huge amount of information in a short time and thanks to it to be useful both to our users and to the library itself.”
Varna Regional Library Pencho Slaveykov
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