Artificial Intelligence in Libraries in the Late 1980’s and Early 1990’s

August 2, 2018 at 10:04AM DigitalKoans Artificial Intelligence in Libraries in the Late 1980’s and Early 1990’s

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In the late 1980's and early 1990's, academic libraries were creating prototype and operational expert systems using expert system shells and logic programming languages, such as Prolog.

A snapshot of this activity in ARL libraries is:

Expert Systems in ARL Libraries, SPEC Kit 174. Bailey, Charles W., Jr., and Judy E. Myers. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 1991.

In-depth treatments include:

Alberico, Ralph, and Mary Micco. Expert Systems For Reference and Information Retrieval. Westport: Meckler, 1990.

Aluri, Rao., and Donald E. Riggs, eds. Expert Systems in Libraries. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex, 1990.

You can get a sense of the AI activities in research libraries during this period by reading articles about the University of Houston Libraries' grant-funded Intelligent Reference Information System Project, which was prototyped in expert system shells and completed in Prolog. The Prolog code was freely distributed to over 500 libraries and other institutions (on floppy disk!).

Bailey, Charles W., Jr., and Robin N. Downes. "Intelligent Reference Information System (IRIS)," In 101 Success Stories of Information Technology in Higher Education: The Joe Wyatt Challenge," ed. Judith V. Boettcher, 402-407. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "The Intelligent Reference Information System Project: A Merger of CD-ROM LAN and Expert System Technologies." Information Technology and Libraries 11 (September 1992): 237-244.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr., and Thomas C. Wilson. "The Intelligent Reference Information System CD-ROM Network." In Library LANs: Case Studies in Practice and Application, ed. Marshall Breeding, 157-171. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1992.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Building Knowledge-Based Systems for Public Use: The Intelligent Reference Systems Project at the University of Houston Libraries." In Convergence: Proceedings of the Second National Conference of the Library and Information Technology Association, October 2-6, 1988, ed. Michael Gorman, 190-194. Chicago: American Library Association., 1990.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr., and Kathleen Gunning. "The Intelligent Reference Information System." CD-ROM Librarian 5 (September 1990): 10-19.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr., Jeff Fadell, Judy E. Myers, and Thomas C. Wilson. "The Index Expert System: A Knowledge-Based System to Assist Users in Index Selection." Reference Services Review 17, no. 4 (1989): 19-28.

For an example of contemporaneous thinking about AI potentials among librarians, see:

Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Intelligent Library Systems: Artificial Intelligence Technology and Library Automation Systems." In Advances in Library Automation and Networking, vol. 4, ed. Joe A. Hewitt, 1-23. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1991.

There has been very little activity in this area since the turn of the 21st century, but here's an example:

Ma, Wei. "A Database Selection Expert System Based On Reference Librarian's Database Selection Strategy: A Usability and Empirical Evaluation." Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 53 no. 7 (2002): 567-580.

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Charles W. Bailey, Jr. is the publisher of Digital Scholarship and a digital artist.


This entry was posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 at 11:35 am and is filed under ARL Libraries, Artificial Intelligence/Robots, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication.


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