A Robot in the Library

Evgenios Vlachos*, Anne Faber, Jakob Povl Holck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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If robots are to be beneficial and appealing within an international library setting, useful to patrons and cooperative with library personnel, then library culture becomes an important issue. Human-robot interaction designers need to consider technological factors, the library culture, as well as expectations from users to develop a solution that could withstand the fall of time and not atone when enthusiasm is lost. We reviewed the recent literature and performed qualitative analyses of our findings to explore the tasks that are proven to have been robotized in a library, and to investigate current cultural and technological barriers that would decrease acceptance rates of robots in a library. Search of Scopus, Web of Science, IEEEXplore, and LISTA databases was conducted complemented with Google searches. Articles with scientific content were included if they described the use of a robot in a library setting, were written in English, and were published within 2016–2018. We identified 1037 references and after title, abstract and full-text screening according to the eligibility criteria we included 18 records in our analysis. We summarize the main roles of library robots as: robots for navigation, book location and placement; robots as information desks; and robots in education. Barriers towards robotic acceptance was found to be: anxiety and fear among librarians of being replaced by robots; the lack of resources (time, money, space) for maintaining a robot and the cost of organizational restructuring; maintaining the enthusiasm around it over time; and the patrons’ need for human contact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture and Computing : Proceedings of the 8th International Conference, C&C 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 19–24, 2020
EditorsMatthias Rauterberg
Publication date10. Jul 2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-50266-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-50267-6
Publication statusPublished - 10. Jul 2020
Event8th International Conference on Culture and Computing: Held as part of HCI International 2020 - Virtual Conference
Duration: 19. Jul 202019. Jul 2020
Conference number: 8


Conference8th International Conference on Culture and Computing
CityVirtual Conference
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Cultural barriers
  • Library
  • Literature search
  • Robot
  • Technological benefits


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