Crash Course: Understanding and Using AI Tools in Library Programs and Services

AI tools and technology have transformative potential. Our news and social media feeds are full of discussion about how this rapidly changing area can change our jobs, education, and the foundation of how we live. For those who lack basic knowledge of the technology behind generative AI and the different classes of tools and applications it currently offers, the idea of figuring out how to use and implement this technology is intimidating. 

In this new four-part crash course, library technology expert Nicole Hennig will provide you with the grounding you need. As a library staff member, it is essential to stay informed about the latest AI technologies, their ethical implications, and their potential to help create equitable and engaging library services. In this series, you’ll learn the essentials of how AI technology works; the difference between generative AI and other types of AI; gain a working knowledge of the different tools currently available; and, perhaps most importantly, how these can be applied in a library setting.

This four-part event includes the following sessions (all sessions also available for individual purchase):

After participating in this four-part series, you will:

  • Understand some basic principles behind the fundamental technologies behind generative AI
  • Understand the different types of AI and how generative AI is different
  • Gain a basic knowledge of how generative AI tools can be used effectively in a library setting
  • Be familiar with some of the best educational tools based on these technologies
  • Gain inspiration and creative ideas for using generative AI in your library

Demonstrations will include the use of both free and paid versions of these tools. You can do everything we talk about with free tools, but it’s recommended that you experiment with some of the paid tools in order to expand your knowledge of the possibilities. Pricing information will be provided.

Nicole Hennig is an expert in user experience and emerging technologies. She is currently an e-learning developer at the University of Arizona Libraries. Previously, she worked for the MIT Libraries as head of the user experience department. In her 14 years of experience at MIT, she won awards for innovation and worked to keep academics up to date with the best mobile technologies. Now she has her own business helping librarians stay current with new technologies. She is the author of several books, including Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies, and Apps for Librarians. Like most librarians, she is passionate about access to information for all. You can sign up for her newsletter and learn more on her website.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after each session ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.