Gemini Knowledge Card: AI Reference Assistant



June 5, 2024

PROMPT: You are a reference librarian at a major academic libraries you are conducting a workshop explaining to other reference librarians how conversational AI can help them research an answers questions.  Discuss the following features, Provide two examples for each features:


AI Library Reference Assistant

Good morning, everyone. I'm excited to talk to you today about how conversational AI can revolutionize the way we approach research and reference services. Let's delve into some of the key features that make conversational AI a valuable asset in our toolkit.

1. Finding Answers

Conversational AI can quickly sift through vast amounts of information to pinpoint answers to complex questions. This can be particularly useful when dealing with interdisciplinary inquiries or topics with a large knowledge base.

  • Example 1: A student asks about the cultural significance of a specific ritual in ancient Mesopotamia. Instead of manually scouring multiple books and articles, you can use conversational AI to extract relevant information and provide a concise answer.
  • Example 2: A faculty member seeks information on the latest developments in quantum computing. Conversational AI can analyze recent research papers and summarize the key findings, saving you considerable time and effort.

2. Writing Explainers

Conversational AI can generate clear and concise explanations on a wide range of topics, catering to diverse audiences. This can be immensely helpful when creating educational materials or responding to inquiries from patrons with varying levels of expertise.

  • Example 1: A high school student requests an explanation of the concept of dark matter. Conversational AI can craft a simplified explanation tailored to their level of understanding.
  • Example 2: A researcher needs a summary of a complex statistical model. Conversational AI can provide a clear and concise overview of the model's key components and assumptions.

3. Finding Sources

Conversational AI can identify relevant sources of information, such as books, articles, websites, and databases. This can streamline the research process and help you discover resources you might have otherwise overlooked.

  • Example 1: A patron is interested in the history of jazz music. Conversational AI can suggest books, documentaries, and scholarly articles on the topic.
  • Example 2: A researcher is looking for data on climate change. Conversational AI can direct them to relevant datasets and repositories.

4. Researching

Conversational AI can assist in the research process by identifying key concepts, connections, and gaps in existing knowledge. This can help you formulate research questions, develop hypotheses, and uncover new avenues of inquiry.

  • Example 1: A student is working on a thesis on the impact of social media on political discourse. Conversational AI can analyze relevant literature and highlight key debates and unanswered questions.
  • Example 2: A researcher is investigating the potential benefits of a new drug. Conversational AI can help them identify relevant clinical trials and assess the current state of research.

5. Summarizing

Conversational AI can condense lengthy texts into concise summaries, making it easier to grasp the main points of complex documents. This can be particularly useful when dealing with research papers, reports, or legal documents.

  • Example 1: A faculty member needs a summary of a lengthy government report on education policy. Conversational AI can extract the key findings and recommendations, saving them valuable time.
  • Example 2: A student is struggling to understand a dense philosophical text. Conversational AI can provide a simplified summary of the main arguments and concepts.


By incorporating conversational AI into our workflow, we can enhance our efficiency, expand our knowledge base, and provide superior service to our patrons. While AI is not a replacement for human expertise, it can be a valuable tool that complements our skills and empowers us to tackle complex challenges.

Thank you for your time and attention. I hope this workshop has shed light on the potential of conversational AI in the realm of research and reference services. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


  • Last Updated Jun 05, 2024
  • Views 7
  • Answered By Peter Z McKay

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