The potential of telepresence in libraries: students’ perspectives

Sirje Virkus, Getaneh Alemu, Marianne Paimre, Sigrid Mandre, Janika Leoste, Aleksei Talisainen, Kristel Marmor, Jaanus Pöial

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The paper presents a study of library and information science students’ perceptions and experiences related to the use of telepresence robots (TPRs) in libraries, with a specific focus on students assuming the role of library consultants. The study explores the innovative application of TPRs, such as Double, Ohmni and Temi, within library settings. The findings of the research reveal a positive perception of TPRs, emphasising their potential for fostering innovation, increasing engagement, providing flexibility and overcoming geographical constraints. The study also identifies distinct advantages of TPRs, including remote accessibility, enhanced communication, flexibility, a personalised user experience and cost savings. However, concurrent challenges, such as limitations in nonverbal communication, pointing accuracy, connectivity issues, space requirements, costs, safety, security concerns and varying levels of user acceptance emerge as crucial areas for refinement. While the results may not be generalisable due to the limited sample size, the study underscores the transformative potential of TPRs in libraries and the necessity of addressing these challenges to optimise their application. Further research, technological advancements and user feedback can help refine and optimise the use of TPRs in libraries to provide innovative and accessible assistance.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date17 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2024
Externally publishedYes

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