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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a disruptive but transformative technology that can bring value to libraries by enabling increased library use, optimizing collection analysis, and enhancing the user experience. Library and information professionals must keep abreast of advances in AI technologies in order to provide innovative and value-added services, access, and collection development. Issues about inequality, discrimination, data  privacy, and bias, combined with the costs and evolving nature of AI, influence the adoption of AI in academic, research, and other libraries and information environments.

IDEA (Innovation, Disruption, Enquiry, Access) Institute on AI is a one-week intensive, interactive, evidence based and applications-oriented professional development program for library and information professionals. To date the Institute has created two cohorts of Fellows through the nationwide efforts of recruiting library and information professionals who represent diverse socio-demographic backgrounds, types of positions, types of libraries, and capacities of implementing AI in their workplace.

The purpose of the IDEA Institute is to build and enhance the knowledge and skills of current and future library and information professionals in AI through developing theoretical (conceptual) and practical experiences in a collaborative learning environment. This Institute also aims to build a collective community of AI leaders in which Fellows will bring and share their work experience and professional practice to design, develop, evaluate, and implement AI solutions for their workplaces.

The team of organizers and instructors have expertise in a variety of fields including designing AI projects, evaluating AI salutations, AI impact and values, ethics of AI, algorithmic bias, machine learning, intellectual property, semantics, metadata, linked data, user experience, equity of information access, diversity and inclusion, and information behavior. The team also brings diverse library and information professional backgrounds such as libraries, industry, higher education, research and administration. The team has co-developed the curriculum for the Institute and co-designed the Pre-Onboarding and Post-Institute activities. Each year 15-20 Fellows will become part of a professional network and engage in mentoring activities over the course of the program.

Goals of the IDEA Institute on AI include:

  1. Develop an innovative and continuing education program on AI in library and information environments.
  2. Develop AI leaders in library and information environments, who individually, and as a collective, can innovate and create better awareness of AI as "transformative" technology.
  3. Contribute AI curriculum to fill a gap in AI education in LIS programs and library and information environments.