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The Reference Technology team at Florida International University recently published an Alexa Skill that incorporates the LibAnswers API into the device’s answer bank. We have several Echo Show devices at our public service desks to meet the demands of extended hours while also enhancing public service presence beyond the reference desk.

The Green Library at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus now operates on a 24/5 schedule, allowing students to access library facilities at any time during the week. In addition, both the Hubert Library and the Engineering Library Service Center stay open past times when personal reference assistance is available. This project aims to encourage lifelong learning and independent thinking while providing point-of-need library communications to students via LibAnswers and the Amazon Echo Show.

After this workshop attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the major smart speakers in the industry in order to discern the best option for their project.

  2. Identify several factors to consider when beginning a voice recognition project in order to incorporate a UX-First design.

  3. Develop an Alexa Skill by training the AI model to recognize utterances, querying LibAnswers for information retrieval, and display responses to the end-user.


The presenter was invited to present this lecture at the 2020 Tampa Bay Library Consortium Technology Conference.

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