Librarian-bot to help readers find the nearest library

Librarian-bot to help readers find the nearest library
Moscow libraries are launching a channel on Telegram.

On 21 December, a new project will be launched: thanks to a librarian-bot, Muscovites will be able to find the nearest library, learn its hours, see the top 10 most popular books and post requests on the project’s Telegram channel at @MosBibliotekaBot.

To contact the bot, you need a smartphone or a tablet, internet access and the Telegram mobile app. Switch on geolocation in the settings and subscribe to the channel.

The bot shows the nearest library on the map depending on your location, including the address, hours and telephone number.

The bot will tell users the most popular books for children and adults. For example, the adult top 10 includes The Aviator by Yevgeny Vodolazkin, Lair by Zakhar Prilepin and Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque. The children’s top 10 includes Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, Three Fat Men by Yury Olesha and Tales by Alexander Pushkin. The lists are updated every month. When choosing a book, you will also see the nearest library where this book is available.

In the chat, you can leave requests, comments and complaints about the work of libraries. You can attach videos or photos to you comment and leave contact information for feedback. However, comments and complaints can also be posted anonymously.

“Now you can open Telegram and find the nearest library, its hours and book collection,” said Vladimir Vladimirov, Acting Director General of the Directorate of Culture Centres. “We want to attract to Moscow libraries as many young people as possible, so we create modern and convenient services. If this service is in demand, the bot will be taught to answer more questions and, perhaps, even joke.”

In the future, the bot will evolve: to show not only the top 10 books but the full catalogue of Moscow libraries where the book is available. Now the bot shows only the nearest library.

Also, more information about library services will be provided, including photocopy services, wi-fi access and so on.

The Department of Culture oversees 441 libraries. In December, 414 of them, which have reading rooms with computers, were connected to the National Digital Library. This system unites the collections of Russian public libraries, scientific and educational institutions and right holders, and includes public domain books, educational and scientific books which have not been reprinted in the last 10 years, and books whose rights are obtained under an agreement with the owners. 

Libraries offer new services and innovations to clients. Since 15 October, a free SMS service to remind users about returning books has been available. A few days before the due date, a person receives an SMS alerting them that the book should be returned soon or renewed.