News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 01/10/2017
Subject :

Palo Alto City Library Enters 2017 Piloting Future Technologies: Robots and 3D Computer Workstation
Contact : Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director, Library    (650) 329 2403
Palo Alto, CA – The Palo Alto City Library (PACL) has again received a Pacific Library Partnership (PLP) Technology Grant. This grant is awarded to an idea, program, or vision that provides a new service model or brings a fresh idea or interpretation to an existing model of library service. The Library will use the 2017 grant to test drive two technology advancements aimed to usher in the future of the virtual library: two greeter robots and a design-oriented computer workstation to assist 3D-printing. In 2015 and 2016, the same grant enabled the Library to deliver the successful programs, Summer Making Plus and BikePALS.

Over the next 6 months, the library staff plans to use the grant to experiment with robot-assisted service at one of the Palo Alto City Library branches. The robots will be programmed to be a greeter, providing directional assistance such as locating the copy machine. Interns will track user experience and monitor the interactions to ensure that programming responds accurately to library customers.

In addition, the staff will deploy a powerful design workstation to run responsive and intuitive modeling software. This will allow staff to utilize the Library’s existing 3D printers to the fullest capability by pairing the two tools. Since printing an object is often at the end of several design iterations, this tool will target earlier steps in the process and incorporate a more holistic approach to show users what it means to go from a concept or idea to a physical object.

“We are excited about the two experiments. Modeling before actual printing creates learning opportunities which both library staff and customers may engage in together. Robots in our library will open a door for us to explore many possibilities in the future of library services. We are looking forward to the new experience,” said Monique leConge Ziesenhenne, Palo Alto City Library Director.

With $14,000 from the grant, the Library staff anticipates an exciting experience that will enable them to build and improve upon the available technology for customers, in addition to evaluating practicality, costs to sustain services, and engagement in a public library setting. The adoption of the two technologies is a double-pronged approach aimed at engaging the community, generating excitement, finding new partners, and expanding the library’s image as a technology resource for its customers.

To follow development of the grant project, please visit the Library’s website for updates: