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AI4LAM / Fantastic Futures

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The explosion of interest surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) will clearly have a tremendous impact on the world of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM). The Library of Congress is exploring how certain AI use cases can help expand access to our collection, enhance services for users, and improve efficiency. We are still in the early days of understanding this technology and must develop policy, guidelines, and best practices to guide the international GLAM community toward a sustainable future.

As we explore the future of AI, the Library is taking a leadership role among cultural organizations through AI4LAM (Artificial Intelligence for Libraries, Archives & Museums). This volunteer-run organization cultivates “a collaborative framework for libraries, archives and museums to organize, share and elevate their knowledge about and use of artificial intelligence.” AI4LAM is open to all institutions and interested persons. As the organizational mission states, “Individually we are slow and isolated; collectively we can go faster and farther.”

Since its inception in 2018, AI4LAM has steadily grown its membership, forming a Secretariat in 2019 that coordinates and supports community activity. The Secretariat currently consists of seven organizations, including the Library of Congress, National Library of Norway, Stanford University Libraries, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ecole nationale des chartes, Smithsonian Institution, and the British Library. The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian currently serve as co-chairs. Community / Working Groups allow stakeholders from across institutions to share information and work collaboratively on matters such as metadata, teaching and learning, and named entity recognition. Individual Chapters are regional networks within AI4LAM, such as the Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Chapters and Chapitre francophone (French-speaking Chapter), that collaborate on common goals.

AI4LAM kicked off with its first conference, Fantastic Futures, in late 2018 with the National Library of Norway as host. Since then, this conference has been hosted annually and brings together a global community of GLAM professionals to address the most pressing issues. To illustrate the point, here is a list of the primary topics for Fantastic Futures Canberra 2024:

  • How do we sustain and build on our capacity to collaborate as a community?
  • What are the resourcing implications of using or developing AI to preserve and make accessible GLAM (gallery, library, archive, museum) collections (as data) using AI?
  • What does operationalising AI with GLAM collections mean in real terms?
  • How do we build CARE and FAIR principles into GLAM work practice?

You can also view previous community calls that stretch back to April 2020, covering topics such as Chat-GPT, content generative models, content discovery enhancement, and AI policy.

Interested in learning more? Consider joining the next open community call: July 16, 2024.


  1. This article on the impact of AI on GLAM is both exciting and insightful! 🌟 It’s great to see the Library of Congress taking a leadership role through AI4LAM, fostering collaboration across cultural organizations globally. The growth of AI4LAM and its initiatives, like the Fantastic Futures conference, show a strong commitment to integrating AI in a sustainable way. Topics such as metadata, named entity recognition, and the application of CARE and FAIR principles are crucial for the future of GLAM. Kudos to all involved for pushing the boundaries and enhancing access to these valuable collections! 📚🤖 denizli avukat

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