Document Type


Publication Date

June 2023


We are living through an information revolution connected with automated information processing and artificial intelligence. Previous information revolutions, connected with information agencies and information artifacts, resulted in cities—described by Jacques Ellul in The Meaning of the City as artificial and autonomous systems—and libraries, which augment human intelligence through technological systems as well as related formative practices. The library remains an important institution and infrastructure for confronting challenges and opportunities associated with the latest form artificial agency, AI. Focusing on the history of the library, this paper explores the history of—and future possibilities for—the role of artificial agency in cultural development.