Determination of active personal space based on appearance when interacting with a library robot
The child patron is one of the major user groups in the public library. Physically, they often need adults’ help to access library services because of height’s limits or lack of library information literacy; psychologically, they are used to be accompanied by adults or librarians when using the services in the library. However, due to the limit of human resources costs, librarians cannot serve all users in one time. This results in the dissatisfy of library need of child patrons Based on the above background, this study provides accompanying, guide and the instruction of library use to meet child patrons’ need and to reduce librarians’ workload by introducing the library robot service. Although there were researches about the interaction between human and robot, these researches mainly focused on investigating the attitude of interaction, but not on the reading and information behaviors of children. This study used child patrons as the main object to investigate the personal space and attitude between the library robot and child patrons. Also, considering the children’s physiological development, such as gender and age, and their psychological development, such as gender role and socialization, this study further explored the function and role that the library robot played when child patrons were doing high level of reading and information interacting behaviors. This study recruited 77 elementary students from 3rd-6th grade from Taipei city and assigned them randomly to interact with robots with different appearances in the library. The personal space that the participants kept with different appearance robots and the attitude they had to the robot were recorded and analyzed. The result showed that the participants had positive attitude to the robots and felt comfort when interacting with robots. What’s more, the appearance of robots would affect the interaction process: the one that interacted with human-like robot kept the personal space closer than the one that interacted with machine-like robot. This space indicated that the participants took the library as a private space and thought the robot as their close friend. Besides, the gender of the participants would also affect the personal space and the attitude that the participants had to the robot. Child patrons tend to keep the personal space from the robot closer when robots were the same genders as they were. Also, the girl had more positive attitude than the boy as well. This study broke through past difficulties of the collection and measurement of sample data and provided the empirical research of the interaction of child patrons and library robots. The results can also be the reference when introducing the robot service to the library.
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