New Alexa Skill debuts this week at DCDL


Staff Report



“Alexa, open Delaware Library,” is something you might find yourself saying very soon.

Delaware County District Library patrons who celebrated Amazon Prime Day by purchasing an Echo, or who already own an Echo, will now find a new Alexa Skill in the skill store that will keep patrons up to date with what’s happening at their local DCDL branch.

A first-look and live demonstration of the skill will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9 at the Powell Branch Library, 460 South Liberty Road, Powell. Avneet Sarang from Pellucent Technologies in Powell and library staff will be on hand to show the skill and answer questions.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first and only skill of its kind for libraries enabled on the Amazon Echo device,” said DCDL Director George Needham. “Now patrons have another incredibly easy way to stay up to date with the fantastic and entertaining programs we provide for all ages at the Delaware County District Library.”

Sarang has been developing the Alexa Skill since the spring. Sarang is a DCDL patron who uses the Echo regularly for news and community updates. Earlier this summer he approached the Library with his idea to create an Alexa Skill that answers the question “Alexa, what’s happening at the Delaware Library?”

“Getting information quickly, by asking a simple question, and without having to go to the computer, is the future,” said Sarang. “I am extremely thrilled to develop such a voice service for DCDL’s patrons. We will continue to add more capabilities to the Alexa skill over time.”

Echo users will find the skill by going to the Amazon website, clicking on the Echo & Alexa department, and searching for “Delaware County District Library” on the Alexa Skills page. It can also be enabled through the Amazon Alexa app under Skills. Once the skill is enabled on the Echo device, users can invoke the skill by saying, “Alexa, open Delaware Library,” and then ask any of the following types of questions:

• What’s happening this weekend at the Ostrander Library?

• Are there any events tomorrow at the Delaware Library?

• Is there anything happening at the Orange Library on August 10th?

• What’s going on today at the Powell Library?

Alexa then answers the questions with specific information regarding program titles and times at the branch requested. Everything from children’s storytimes to adult book clubs and more will be at users’ request.

For information about programs and services visit our web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or contact Communications Manager Nicole Fowles at nfowles@delawarelibrary.org or 740-362-3861.

Staff Report