Automated customer service at the National Library of Medicine


  • Terry T. Ahmed
  • Carolyn Willard
  • Marcia Zorn



The National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a virtual customer service representative (vRep) named “Cosmo” in February 2003. Cosmo is a navigation tool that guides users to information on NLM Web pages. These Web pages contain information on programs, products and services provided by NLM. Cosmo directs users to information on consumer health, drug information, medical database instruction, grant information, online catalog access, exhibit details and onsite library information. Medical librarians manage the Cosmo knowledge base to link to this information. To ensure that we meet customer needs, staff review the user “conversation” log daily and modify answers as needed. This paper describes the lessons learned during Cosmo’s development and may help others who create and maintain a virtual representative.




How to Cite

Ahmed, T. T., Willard, C., & Zorn, M. (2006). Automated customer service at the National Library of Medicine. First Monday, 11(11).