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The San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool) has received an IMLS grant to investigate ways that blockchain technology can be used by libraries as a community anchor to partner with other organizations and to support city/community goals. Some suggestions for blockchain applications in libraries include building an enhanced metadata center, protecting Digital First Sale rights, supporting community-based collections, facilitating partnerships across organizations, and more.

The year-long project will provide three opportunities for a national dialog among technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning and members of the information professions to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city/community goals.

  1. The project website and blog includes information and resources about blockchain technology, potential uses of blockchain technology by libraries, and project updates along with a blog to foster open dialog.
  2. The National Forum scheduled for August 6, 2018, in San Jose, California, will be comprised of 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to identify and discuss key opportunities for libraries to serve as community anchors using blockchain technology.
  3. The Library 2.018 conference, Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession, is designed for presentations and discussion on the uses of blockchain technology in libraries. Registration in this open online conference is free to the profession and public. Scheduled on June 7, 2018, the call for proposals is located on the conference website.

SJSU is seeking nominations of individuals to represent professional associations (including ACRL) and information organizations by participating in the upcoming National Forum. Funding provided by IMLS is available to support most of the expenses (travel, lodging, meals) for invited participants. ACRL encourages interested members to self-nominate to participate in the forum.

Nominations (including self-nominations) are due online by February 15, 2018. Nominees should be knowledgeable about blockchain technology and libraries in order to have an impact on the recommendations that will be made and discussed during the Library 2.018 conference and National Forum.

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