Library 2.018: Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession

We're excited to announce our second Library 2.018 mini-conference: "Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession," which will be held online (and for free) on Thursday, June 7th, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time (click for your own time zone).

This event is being organized in partnership with Drs. Sue Alman and Sandra Hirsh from the San Jose State University School of Information as part of their IMLS-funded investigation of the potential uses of blockchain technology for the information professions.

Blockchain technology has the potential for libraries to accomplish much more than housing electronic credentials. The technology enables a broader impact within the community and around the globe. Some suggestions being explored for blockchain applications in libraries include building an enhanced metadata center, protecting Digital First Sale rights, supporting community-based collections, and facilitating partnerships across organizations. This mini-conference will provide participants with an overview of blockchain technology and information about current applications within the information professions. Join the discussion on ways that blockchain technology can be used in libraries.

We invite all library professionals, employers, LIS students, and educators to participate in this event.

This is a free event, being held online.

to attend live or to receive the recording links afterwards. Please also join this Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events. 

Participants are encouraged to use #library2018 and #libraryblockchain on their social media posts leading up to and during the event.


The School of Information at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor. Please register as a member of the Library 2.0 network to be kept informed of future events. Recordings from previous years are available under the Archives tab at Library 2.0 and at the Library 2.0 YouTube channel.

Funding for this project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services – LG-98-17-0209-17. The views, presentations, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website or in the conference do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.



Sue Alman
Lecturer at the School of Information, San Jose State University

Sue Alman is on the School of Information faculty at San Jose State University. She has held teaching posts at the University of Michigan and University of Pittsburgh, and she is a consultant specializing in organizational behavior and planning. Her areas of specialization include Futures, Asynchronous Learning, Management, Strategic Planning, Interpersonal Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, Group Dynamics, and Cultural Diversity. In Fall 2014 she led a MOOC, The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends, that attracted over 1700 global participants. More information about the MOOC can be found on the iSchool website or the MOOC repository. She is the organizer of the Library 2.0 Spring Summit, The Emerging Future: Technology and Learning.

Sandra Hirsh
Professor and Director of the School of Library and Information Science, San José State University

Sandra Hirsh is Professor and Director of the School of Information at San José State University. Prior to joining the School as Director, she worked in the Silicon Valley for more than a decade at major technology companies: Hewlett Packard and Microsoft. As an industry user experience researcher, leader, and manager, she contributed to R&D research projects and influenced the user experience of web, mobile, and TV consumer products resulting in 5 U.S. patents. She was previously an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, and has taught courses for San José State University and the University of Washington. Dr. Hirsh's research focuses on information-seeking behavior and understanding the information needs of a broad spectrum of users in the United States and around the world; this work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has appeared in international conference proceedings. Her leadership roles include serving on committees for the American Library Association (ALA), the International Federation of Libraries Association (IFLA), the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and as the Past President of Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).


Dan Blackaby
Head of Technologies Initiatives, Cornell University Law Library

Dan has worked as a professional librarian in various roles including research, technology, cataloging and acquisitions. After earning a B.A. at the University of Houston, he earned his J.D. from Michigan State University, an M.L.I.S. from San Jose State University, and an M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton. Dan has a rich background in law librarianship, and has worked in many different library settings, including the Montana Department of Natural Resources, Microsoft Corporation, the Santa Clara County Counsel, South Texas College of Law, and Western State College of Law. Dan is actively involved with the American Association of Law Libraries, having served as an executive board member for both the Legal History & Rare Books and Computing Services Special Interest Sections. In recent years, he has been invited to speak at national forums on topics ranging from digital repositories to blockchain technology. He currently teaches courses in Law Practice Technology, Researching American Legal History, and in the LLM and 1L Lawyering programs.

SESSION TITLE: Legal Concerns about Blockchain That May Not Have Occurred to You

Todd A. Carpenter
Executive Director, National Information Standards Organization (NISO)

Todd Carpenter has served for the past 12 years as Executive Director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), a US-based non-profit association that develops and maintains standards for the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information. Prior to joining NISO, Todd was Director of Business Development at BioOne, He also held management positions at The Johns Hopkins University Press, the Energy Intelligence Group, and the Haworth Press. He has served on the Boards of several industry and community organizations, including the Baltimore County Public Library, the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and the Free Ebook Foundation. Todd is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a masters degree in business from the Johns Hopkins University.

SESSION TITLE: What Might Standards for Library Blockchain Systems Look Like?

Every digital system requires standards and best practices to ensure that they function well across institutions and trading partners. Blockchain, while built on a base level of technology that is public and open, there are a variety of elements that need to be agreed upon before implementation. This presentation will explore some of the ways that the consensus process can help improve the the functionality, trust and deployment of blockchain systems.

Frank Cervone
Director of Information Technology, School of Public Health at University of Illinois at Chicago

H. Frank Cervone is the executive director of information technology and college information security and privacy officer for the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His experience includes more than 25 years of leadership in libraries and information organizations developing systems and services that have helped to advance teaching, learning, and the management of knowledge and information. The major foci of his current work are related to cybersecurity and regulatory compliance in health information environments, knowledge management in information organizations, social network analysis, and issues related to big data and analytics in public health research. His prior work in library environments includes positions at Northwestern University (Assistant University Librarian for IT), Chicago State University (Director of the library and information science program) and at Purdue Calumet University (University Librarian). He is the author of four books in applied information technology, multiple book chapters, numerous articles, and is a regular speaker at conferences worldwide. His current service activities include work on the Information Technology and Libraries journal board, the ALA Nominating Committee, and the HIMSS Illinois chapter education committee. He holds a MSEd with a specialization in Online Teaching and Learning from California State University, an MA with a specialization in Information Technology Management in Information Agencies from DePaul University, as well as a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Northcentral University in addition to several information technology and heath information management related certifications. Dr. Cervone is a member of the SJSU iSchool faculty and the International Advisory Council.

SESSION TITLE: From Healthcare to Information Organizations: Translating Blockchain Practice Across Disciplines

As the amount of electronic data in the health care environment has increased, the demand for secure and reliable ways of exchanging, storing, and preserving health information has increased dramatically. While many of the concerns related to health information management are unique to that environment, many of the basic concerns are closely aligned with the needs in other information professions. This presentation will explore the current use of blockchain technology in health care organizations to address real-world information problems as a means for exploring how these applications may apply to libraries and other information organizations.

Christina Cornejo
Graduate Student, San Jose State University

Christina Cornejo is a graduate student in the School of Information at San Jose State University, who is expected to receive her MLIS degree this summer. This past year, she has been working on designing and maintaining the Blockchains for the Information Profession website and blog, which provides information about blockchain and its potential applications for use in the library and information sciences. She is interested in all things technology and web and has previously worked for three years in journalism for a small-town newspaper. Currently, Christina is working part-time as a library support staff at the Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library.

SESSION TITLE: Applying Blockchain to the Information Professions (with Johnson)

You’ve probably heard a lot about blockchain in the news recently, but what does blockchain have to do with libraries and the information professions? Christina Cornejo and Stacey Johnson, graduate students at the San Jose State University iSchool discuss some current and future uses of blockchains in libraries. Included are several examples from the website Blockchains for the Information Profession and how initiatives others are working on could be applied to library and information science professions.

Michael Della Bitta
Director of Technology, Digital Public Library of America

Michael has worked in software development and publications and in the startup, library, and education space for nearly twenty years. Prior to his role as Director of Technology at DPLA, Michael most recently worked as a data and analytics developer, architect and engineering manager at the content marketing company ScribbleLive. Before that, Michael worked as a developer and architect on the repository and Digital Gallery teams at the New York Public Library, and built content management, online learning, and semantic metadata applications at Columbia University. Michael holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Bates College.

SESSION TITLE: Using Blockchains to Authenticate and Preserve Public Discourse

Librarians potentially have a central role to play in rebuilding trust in public discourse. We'll discuss a few ways of doing that leveraging the blockchain.

Miguel Figueroa
Center for the Future of Libraries, American Library Association

Miguel Figueroa works at the Center for the Future of Libraries (, an initiative from the American Library Association. He has previously held positions at the American Theological Library Association; ALA’s Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services; NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library; and Neal-Schuman Publishers. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, an initiative that examines library issues from Hispanic and Native American perspectives.

Patricia C. Franks, PhD, CA, CRM, IGP
MARA Program Coordinator, Professor, School of Information, San Jose State University@patfranks

Patricia C. Franks is a certified archivist, certified records manager, and information governance professional, with a Ph.D. in Organization and Management. Her research focuses on the impact of emerging technologies on recordkeeping procedures and practices. Franks is a member of the InterPARES Trust Research Initiative leading two research projects—social media and trust in government and retention and disposition in a cloud environment. She is the author of the text, Records and Information Management.

SESSION TITLE: (to be determined)

Blockchain technology, also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), is “[a]n open-source technology that supports trusted, immutable records of transactions stored in publicly accessible, decentralized, distributed, automated ledgers.” Blockchain technology is not for everyone! Participants will learn how blockchain works, the four principles of blockchain networks, and steps necessary to create a block. Examples of Blockchain technology applied in recordkeeping contexts will be presented.

Toby Greenwalt
‎Director of Digital Strategy and Technology Implementation - ‎Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Jason Griffey
Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Jason Griffey is the founder and principal at Evenly Distributed, a technology consulting and creation firm for libraries, museums, education, and other non-profits. Jason is an Affiliate Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he studies hyperlocal micronetworks such as his LibraryBox project and works on technologies that provide open and robust access to information for the future, such as blockchain and other decentralization technologies. Griffey has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design for ALA. Named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2009, Griffey has written and spoken internationally on topics such as the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. In 2018, Griffey delivered the Gloriana St. Clair Distinguished Lecture in 21st Century Librarianship for the Carnegie Mellon campus in Education City, Qatar. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV. He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. Griffey is the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system. He can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

SESSION TITLE: Keynote Panel – Blockchain Issues


M Ryan Hess
Library Services Manager - Digital Initiatives, Palo Alto City Library

M Ryan Hess is Digital Initiatives Manager at the Palo Alto City Library, responsible for digital strategy and supporting technology-related projects and services. Prior to Palo Alto, he was the Digital Services Coordinator at DePaul University Library, responsible for digital and web strategies. Ryan also worked for Adobe Systems synthesizing and delivering market research.

SESSION TITLE: Community-based Collections - Extending the Library through Blockchain

Amy Jiang
Library Technology Coordinator

Amy is the Library Technology Coordinator at University of La Verne working with Makerspace, academic technology and library systems. Previously Amy worked at Northwestern University School of Law as Digital Services and Emerging Technologies Librarian. Amy's current project include IoT and having library as incubator for students who want to be entrepreneurs.

SESSION TITLE: Credentialing using Blockchain for Globally Mobile and Disaster Affected Populations (with McMorrow)

Stacey Johnson
Technical Services Librarian at Chino Valley Public Library and MLIS Student, San Jose State University iSchool

Stacey Johnson is a graduate student at San Jose State University, pursuing her MILS. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently working as the Technical Services Librarian at Chino Valley Public Library in Northern Arizona, where she is in charge of cataloging, acquisitions, social media, tech help for patrons and occasionally moonlights in circulation. She is involved in the Blockchain for Information Professionals IMLS grant project and co-created and maintained the project's website and blog. She is contributing to the upcoming book Blockchain, part of the ALA Library Futures book series.

SESSION TITLE: Applying Blockchain to the Information Professions (with Cornejo)

You’ve probably heard a lot about blockchain in the news recently, but what does blockchain have to do with libraries and the information professions? Christina Cornejo and Stacey Johnson, graduate students at the San Jose State University iSchool discuss some current and future uses of blockchains in libraries. Included are several examples from the website Blockchains for the Information Profession and how initiatives others are working on could be applied to library and information science professions.

Bohyun Kim
Chief Technology Officer and Associate Professor at the University of Rhode Island Libraries

Bohyun Kim is Chief Technology Officer and Associate Professor at the University of Rhode Island Libraries. Formerly, she was the Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is the author of two books, Understanding Gamification (ALA TechSource, 2015) and Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations (ALA TechSource, 2013). She was part of the Expert Panel for the 2017 NMC Horizon Report and served as an invited panelist for the Top Tech Trends program at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Conference and the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. She is the founding editor of Association of College & Research Libraries’ TechConnect Blog and is on the Advisory Board of the American Library Association (ALA)'s Center for the Future of Libraries and of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. She is also the Vice President and President-Elect of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). She holds a MA in philosophy from Harvard University and a MSLIS from Simmons College.

Heather A. McMorrow
Instructional Designer & Program Manager

Heather is an instructional designer and program manager with Northeastern University working with Online Experiential Learning and Level Education. She is also a first-year doctoral student in Northeastern’s Ed.D. program in Organizational Leadership. She has previously worked with non-profits and universities including edX, Tufts University Feinstein International Center, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to create curious, successful, socially and globally minded students and employees who will continually meet the demands of our ever-changing knowledge economy. Her current projects include IoT and entrepreneurial education for pre-college students, blockchain, and badging. She is considering blockchain for higher education credentialing as her thesis topic bringing together her work in higher education and humanitarian assistance education.

SESSION TITLE: Credentialing using Blockchain for Globally Mobile and Disaster Affected Populations (with Jiang)

Eric Meyer
Professor of Social Informatics, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Eric T. Meyer is Professor of Social Informatics and Director of Graduate Studies at the OII, where he has been on the faculty since 2007. Professor Meyer’s research focuses on the transition from analogue to digital technologies across domains in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. His research has included both qualitative and quantitative work with marine biologists, genetics researchers, physicists, digital humanities scholars, social scientists using big data, theatre artists, visual artists, librarians, and organizations involved in computational approaches to research.

SESSION TITLE: Blockchain and a Fair Art Market (with Norton)

Potential blockchain applications extend far beyond the oft-hyped bitcoin, and one such set of applications is in the visual arts. In this session, we will discuss the recently released findings of Project Novum (, with a focus on how blockchain can be used to address centuries-old problems in the art sector including establishing provenance and authenticity, protecting intellectual property rights, enabling payments tracking, and other areas where the art world can inform other sectors of society and the economy.

Robert Norton
CEO and co-founder of Verisart

Robert Norton is CEO and co-founder of Verisart, the first platform to certify and verify physical artworks and collectibles using blockchain technology. Prior to establishing Verisart, Norton was the CEO and co-founder of Sedition Art, a digital marketplace and community supported by the world’s leading contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Bill Viola, Yoko Ono, Jenny Holzer and many others. Norton was appointed CEO of Saatchi Online where he restructured the company as an e-commerce business. He has held senior management positions at, AOL, TVF International and Norton graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Modern History.

SESSION TITLE: Blockchain and a Fair Art Market (with Meyer)

Potential blockchain applications extend far beyond the oft-hyped bitcoin, and one such set of applications is in the visual arts. In this session, we will discuss the recently released findings of Project Novum (, with a focus on how blockchain can be used to address centuries-old problems in the art sector including establishing provenance and authenticity, protecting intellectual property rights, enabling payments tracking, and other areas where the art world can inform other sectors of society and the economy.

Tonia San Nicolas-Rocca
Assistant Professor, School of Information at San Jose State University

Dr. San Nicolas-Rocca is an assistant professor at San Jose State University. Her teaching and research interests are in cybersecurity, healthcare IT, and knowledge management. She has published her work in peer-reviewed research journals and conference proceedings, and presented at meetings and conferences nationally and internationally. Dr. San Nicolas-Rocca has served in various roles to increase interest and diversity in cybersecurity and other high-tech careers.

SESSION TITLE: Security in Libraries: A Case for Blockchain Technology

Ravi Singh
Executive Director, Demco Inc.

Ravi is an entrepreneur, investor, technologist and a product strategist with an acute understanding of market, trends, competitive activities, challenges and factors for success. He brings a deep understanding of how to leverage data to drive innovation and product development across multiple verticals. Cross pollinating his experience in education, healthcare, automotive (e-commerce), advertising, restaurant commerce and education. Ravi has been a technology advisor for various companies and provided due diligence expertise for various M&A deals, some of the deals where Ravi has provided expertise have been to the tune of $1Billion. As Executive Director of Demco with P&L responsibilities Ravi fosters a culture of innovation in a dynamic team of veteran folks in functional groups, to create products which empower knowledge managers, librarians, educators in public libraries, academia and the corporate world.

Link Swanson
Systems Engineer, Minitex, PhD Candidate Cognitive Science, University of Minnesota

Link Swanson has worked in software training, consulting, web application development, and systems engineering for 15 years and currently works for Minitex, an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. As a PhD candidate in cognitive science at the University of Minnesota, Link researches perception and cognition in the human brain and applies this knowledge to better understand human-computer interactions, adoption of new technologies, and user interface design. Link was an early adopter of Bitcoin in 2012 and is currently exploring how blockchain principles can be applied to a variety of domains, from libraries to neuroscience.

SESSION TITLE: Strategies for Libraries to Provide Blockchain Education, Tools, and Training

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