US Gov’t Funds Blockchain Project on Public Library Systems

Announcements, Blockchain, News | September 5, 2017 By:

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a $100,000 grant to a project that involves exploring blockchain applications in the public library systems.

Established in 1996, IMLS is an independent agency of the United States federal government. It is the main source of federal support for libraries and museums within the United States, with a mission to “create strong libraries and museums that connect people with information and ideas.” IMLS works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

IMLS is funding a new effort at the San Jose State University Research Foundation, which seeks to conduct preliminary research into how blockchain tech could help libraries manage digital rights, as well better assist their communities.

The San Jose State University School of Information iSchool will investigate ways that blockchain technology can be used by libraries to partner with other organizations and to support city or community goals.

The proposed National Forum would bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project’s final report, which will be available online.

“We are delighted to announce today’s grant recipients whose projects are designed to have lasting benefits for the library and archives fields,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “These grants highlight how IMLS helps steer the nation’s investments in libraries and ensure that librarians are equipped to provide citizens access to the information, resources, and services they want and need.”