Dr. Susan Alman was appointed to the San José State University School of Information full-time faculty in 2012. Prior to this appointment, she taught at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences where she was Director of Distance Education and Outreach (1987-2012) and the University of Michigan (1985-87). In Fall 2014, she developed and led a MOOC, The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends, that attracted over 1700 global participants. She is currently involved in the IMLS-funded project, Investigation of Possible Uses of Blockchain Technology by Libraries-Information Centers to Support City-Community Goals. Sue is an alumna of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning and enjoys being involved in the changing information professions. She holds both a Ph.D. and MLIS degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
- About the Authors
This book in the Library Futures Series examines blockchain technology, a concept with far-reaching implications for the future of recordkeeping. Blockchain uses a distributed database (multiple devices not connected to a common processor) that organizes data into records (blocks) that have cryptographic validation. The data are timestamped and linked to previous records so that they can only be changed by those who own the encryption keys to write to the files. Firms like Microsoft and IBM are already exploring ways that blockchain can more securely handle valuable transaction data. And Sony is harnessing blockchain to store educational information (registration documents, attendance, grades, and even the lesson plans that previous teachers have used) that can easily be transferred between schools as students move or graduate. In this book, technology experts Alman and Hirsh build on their ongoing research to discuss how blockchain’s potential use as a convenient system for recordkeeping could lead to more government documents, historical records, and other pieces of information migrating to such a system. They also examine its possible consequences for academic, public, school, and special libraries, as well as the information professionals who sustain those institutions, making this book a valuable primer for everyone interested in the future of librarianship.