Dr. Sandra Hirsh is Director and Professor of the School of Information at San José State University. Prior to that, she worked in the Silicon Valley in R&D and consumer product development for more than a decade at major technology companies: Hewlett Packard Labs, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. Her research interests include information seeking behavior, online education, and LIS education. She co-founded and co-chairs the global virtual Library 2.0 conference series. She is the editor of Information Services Today: An Introduction, a foundational LIS textbook. Currently, she is involved in an IMLS-funded project to determine the feasibility of libraries as community anchors using blockchain technology. She holds both a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from UCLA and a MLIS degree from the University of Michigan.
- 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 and editors Hirsh and Alman 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 and their contributors 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.