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Blockchain & Decentralization for the Information Industries is a Course

Blockchain & Decentralization for the Information Industries

Ended Apr 21, 2019

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Full course description

Course Date:

Mar 11 - Apr 21, 2019


6 weeks


2-3 hrs/week



Course Type:



Badge(s), Certificate (free)


Blockchain technology is a trend on the brink of revolutionizing the public and private sectors, and it is on the radar of many who are curious about its global disruptive potential for accessing and sharing information among individuals, organizations, and governments.

This MOOC will provide a background for individuals involved with libraries, urban planning, government agencies, publishing & other organizations to understand the issues and applications of distributed ledger technology. The topics will include: overview of blockchain technology; implementation issues, considerations, and challenges; related decentralized systems; potential applications; and, future directions.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe and explain the early uses of distributed ledger technology and the design of current blockchain systems.
  • Recognize the differences and similarities among various decentralized systems, and determine the most appropriate blockchain applications.
  • Compare and evaluate the advantages/disadvantages of using blockchain or other types of technologies for different applications.
  • Identify the ways blockchain can be applied in the information industries.

Target Audience: The target groups include a global audience of individuals and organizations who have interests or financial stakes in the information services industries. These include information professionals and partner institutions: library organizations, consortia, and associations; publishers; urban planners; government agencies.

Course is offered by San Jose State University School of Information.

Course Instructors

Jason Griffey

Jason Griffey

Affiliate, metaLAB at Harvard

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 Researcher at MetaLAB at Harvard, an idea foundry, knowledge-design lab, and production studio experimenting in the networked arts and humanities. Read More.

Jason is a former Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he studied hyperlocal micronetworks such as his LibraryBox Project and worked on technologies that provide open and robust access to information for the future.

Griffey has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. Named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2009, Griffey has written and spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, 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.