The Chicago Public Library &Globe Public Library will use blockchain technology to create a network for patrons to securely access their library cards.
The library, which currently has more than 1,600 cards, is launching a new online portal in the coming weeks to enable customers to access library cards with a swipe.
The Chicago Library Board of Directors has created the Blockchain Project, which is designed to enable users to access their cards, a project that has been in the works for about a year.
The goal of the project is to provide an efficient way for users to purchase and access library card data, a service that’s traditionally done by phone or in person at the front desk.
Blockchain allows for secure digital identity verification, with the user’s digital fingerprint or face-to-face address and PIN information securely stored in a blockchain.
Users can then access their digital cards with their digital identity through a secure login system.
This service can be secured through the blockchain and stored in an encrypted manner, said Chicago Library Director of Library Services John DeLong.
The blockchain enables users to securely and easily access their card data.
The Chicago Library will be the first public library in the country to utilize this service.
The project will be rolled out to other library systems in the Chicago area, DeLong said.
“Blockchain technology is an emerging technology that can help to address challenges in our world and we want to help bring blockchain to the forefront of library systems across the country,” DeLong added.
The Boston Public Library has already adopted blockchain technology in its library system.
The library is working on a blockchain project that is also in the early stages.
The digital identity system will allow patrons to access a digital library card using a smartphone app that uses a secure password and public key cryptography to secure the digital card.
The system will use public keys that are stored on the blockchain to identify the person accessing the library card, the library said in a press release.
Users will be able to buy and use library cards at participating merchants, according to the release.
DeLong said the project has been planned for about two years and is the result of collaboration between the library, the Boston Public Health Department and the Massachusetts Association of Public Libraries.
The partnership with the Boston Association of State Library Directors will also be a boon for the library system, DeYoung said.
The public library will be providing the first implementation of the system, he said.
DeYoung said he hopes to have the technology operational by mid-summer.
“We’re going to have a pretty great implementation in the next couple of weeks,” DeYoung added.