Library 2.0

the future of libraries in the digital age


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John Blyberg in his blog entry entitled Library 2.0 websites: Where to begin?

I think it's time libraries took the notion of single sign-on seriously. We need to get away from the model where patrons are required to have their library cards handy every time they reserve an item. Who wants to have one set of credentials to access the OPAC and yet another to make a blog comment, or fill out an ILL request? Why not be like the rest of the world and simply require a username and password? Let me take this one step further, as well, and suggest that your new websites support session-based single sign-on--a useful little bit of web technology that has been around since, well, almost forever. When I create an account on a site I use frequently, I expect that I'll not have to keep re-entering my password every time I visit. Otherwise, I won't be visiting that site very frequently.

Is anyone out there using Single Sign-On [SSO] software on their sites? Or have any ideas of which one would work well in a library environment?

Wikipedia has an entry on SSO that links to an interesting article on the Authentication world site.

Questions I have specific to a library setting relate to how & if the SSO program relates to the ILS patron database. I know Ann Arbor library has such a system in place. Any insights appreciated.

I agree with John that removing the barrier of the long library card # and replacing it with a login of the users choosing is an important step for us to take to make our environments more user friendly.

Bruce Brigell
Skokie Public Library

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Phoenix Public does this as well, Some ILS vendors have it where you can log into your account once, then access all of your services. I am trying to get to that to make it easier, ( However, I have our patrons trained to use their library card and pin often as it is the key to access our public access computers. Many people can even memorize the 13 digit library card, whereas, before we upgraded to a time management system for our computers, would be unheard of.

I agree its cumbersome, and I would rather follow the route of Phoenix so that people log into their account once, then can change their username and password to something they can remember. At least Polaris has a single sign-in, even if you can't change the username.


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