We’re pleased to announce the publication of two new resources to help librarians and library workers better understand federated authentication, which lets library users access remote sites by logging in to a campus sign-on service.
- Federated Authentication Acronyms and Terminology is a guide to the specialized language of federated authentication that defines various terms for those working in libraries so they can participate in the discussion and consider options for implementation.
- The Elevator Talk: Explaining Seamless Access, Federated Authentication, and Related Privacy Issues to Your Boss, in 60 Seconds, in Very Simple Language explains benefits and issues around federated authentication and the related SeamlessAccess (SA) project.
Both documents are freely available, and together they provide a starting foundation for those who want to learn more about this topic. These resources were created by the Core Technology Section’s Authentication Project Team, which is transitioning into a standing Federated Authentication Committee in Core. The new committee will establish a roadmap for knowledge/skills development for librarians, provide a venue for the library community to be partners in the evolving federated authentication landscape, and share regular updates with Core members on Seamless Access developments regarding patron privacy, equity of access, and other topics of interest.
Core thanks the members of the Authentication Project Team for their work on these resources and creating space in Core to educate members and put librarians and library workers in the broader discussion: Thomas Dowling, Lynne Edgar, Jason Griffey, Hong Ma, Catherine Smith, and Ken Varnum.
The group felt it was important to begin this work, noting “Federated authentication methods seek to improve and simplify how our users connect to our electronic resources, regardless of their physical location, while increasing security and preserving user privacy. These methods have so far been developed with little input from library practitioners, and many librarians have had little opportunity to learn how they work. We hope to raise librarians’ level of involvement in the future development and implementation of these authentication technologies and related projects such as SeamlessAccess.”
Watch for more information on this topic over the next few months.