Wrestling with Access and Authentication Control


This session will examine various aspects of access and authentication controls in the context of digital information resources. Is there a scalable approach that can satisfy the needs of both corporate as well as academic environments?  If not, how can technology be engineered or leveraged such that the nuanced needs of all may be met? What trade-offs might need to be recognized and negotiated? Are there satisfactory answers to the questions that have arisen with regard to privacy and data exchange?  This session will bring together a number of industry experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities.

Confirmed speakers: Tim Lloyd, CEO, Liblynx; Heather Flanagan, Pilot Coordinator Academic Pilots, RA21; Jessica Bowdoin, Head, Resource Licensing and Delivery, and Lara Bushallow, Director of Digital Technologies and Services, George Mason University Libraries. 

Event Sessions

Web proxy vs Federated SSO: A practical guide to the pros & cons


Web proxy is the dominant technology solution for authenticating offsite access to electronic library resources.  While Federated Single Sign-On technologies, such as Shibboleth, have been in use for over a decade, they are generally poorly understood and the debate over their potential as a replacement for web proxy solutions entered the mainstream relatively recently.  With the help of some stick figures, this presentation kicks off with a brief overview of how Federated SSO works and then examines how these foundational technologies stack up against the often-messy reality of library needs.  By exploring the practical pros and cons of each approach in relation to core library concerns like privacy, security, the user experience, cost efficiency, and reporting, this presentation aims to provide an objective assessment of these technologies as input for following discussions.

RA21: What it is, What it isn’t, and What’s Next


RA21, a multistakeholder effort to develop best practices for improving the user experience of accessing scholarly content, is reaching the conclusion of the project phase. In this session, we will look at what we have learned during the course of RA21, discuss ongoing areas of concern, and look at what’s next based on RA21 recommended practices. 

Wrestling with Access and Authentication: George Mason University as a Case Study


Jessica Bowdoin

Head of Resource Licensing & Delivery
George Mason University Libraries

Lara Bushallow

Director of Digital Technologies and Services
George Mason University Libraries

George Mason University library system comprises one large central library, three branch libraries, and administratively separate Law Library and library supporting the Mason Korea campus. George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research, and is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs. This presentation aims to discuss how the Mason libraries manage access and authentication for over 37,000 students and over 4,200 teaching faculty, in locations across the globe.

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