Overview of content related to 'sconul' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/13693/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=john%20paschoud&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Don't You Know Who I Am? http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue63/paschoud <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue63/paschoud#author1">John Paschoud</a> looks into identity and access management in the pre-digital and digital age, and describes how the JISC Identity Management Toolkit can help us manage identities better.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Way back in prehistory, when libraries were buildings with books in, identity management was a pretty simple challenge for them. A library was either truly 'public', in which case you did not care who came in (the more people, the more popular you were, which was 'a good thing'). Otherwise, you had to be a member, and the security officer on the door knew your face, or you could show him (it was usually a 'him', then) a card or something to prove you were a member.</p> <p>For a library to trust you to take some of its books away with you (without hiding them under your coat), you usually did have to be a member, and becoming a member entailed some sort of registration process in which you might have to prove who you were with some official-looking document. The details of each member could be recorded in some sort of register, and a card issued. Effectively taking someone's membership away again, for whatever reason, was a bit more difficult - unless there was an opportunity to wrest the precious library card from them physically!</p> <h2 id="Admissions_Rules">Admissions Rules</h2> <p>A few years ago now our Projects Team at the London School of Economics (LSE) Library [<a href="#1">1</a>] was involved in documenting and analysing the admissions rules of academic libraries in London. This was before our own library agreed to provide full access to 'the general public' (in return for Heritage Lottery grants towards a £20m building project), but I was intrigued to find that our own admissions rules included all sorts of bipartite agreements with institutions such as Kings College London (proximity, I guess) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (a lot of common-interest post-colonial subject material in each of our collections).</p> <p>The most interesting 'right of access' I found in our admissions rules was 'accredited diplomatic staff of a recognised foreign country, attached to an embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission in London'. I never actually observed anyone trying to exercise this particular right (I am excused counter duties at the library because I do not know enough about books), but I was aware that my colleagues who did serve on the Admissions Desk rota were a wonderfully diverse lot; with collectively far more knowledge of international and political affairs than this duty required. I imagined the possible scene of an intending visitor from some small state (in some dispute with the United Nations, perhaps) being rebuffed by one of our Library Assistants because he was not accredited by a <em>recognised</em> foreign country. I am sure all our LAs are much too diplomatic themselves for anything like that to actually happen now; but it did get me thinking.</p> <p>What we also discovered in the course of the same investigation was the great number of other academic libraries to which I was allowed admission, on the strength of my status as a staff member at LSE. We decided to test this out with a small 'mystery shopper' exercise. Having retrieved a copy of the access rules for South Bank University Library (with, listed somewhere on page 2, the clause allowing LSE staff members reciprocal access) I duly set off on the 171 bus, armed with the plastic card that identified me as such (with the usual un-fetching photo and the magnetic strip that magically opened the turnstile at the LSE Library when I came into the office every morning). There were two serious flaws in this plan. The first was due to the fact that single-sided photocopying was clearly the norm at South Bank, and the otherwise very polite security officer at the Perry Library was only in possession of page 1 of their admissions rules, and so he couldn't see a reason to let me in. I would like to believe that the second flaw was a result of my personal fame in the library world; but it was really because quite a lot of librarians tend to circulate around jobs in London universities, and a former LSE Library colleague was currently managing the counters there, recognised me and told the officer to let me in. The project team decided that I would need some serious disguises before being allowed out to do any more mystery shopping!</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue63/paschoud" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue63 feature article john paschoud british library cardiff university jisc kings college london london school of economics school of oriental and african studies sconul south bank university ucisa university college london university of bristol es-loa identity management toolkit identity project access control archives cataloguing data data management foi graphics higher education infrastructure passwords research rfid search technology shibboleth wiki Thu, 29 Apr 2010 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1542 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk