Harvard College Library

Harvard Libraries Adopt University PIN System for Access to HOLLIS Electronic Resources

July 13, 2001 -- As of August 19, 2001, eligible library users will need a University PIN to access Harvard libraries' electronic resources on HOLLIS. The University libraries agreed to be an early implementor of the system as a part of the University's initiative to establish a more secure electronic authentication system for the Harvard Community and in accordance with the licensing agreements the University Library has with electronic publishers.

The university PIN service will replace the old authentication system of username and Harvard ID number and should not be confused with PINs from other tubs such as the Extension School, Medical School/School of Public Health, and Business School. These PINs cannot be used in place of the University PIN to access the libraries' electronic resources.

"The authentication of users is a very important element in the delivery of library services and in our ability to comply with agreements and contracts that define who is authorized to use various online resources. Future elements of the HOLLIS system, in particular "user empowerment" features, will depend upon this authentication," stated Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian for Harvard College.

Once the new system goes into effect, people who need to access Harvard's electronic resources from a workstation outside any of the Harvard libraries must have a university PIN to log in. On terminals inside the libraries, access remains PIN-free. Faculty, students, and staff who already have an assigned University PIN can continue to use it, but all other users will need to obtain a PIN through the University PIN Web site at http://www.pin.harvard.edu. Here users with a valid Harvard ID can request a PIN and will be given a choice of receiving a letter through University mail with their assigned PIN or an e-mail with an encrypted URL that will take them to a PIN activation page.

Before the new PIN service is initiated on August 19, 2001, the University will be sending out reminders and instructions via e-mail and hardcopy to all faculty, students and staff who do not currently have a University PIN. This will give them adequate time to obtain a PIN and it will help to make the transition to the new system a smooth one, assuring continued and uninterrupted access to the libraries' electronic resources.

All PINs assigned for this new service require activation and will expire if not activated (after one day for PINs obtained via e-mail or one month for PINs obtained through a printed letter). During the PIN activation process, the user will be asked to change the PIN to something he/she can easily remember.

Questions regarding the University PIN should be directed to pin_admin@harvard.edu.

This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
Copyright © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College