Shibboleth Project looking for help from librarians

Many of you are familiar with the very important Shibboleth distributed
authorization/access management effort that Internet 2 has been leading.
CNI has been working with this effort for several years as it has moved
from development to successful field trials. As the call for
participation below explains, one of the things that the Shibboleth
project is doing at present is trying to develop tools that can
facilitate broader and easier deployment, and they are looking for some
structured input from potential library users of such tools.

If you have the expertise and the time, I'd encourage you to be in touch
directly with Steve Olshansky (his email is at the bottom of the message
below) to help guide the further progress of this valuable work. Thanks.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI


Call for Participation - Campus Librarians

Shibboleth, a project of Internet2/MACE, is developing architectures,
policy structures, practical technologies, and an open source
implementation to support inter-institutional sharing of web resources
subject to access controls. In addition, Shibboleth will develop a
policy framework that will allow inter-operation within the higher
education community. A great deal of additional information is available

One of the primary areas of focus within the Shibboleth project has been
its use in the library community, as an effective means to facilitate
easy access by the user community to licensed resources. We have had a
significant level of adoption among prominent vendors in this area,
including EBSCO, JSTOR, OCLC, and Ex Libris/SFX; and Elsevier is
actively working on a Shibboleth-enabled offering which is planned for
next Spring. Closely related to this effort is the work underway to
create a federation for R&E, known as InCommon. You will be hearing more
about this very soon.

As a key component of the development process, the Shibboleth team is
working on a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for a tool used by
librarians responsible for managing access to licensed resources.
Shibboleth has the capability of forwarding attributes about the user to
resource providers to enable them to make the appropriate access
decisions. These attributes can be as general as "member of the
university community" to as specific as "Chris Jones, faculty teaching
Econ101 in the Spring 2004 semester." The tool being developed manages
the release of these attributes at the library level, as required by the
individual resource providers. Future plans include a tool to enable the
individual user to control the release of their own attributes, as
appropriate to gain access to specific resources.

Why do we want your help? Because your feedback, as campus librarians
facing an ever-more complex licensing and access environment, will be
invaluable in ensuring that the tools being developed are as effective
and easy to use as possible. And the ultimate goal is to provide the R&E
library community with the tools that will enable you to manage your
resources efficiently.

We are looking for campus librarians to participate in a limited focus
group, to provide feedback on the usability of the GUI being developed.
We hope that you will consider participating, as your assistance will be
very helpful in developing a tool that meets your needs. The demands on
your time will be relatively minimal -- participation in a small number
of conference calls, and some email discussion.

If you are interested, please contact Steve Olshansky
<[log in to unmask]>, Internet2 Middleware Flywheel.

Thank you.
The Shibboleth Development Team