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Transient technologies: the end of the username and password?

Anthony McMullen ( University of Pennsylvania , Edinboro, Pennsylvania, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 14 November 2016




The purpose of this paper is to provide insights and commentary into issues encountered in providing computing services to library users in an era of shrinking budgets, reductions in staffing and increased costs.


Uses examples and illustrations from the technology literature and both anecdotal and analytic information from the author’s library to highlight some of the implications and resulting costs of password fatigue.


Web users are increasingly finding themselves in situations where they are overwhelmed by the stress induced by the need to remember many usernames and password combinations of varying complexities to complete their tasks at home, work and school.


This paper describes the shortcomings and counter-productive nature of the exceedingly complex and increasingly insecure world of usernames and password-protected web-based services. The cost of help desk-mediated password resets is enormous. Libraries are not immune to a large volume of calls generated by access issues.



McMullen, A. (2016), "Transient technologies: the end of the username and password?", The Bottom Line, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 230-232.



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