Policy UL-AD09 Authentication

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Background
  • Implementation
  • Supporting Documents


To describe the requirements of user authentication on the University Libraries' computers. 


This policy applies to all University Libraries' computers. 


Authenticated network access was established in the Penn State University Libraries in response to increasing misuse of the University's telecommunications network and was requested by the University's network security officer.  Examples of misuse include threatening or harassing email, compromised workstations, and unauthorized downloading of licensed or copyrighted works from the Libraries' sites.  Under the Federal 2000 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the University is responsible for the security of its network and for responding legally to misuse of copyrighted or licensed information available over the network.  Users must authenticate (sign on with an individually assigned account and  password) to insure accountability under University computer network policies and computer use regulations, as well as federal and state laws.  The authenticated account permits the University to recognize the University issued ID of the user who has used a workstation at a given time and to hold them accountable for unlawful usage or usage in violation of policies and procedures.  Only authorized Penn State users have access to the services and resources available on the Penn State network.  


University Libraries’ computers require a system user to authenticate using their individually assigned Penn State Access Account and password provided by University Information Technology Services (ITS). For specific information on the conditions for use, and individual user responsibilities regarding Access Account IDs, see University Policy AD95 Information Assurance and IT Security.

Access account holders who have forgotten their passwords should contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

Other questions regarding Penn State Access Accounts or IT Services can be directed to the IT Service Desk by calling 814-863-1035 or 814-863-2494, or by sending email to helpdesk@psu.edu.


Policy AD95 Information Assurance and IT Security
Guideline ADG01 Glossary of Computer Data and System Terminology
Guideline ADG02 Computer Facility Security
Policy UL-AD24 Libraries' Short-Term Access Accounts for Research (STAARs)

Effective Date: January 2003
Date Approved: November 2002 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • December 2018 – Edited to remove all mentions of visitor stations 
  • August 2011 – Substantial edits; added reference to UL-AD24 STAARs
  • November 2002 – New policy

Last Review Date:  August 2011