1.  What does "authenticate" mean and who can authenticate?

“Authenticate" means to verify the identity of authorized patrons logging into Library computers.

  • UCSB students, faculty, and staff can authenticate with their UCSB User ID (UCSB NetID) and password. 
  • Non-UCSB researchers and guests may request a temporary Guest Login at the Services Desk of the UCSB Library or the Circulation Desk of the Music Library upon presenting a government-issued photo ID. Acceptable forms of ID are valid driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID. Other IDs will not be accepted. Visitors lacking a government ID may use any of the Library’s 7 Quick Lookup workstations. Approval of a Guest Login request is subject to review by Library staff.

2.  Why did we decide to authenticate our public computers?

The major reasons are to:

  • Provide priority computer access to UCSB students, faculty, and staff.  The primary purpose of the UCSB Library is to meet the research and information needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the University. They have priority in the use of all services, resources and facilities. Increasingly over recent years we have received complaints by UCSB students about difficulty in accessing computers. This is not a change in policy. We have posted signs for many years indicating that priority access to computers is reserved for UCSB students, faculty, and staff.
  • Reduce the risk that the Library’s computers and the University’s network will be hacked.
  • Join thousands of academic libraries, including the majority of UC Libraries, in requiring user authentication.

3.  Can I buy a UCSB User ID and Password?

No. The UCSB NetID and password are issued by the campus only to current University of California Santa Barbara students, faculty, and staff. The Library is not able to issue UCSB NetIDs.

4.  How can I access Library resources if I cannot authenticate?

The Library provides 6 open access workstations at the following locations for the general public to use without authentication: 

  • UCSB Library, 1st  floor, near the Sunrise Room (5 computers)
  • Music Library, 2nd floor, near the Service Desk (1 computer)

These computers do NOT require authentication. Although they are open to the public without authentication, priority access on all machines is still given to UCSB students, faculty, and staff.

5.  Is there a time limit on my use of the open access computers?

There is a 30-minute time limit on the open access computers. We ask that users respect the needs of others if a waiting line develops.

6.  What are the privileges with a Guest Login?

The standard Guest Login provides visitors access to most Library computers for up to three hours a day. The three hours do not need to be used consecutively; multiple sessions are allowed throughout the day. Guest Login time limits and expiration dates may vary based on one’s relationship with the University, with special accommodation granted to researchers and visitors closely associated with a UCSB department or program. To inquire about your Guest Login privileges, stop by the Services Desk at the UCSB Library or Music Library, or contact:

7.  Where can I get access to the Internet, if not here?

The Santa Barbara Public Library System, and its many branches, provide Internet access to community users:  http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/lib/locations/default.asp

8.  Why aren't all taxpayers given the same access to UCSB Library resources, computers, and the Internet?

UCSB students, faculty, and staff   receive a User ID and password and open access to the Internet as part of their affiliation with the University. The general public also has access to the collections of the UCSB Library, including our licensed databases when they are in the Library. There are nine open access computers available to individuals that do not require authentication to access state and federal government internet resources. These resources, as well as the UCSB Library’s collections, are accessible whether the individual is on an open access computer or an authenticated computer.

9.  When I authenticate, will the University be tracking my activity on the workstation?

No, the authentication software only verifies that the User ID and password are present in the University's database. It does not keep track of anyone's search history or computer activity.

10.  Does the Library and/or patrons have to worry about privacy?

Protecting your privacy is important on any computer, but particularly shared computers.  Users are advised to store any work on a personal thumb drive or cloud storage, and to use the Cybrarian “Logout” button before leaving the computer so that it can clear any data from your session.

11.  I have a UCSB Library card. Does that mean I automatically receive a UCSB NetID or Guest Login account to authenticate?

No. A UCSB Library card allows individuals only to borrow Library materials.

12.  Why do I have to show a photo ID for a Guest Login?

We request a valid government-issued photo ID to verify the guest account holder’s identity. This is the same policy applied when obtaining a Library (borrower’s) card.

13.  Why must a guest be 18 to qualify for Guest Login computer access?

The UCSB Library exists primarily to serve the needs of the University community, and we do not filter our network or the Internet. This is the same age minimum used to obtain a UCSB Library (borrower’s) card.

14.  What if I forget my Guest Login account information?

Come to the Services Desk in the UCSB Library or the Music Library with your government-issued photo ID to receive a new Guest Login.

15.  Who is responsible for making the decision to require authentication at these public workstations?

Library Administration made this decision in response to increasing demands and complaints from UCSB students about difficulty in accessing computers. You can submit questions and comments about the decision to implement user authentication on the Library’s public computers through our online suggestion box