The Brains Behind Library Authentication Services at OpenAthens

Technology | November 15, 2018

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Learn about the brains behind library authentication and single sign-on services at OpenAthens. Meet Kristina Symes, OpenAthens technical solutions lead, and find out what she’s been up to.

Kristina Symes started out with OpenAthens in a service desk position, troubleshooting authentication issues for librarians around the world. Due to a strong desire to be better at her job and truly help these librarians, she started researching authentication for the purpose of accessing digital content. She is now an expert in all things authentication and the technologies behind the different methods. 

In early 2018, Symes released a book titled Access to Online Resources – A Guide for the Modern Librarian, published by Springer Open and available to download for free as an e-book. It’s a 30-minute read, where she talks through technical topics with simple and clear examples. The book focuses on:

  • The difference between authentication and authorization
  • Web based authentication
  • IP address recognition
  • What SAML is and how it works
  • OpenID Connect
  • Basic troubleshooting

She is now an expert in all things authentication and the technologies behind the different methods.

When Symes is not deep in research mode, she’s sharing her findings and knowledge at library conferences across the globe. She’s currently presenting an informational webinar series titled, “What Librarians Should Know About Authentication,” where she examines the different methods of authentication. Her first U.S. session was very successful. Her next session will be presented for an Australian audience.

EBSCO had the pleasure to interview Symes for Long Overdue: Libraries and Technology, an EBSCO podcast for librarians. The podcast explores the impact that technology has on the library industry, looking at current technology trends and exploring what the future could hold. Listen to what Kristina has to say in episode three.

Click below if you would like to learn more about EBSCO and OpenAthens Authentication and single sign-on.

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