Arlington, VA

Arlington Public Library staff have been working to iron out a few wrinkles in the library’s new catalog system, which went live Thursday afternoon.

Some library patrons have been reporting difficulty logging in, placing holds and setting up lists. Staff have been responding to the feedback and encouraging more people to report their experience with the system.

In addition to the bugs, one tipster worries that the process of signing up for the new catalog system presents an opportunity for identity theft.

“Anyone can type in somebody else’s library card number, create and enter a PIN (I.D. number), and access somebody else’s account,” the tipster said in an email. “This is a security and privacy problem.”

We tested it and indeed you can sign up for an account and then see the library card holder’s name, address and phone number — provided you have the library card number. No additional identity verification is performed.

Library spokesman Peter Golkin says they’ve been monitoring the sign-up process.

“We’re keeping an eye on how the PIN sign-up process is working,” Golkin said. “We’re also still testing some related features like the alternate username so we can revisit such issues as we proceed.”

“So far we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the big upgrade,” Golkin added.


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