[Eril-l] vendors requiring phone numbers for MFA

Electronic Resources in Libraries discussion list eril-l at lists.eril-l.org
Tue Apr 25 09:26:11 PDT 2023

I will second Laura’s suggestion, to check if email can be used for the 2FA. I have found this option to be often hidden under an “other options” link, below the default prompt for a phone number.

David Macaulay
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries

From: Eril-l <eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org> On Behalf Of Electronic Resources in Libraries discussion list via Eril-l
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 11:05 AM
To: Electronic Resources in Libraries discussion list <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>
Subject: Re: [Eril-l] vendors requiring phone numbers for MFA

Non-NU Email
Do the vendors allow MFA through a code in email?  A few of my staff and I have a shared email account that we monitor for invoices, troubleshooting,etc. that would work for these purposes and I believe a few of our admin accounts might be requiring MFA with this as an option already (can't remember which ones but I feel like I did this recently when pulling usage for ACRL stats).  If not, I would consider asking the vendor if this could be an alternative.

Laura Turner
Associate Dean of the Library
Head of Collections, Access, and Discovery
Helen K. and James S. Copley Library / University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA  92110-2492
Phone:  (619) 260-2365 | lauraturner at sandiego.edu<mailto:lauraturner at sandiego.edu>

On Tue, Apr 25, 2023 at 8:58 AM Electronic Resources in Libraries discussion list via Eril-l <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>> wrote:
I just wanted to add "yikes!" to this. Luckily, I haven't (yet) come across this.

I don't have a smartphone (nor do I want one). Yes, I realize I'm a very small minority. I agree that if work wants us to use cell phones for work purposes, they should provide us with one (I do have a flip phone, but it's also almost never turned on). I wish there was an option for an email multi-factor authentication instead.

My own work does have an authentication app to log in remotely (which I only rarely do), and I use my tablet for that, but I'm not happy about that, either.

Of course, in this scenario, it's not really our own work requiring the cell phone, but it's the vendors. I think the "problem" is that so many people always have their smartphones with them and turned on, it's just assumed one will have it and be willing to use it for anything (work, included).

I'm sorry that doesn't really help you or answer your question. I just wanted to add my support for what you are saying.

Cindy Wiebe, MLIS
Cataloguing & Systems Specialist
St. Mary's University Library
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
cindy.wiebe at stmu.ca<mailto:cindy.wiebe at stmu.ca>


As a settler of German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent, I grew up in what is now known as Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan: Treaty 4 territory, which encompasses the traditional lands of the Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, and Métis peoples. I have lived in Mohkinstsis (now known as Calgary) for 32 years, on the traditional territory of the Siksikaitsitapi (the Blackfoot Confederacy): the, Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani First Nations. This is where Treaty 7 was made in 1877 between the British Crown and the Blackfoot, as well as the Tsuut’ina, and Iyaxe Nakoda peoples. This place is also home to the Métis Nation, Region 3.

From: Eril-l <eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org>> on behalf of Electronic Resources in Libraries discussion list via Eril-l <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>>
Sent: April 25, 2023 9:44 AM
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Subject: [Eril-l] vendors requiring phone numbers for MFA

Hi all -

Vendors and other sites required for technical services work are starting to require a cell phone number for multi-factor authentication via an authenticator app or sms.  E.g., to login to admin sites and get usage statistics.  We do NOT want staff using their personal cell phones for business purposes, for multiple reasons.  It's highly unlikely our institution will provide us with cell phones!

Anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with this issue?

Thanks and best, Theresa

Theresa Arndt
Assoc. Director for Library Resources & Administration
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013
Office/voicemail:  (717) 245-1750
arndtt at dickinson.edu<mailto:arndtt at dickinson.edu>
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