Category Archives: PIN

No PIN required for self-checkout machines

You wrote:

The removal of the passwords on the self-check-out is dangerous.

I have on two occasions found student ID cards. I gave them to security, but what if the policy had been in place, and someone else had found the cards?

Can you really say the student is responsible for stolen books on their card if you do this?

When a credit card is stolen the card company assumes the cost of the theft, is the library willing to do this?


I’m shocked to see that password is no longer required to borrow books using the self check-out machines. I would like the library to tell me what the policy will be regarding books checked out on a card that was lost or stolen. I understand that, in any case, students must always report a stolen ID card as soon as they notice the card is missing, but noticing that the card is missing is not instantaneous. I can honestly think of no other instances where a card can be used by a complete stranger like this. A debit card requires a pin, and a credit card holder is not liable for purchases made on a stolen card, even if these purchases were made before the card was reported stolen.

Everyone agrees that security must be improved with these kinds of devices, so what is the reasoning behind this unannounced change? And will students be held responsible for books “borrowed” on a stolen card? Will there be a maximum amount of money one must pay?

Thank you for your comments and questions. On March 19th, the Libraries announced that a PIN would no longer be required when using a library self-check machine. This is one of those tricky situations where the need for simplicity is measured against the need for security.

It is true that the present system of not requiring a PIN at the self-checkout machines is not as secure as it was in the past. However, abuse of the system can only happen at the self-checkout machines. Nowhere else. Therefore, if a student reports that items were checked out on his/her record without his/her knowledge, we can tell what terminal they were checked out from. If the item was loaned out at a self-checkout machine, staff will take this information into account when deciding how to handle lost book charges, etc.

So, since –

  • there is a limited number of places where a problem can occur
  • similar systems have been in place in other universities for over ten years
  • we want to make it easier for students to use the self-checkout service, especially after regular service hours

PINs are no longer required for self-checkout. That said, if students notice that they have lost their id cards, they should report it asap.

PIN for the self-checkout machines

You wrote:

I have never been so frustrated in my life trying to get a PIN to take out some library books. There is no link provided on the machine, and when I go to the Clues homepage, you don’t even put the proper link to set up a password for the automatic machine set up at the entrance of the Webster Library. Useless.

I am so sorry that you had such a frustrating experience.  You are correct in that there is no link on the self-checkout machine.  Our Systems people will look into it and see if it would be possible.  Also, the help screens that appear on the self-checkout screens need to be updated.

However, I just want to clarify that the “password” or PIN for the self-checkout machines is, in fact, the same PIN you use for MyCLUES.  You set this up by clicking on the *login to myclues* button. Login to MyCLUES

Complete instructions are at: .

I hope that this helps and that you will be able to use the self-checkout machines in the future.

Signing in First Thing

You wrote:

I always want to sign in first thing. How come we have to wait until we are in the middle of a function? Sometimes I have multiple pages open and forget which I’m signed in or not, going back and forth from Google… I would appreciate a sign in option on the heading along with the clues/keyword prompt.

Thanks for writing to us about this. It sounds like you are talking about the Login to MyCLUES function, but I may be misunderstanding.  There is a CLUES login button along the permanent header of our website, as shown here:

You are not the first to have asked for more obvious and upfront login options, so consider the feedback noted. Since much of our website and many of our CLUES search functions are free to all, however, we also try not to overemphasize the login aspect.

If you often switch back and forth between Google and library resources while working from home, you should also know about something we’ve mentioned once or twice before on this blog:  the Concordia Virtual Private Network (VPN). With the VPN installed,  you won’t be asked to login to MyCLUES to access most Concordia-only online resources such as e-journals and databases from home. And because the VPN allows your computer to be recognized as part of the Concordia University network, you can often even directly access the full text of online journal articles from Google or Google Scholar listings rather than having to open a new window or tab and go through the library web site.

The VPN software must be downloaded and configured on your computer, but that need only be done once, and step by step instructions are available. Feel free to write back to us if you were actually referring to something else,  or if you need more information about any of the above.

Barcode & PIN Blues

You wrote:

The option to remember (at least some part) of login information would be very much appreciated. At least for non-sensitive information, like in the forms used by banking institutions.

Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you are referring to the login screen that prompts you for your name, barcode and Library PIN.  Though the information you enter in the name field can be remembered by most browsers, it is true that the barcode and PIN are considered private information by the form and must be entered every time.

While I can’t offer any immediate and perfect solutions to this inconvenience, you might want to know about the Concordia Virtual Private Network (VPN), an alternative way of connecting from home.  You will still need your barcode and PIN for personalized services like book renewals and Article Delivery, but not to access most Concordia-only online resources such as e-journals and databases.

The VPN software must be dowloaded and configured on your computer, but that need only be done once, and  step by step instructions are available.   In addition, because the VPN allows your computer to be recognized as part of the Concordia University network, you can sometimes directly access the full text of online journal articles via Google or Google Scholar rather than having to go through the library web site. It might be worth a try!

Trouble getting into the system

You wrote:  

How come I can’t get in to the system? I type my name and bar code and get told it is invalid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

I’m sorry to hear that you cannot get into the system.  What are you trying to access?  A database?  A journal article?  An e-book?

At first glance, it sounds to me like you need assistance with your barcode and PIN.  Information on library PIN is available on this page:  

If you are working off-campus, you may also like to consider downloading the VPN software onto your computer.  Information on how to do that is available at:  

If you are trying to accesss the wireless network in the library, find out how to set up your laptop at:   

Or perhaps you are trying to access one of the library’s computers?  Your portal netname and password should let you in.  If you need to re-set your MyConcordia password, you can do so at:  

 Finally, if none of these pages are helpful, do not hesitate to “ask a librarian” for help.  You can contact us via chat, email, telephone and face-to-face.  Contact information is available at: 

Good luck!

Creating a Library PIN

You wrote:

Trying to make a request, I seem to have given the wrong pin. I followed the instructions to get on myClues, filled my name and bar code, left the pin space empty as per instructions and go no further: Can’t turn in a pin number as told to expect.

Sorry the PIN is not working out. Here are some troubleshooting tips; if they don’t help please give us a call at 848-2424, ext. 7706 [Webster] or ext. 7770 [Vanier]  and we will be happy to help you set up your PIN number.