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Extra Security Step to Access Library Resources


Northwestern University Library (Main), Pritzker Legal Research Center, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Qatar Library, and the Styberg Library are adding an extra layer of security for all electronic resources, including journals and databases. Beginning July 1, users accessing electronic resources will sign in as usual using Online Passport, and will then be prompted to use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).

This means journals, databases, and e-books will require this extra security step before becoming accessible to our community. The Northwestern community should already be familiar with this technology, which is now required to access many self-service University-wide systems, including myHR, NUFinancials, CAESAR, and GlobalProtect VPN.

Why are we making this change? This security upgrade has been in the works for some time, because passwords alone are no longer adequate to protect us from theft of our academic intellectual property. When even a single password is compromised, it can result (and has, on several occasions) in the campus-wide deactivation of our access to valuable resources.

To use Multi-factor Authentication

If you have not already done so, please set up your Duo Mobile MFA account before July 1 with these straightforward steps:

  1. Register your device with Northwestern. We strongly recommend registering two numbers—your cell phone and one additional number—and downloading the Duo Mobile [iPhone, Android] app.
    • Note: To ensure you always have the ability to authenticate into the University’s systems, use the Duo Mobile app. The app is quicker than a text or phone call, and it adds an additional layer of security. Duo Mobile works on every device, including smartwatches. Having the app is especially important if you travel outside the United States, as it can be used over wireless anywhere in the world.
  2. When accessing library electronic resources on and after July 1, you will be prompted to confirm your identity through your registered device.
  3. You have the option to check a “remember me” box, which will bypass the need to use Multi-factor Authentication for subsequent logins for a period of 30 days. You will, however, still need to use your NetID and NetID password for each login.

See Galter Library's FAQs on MFA for more information. If you have further concerns regarding how this will affect your interaction with library materials, please contact

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Updated: September 25, 2023