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Older III OPAC due to lose functionality on Google Chrome Browser

Not being a systems librarian, I hadn’t heard about this change until today. If you are a systems librarian, you’ve probably known about this for a while, but it was news to me so I’m passing it along just in case. Also, the usual disclaimers apply about me not actually speaking Server but working with people who do, so I hope I’m not garbling things in translation.

There are three facts that are coming into convergence soon that will affect people using Innovative Interface’s OPAC but who have not signed on for their upgrade to Sierra.

  1. There is a major transition going on in the web security world from an old version of security (SHA-1) to a new version (SHA-256).
  2. Modern browsers are beginning to phase out support for sites that are on the old system. (Here’s some more in-depth information about that.)
  3. III’s OPAC runs on servers using an ancient operating system (Red Hat 4) that does not support SHA-256.

Beginning near the end of November, Google Chrome will start displaying warnings to users telling them that sites on the old system are not secure. In spring of 2015, Chrome will stop displaying those sites. In 2016 all major browsers will stop displaying those sites.

For III’s old OPAC, users will still be able to use the search interface and see results, but if they try to log in to save records, that functionality will fail.

At my library, we have a discovery layer between most users and the OPAC (we use VuFind), and the functionality there will not be affected.

Luckily, at my library we’re also in the market for a new Library Management System.