For some of the resources you choose from the library's gateway, you are asked to supply your social security number, which is matched against university personnel/student records to confirm that you are a legitimate member of the community. This is done because the library is required by some information providers to sign license agreements promising to allow use of the information only to members of the university community. You should be cautious not to hand out your SSAN to outsiders who wish to get at university resources -- at a minimum we could lose access to vital information, and the university could be vulnerable to nasty legal action of such behavior were tracked and caught.