Booking an Upgrade

Booking an Upgrade

Farmington community library upgrades two locations

The Farmington Community Library is a district library system in metropolitan Detroit that serves a large and diverse community with more than 90,000 residents. With two locations, the main library in Farmington Hills and a branch in Farmington, the library (can be singular though two buildings) provides resources for teachers, students, parents, seniors and local businesses among others.

Coordinator of technology, Mary Carleton, works hard to support a welcoming space where people can read, research, work on projects, hang out with their children or take classes.

After meeting with local police to assess potential threats and vulnerabilities within their facilities, library director, Elyse Streit had several integrators assemble “design build” proposals addressing the safety concerns determined by law enforcement. The library needed access control to restricted areas and employee entrances, video surveillance at the building perimeter, parking lots, restricted and common areas, and intrusion detection on all controlled doors. They also wanted to use as much of their current Symmetry security system components and infrastructure to reduce costs.

Simplex Grinnell won the bid and upgraded the two libraries to AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Professional Access Control and Symmetry CompleteView Video Management System with CompleteView Pro NVRs. The head-end systems communicate over the library’s existing network to control and monitor security functions at both locations.

The upgrade secures 13 door locations using proximity card readers. A combination of Symmetry EN-DBCs and Multinode controllers provided a flexible implementation process.

Carleton upgraded the aging camera system with Symmetry CompleteView VMS and PowerPro NVR with analog connections to use 21 existing analog cameras and add 23 new Panasonic IP-based cameras. The new camera system provides clear video playback, along with video surveillance of the building perimeter, parking lots, elevators and common areas.

“The solution offers the library the ability to leverage their current investment, with the added flexibility to expand and integrate their security needs,” said John Keith, Simplex Grinnell project manager. “The security system improvements were put in place to guard against potential threats to employees, library patrons, along with damaged and stolen assets.”

The library has long been up to code with its fire department, but safety and security standards are less clearly defined, something the library is catching up on according to Carleton.

“NFPA 101 egress is required when installing access control with door locking systems,” Keith said. “All doors meet the code requirements.”

An all-glass door framed in metal proved a challenge for the upgrade. While beautiful, the police and everyone involved in the project said it was a security nightmare. AMAG and Simplex Grinnell worked together with the library’s maintenance crew and three different locksmiths to secure the door without smashing out all the glass and starting from scratch.

“Now the area where the accountant works and Library Board of Trustees meet has solid access control and camera views,” Carleton said.

The library uses a large conveyer system to sort books. Its nickname is IGOR because it’s so monstrous. It contains many places where a child could stick their hands and get hurt. They post warning signs, but Carleton and Streit knew more needed to be done to prevent a possible accident.

“Now with an access control point, the library can make sure no child can just wander behind our circulation desk to find out where the books go—and meet that scary monster,” Carleton said. “We now have access control on staff-only areas so librarians can take a real, uninterrupted break in the staff lounge.

“The receiving room and loading dock now has a buzzer, an intercom, a door release and a camera,” Carleton said. “We went from an analog to an IP camera system, which affords us clearer images and multiple views of public areas.”

The libraries are located in a wonderful community, but they still have the occasional person who steals DVDs or crams a pizza down the book drop. However, with better access control and more cameras, they have a bit less excitement and feel safer.

“The access control system made it possible to let everyone in, but not let everyone in everywhere,” Streit said. “In fact, we liked it so much that we expanded our system to add a couple of doors we hadn’t caught on the first sweep. We have happily had no incidents that require serious camera work, but just knowing it is there is worth the peace of mind.”

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Security Today.

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