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Security Solutions for Archives and Libraries by TBS

Archives and libraries are repositories of our communication from the past to the present. We made them better understand how we came to where we are and reflect on where we are heading. "To ask why we need libraries at all when there is so much information available elsewhere is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads. How can we protect them?", Jon Bing - Writer and law professor at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law.

Besides books and manuscripts, archives and libraries can include government and legal documents, patents, letters, images, videos, and many more. They can be in paper form, papyrus, parchment, electronic records, etc. Hence, they can cover quite a lot in terms of variety and importance. Some pieces are unique, and therefore protecting, controlling, and accounting for their access is of paramount importance.

Through the years, the classic approach to managing and securing libraries and archives was through a sheer amount of paperwork for verification checks with identification and solid security constructions. On the latter, this is still true. Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a remote and impressive repository dug in a rock in one of the most remote places on earth, but it is also an equally impressive technological construction because the identification of people and material is done digitally.

There can be endless challenges to guarantee both security and protection. Depending on what they protect, archives and libraries seriously address climate control, fire prevention, information systems, energy, light, and the health and safety of people. Digitalization has been steadily replacing paperwork with ERPs and software applications easy to manage and understand.


But what about security?

Security measures depend on the requirements of each building. A municipal library has far fewer security considerations to consider whilst the rarity of the items stored in places like the Vatican Archives or the Iron Mountain in Boyers, Pennsylvania demands additional measures. As security pressures increase so does the technological response.


Biometrics as a Key to Access

The “Guide to Security Considerations and Practices for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collection Libraries” is a great reference when it comes to best practices. Covering all aspects of security from CCTV to security guards, also biometrics takes a prominent role, though the guide was written at a time when the technology only started to migrate from the exclusive world of governments to the ubiquity of nowadays.

Public libraries seek an approach that combines security with convenience. While barcodes or RFID tags help to organize the storage and traceability of materials, biometrics enables one to manage who gets access to these. Often, municipal libraries are spread over several buildings, and the ability to access any of those sites, be identified, and retrieve a book makes the whole process much easier for both the library and the user. On the other hand, archives necessarily need more stringent security measures that focus on user identification and material traceability. Biometric access control addresses those two important points with a single solution.


Profit from the TBS Expertise

TBS company offers biometric solutions that can also identify delicate fingerprints or completely touchless solutions using iris or 3D finger-scan sensors. TBS solutions easily integrate with other security systems including CCTV, alarms, locks, and doors. Thus, TBS is well-positioned to provide biometric-based security solutions to libraries and archives. Our confidence is based on the robustness of TBS products, the vast experience of our partners, and the positive feedback from our challenging customers around the world.


Get in touch to explore options, discuss solutions, and learn more about our innovative technology. We look forward to speaking with you.