Few library facilities are in constant use. Most will have periods of time when there is no-one around. In most locations, this unfortunately means security is a key issue to be addressed as is the availability of key-holders to open up the facility when needed.

Security and Construction

If you are undertaking construction or refurbishment works, special considerations need to be made. During the construction phase security should be the responsibility of the contractors on site. It is their job to ensure the building is secured and locked. In the later stages of construction there is a greater risk of damage to the property. It is advisable to have patrols during the evenings and at the weekends, (this will vary depending on the levels of crime in the surrounding area).

Once any construction is completed it will be again your responsibility to provide a safe space while the building is in use and to ensure your asset is protected when it is vacant.

Building Security

Effective security management means putting in place the right fittings, personnel and procedures in place. What constitute appropriate measures will depend on the nature of your building and its setting. The following recommendations provide an overview of common security features of public buildings.


  • The building should be fitted with CCTV that is operational from a central site office. Any monitoring would take place from this location. Cameras should cover as much of the building as possible but must include the entrances of the car park and all access points to the building.
  • The system used should hold a hard drive of a minimum of three months and be easily recordable onto CD / DVD. This will mean the police can be provided copies of specific times if required.
  • Grills / roller shutters can be fitted on windows and appropriate doorways (special provisions maybe required for fire exits). These should be provided by the construction company as part of the design. These locations should be designated during the design phase.
  • An access control system should be put in place to monitor who is entering and leaving the building. There are several options for this ranging from a simple sign-in system to an all-in-one package that only gives access to authorised individuals.

The particulars of each system will vary dependent on your security needs. In deciding which system to adopt several factors should be considered including:

  • Is the building open twenty-four hours-a-day?
  • What level of access to the building is required out-of-hours?
  • Is there a need to keep data on usage of the building? If so, how will the data collected be used?
  • What is the crime level in the surrounding area?
  • What are the insurance implications?


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