Art Sentry Artwork Protection System Helps With Museum Security Staffing Issues
Museums are valuable institutions and add to society in many ways. They inspire and motivate, educate and inform, and offer a place of rest and rejuvenation for the community. Their effect on the wellbeing of visitors is well documented. In order to preserve these benefits, many challenges must be addressed.
One major challenge for museums is unprecedented staffing issues.
According to AAM’s National Snapshot of COVID-19 Impact on United States Museums survey:
Of those museums currently recruiting, 56 percent report they are having trouble filling open positions, especially in guest services/admissions/frontline/retail (56 percent), facilities/maintenance/security (40 percent), and education (26 percent). Almost half (45 percent) of responding directors listed “labor and skills shortage” as one of the biggest potential disruptors to their business strategies in the next year.
Art Sentry already helps leading museums by leveraging technology to mitigate security staffing issues while actually improving the visitor experience.
Our system multiplies museum security staff and prevents unwanted touches before they happen. With Art Sentry, an invisible protection zone is created around valuable artifacts and collection pieces. If someone ignores signs and approaches within a designated distance, they will hear a voice asking them to step back. Art Sentry’s solution is unbiased; it is activated irrespective of race, gender, or other individual characteristics.
This also relieves some of the stress that comes with guards confronting a visitor. Security guards only need to get involved if someone simply won’t heed the audible alert. Most often, a guest will honor the message and step back. As a result, an uncomfortable situation is avoided for both guards and visitors.
With the Art Sentry system continuously watching all the art, security guards can monitor five or six galleries instead of walking back and forth among two or three.
An additional force-multiplier is the Art Sentry iPad app that allows security guards to be less visible to guests. Using this application, guards can view the galleries and paintings in their posts from a distance. This eliminates potential accusations from visitors that guards are “hovering” over them or uncomfortably following them around. If there is an issue, a security officer can address the situation quickly, much faster than someone watching a bank of security monitors deeper in the museum.
Traditionally, museums have had trouble finding and retaining security guards because those roles often pay minimum wage and the role can be monotonous with frequent standing.
With Art Sentry, museums can pay security guards more money – and keep them on staff much longer – because guards:
- Can cover more galleries (saving on extra personnel costs)
- Learn new, fulfilling skills like the iPad and app
- Encounter less stressful situations with visitors
- Have positive engagement with visitors and answer questions (exhibit details can be loaded on the iPad)
- Can even fill in as needed if there is a rush at a gift shop, completing transactions on the iPad
The future looks bright for museums as they navigate the needs and perceptions of visitors and work to retain employees like security guards who can thrive in ever-expanding roles.
Do you need more information about Art Sentry? Would you like to schedule a demonstration to see how it works? Contact us and we’ll show you the benefits of the Art Sentry system.