The 16-branch Kingston-Frontenac Public Library is a primary information and community source for Kingston, Ontario, and the rest of Frontenac County. The library’s branches expand beyond book borrowing to provide citizens with computer, Internet, printing and copying access, as well as genealogy services and book clubs, making it a community hotspot for leisurely activity and a gateway to knowledge.
Most of the library’s locations are small 400- to 500-squarefoot buildings in rural areas, but the library also operates several urban branches. In fact, its Central Branch boasts 60,000 square feet of books, computers and other learning collateral. The library’s branches span the entire county, and more than an hour-long drive separates some locations.
The small, rural branches of the Kingston-Frontenac library are relatively quiet, even on the library decibel scale, but the urban branches, particularly its Central and Isabel Turner branches, are different animals. The Central Branch’s 60,000 square feet make complete surveillance coverage difficult, especially for the budget-conscious library. The urban settings of the two branches attract a variety of patrons that include students, children, job hunters and even visitors who are just looking to beat the winter snow for a couple of hours.
These particular branches suffered from minor theft, vandalism and occasional inappropriate behavior from patrons. Their surveillance system at the time failed to provide the critical data needed to make identifications. The bulky analog cameras may have served as a deterrent, but the system was unable to provide the image clarity the library needed.
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