For Our Library and Archive Clients


Steve Keller and Associates, Inc. is a leading security consulting firm working in the field of library and archive security. We conduct numerous surveys of libraries and archives annually and have done so consistently for over 30 years. Our clients include the Library of Congress, the Boston Athenaeum, the New York State Library and Archives, the Alabama Archives, the Arizona State Archives, the Bancroft and the Doe Libraries at UC Berkeley, the Harvard Depository and nine special collection libraries at Harvard University, the Library at Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy, the Wilson Library at UNC, the Rare Book Library at Duke University, the Kroch Library at Cornell University, and many others.

A typical project looks at many aspects of library security. We look at the building in general. We look at the rare and fragile collections. We look at items on display. We look at the policies and procedures from determining what is a rare book to who can use the reading room and under what conditions. Workflow is carefully studied. The process of accepting acquisitions and processing them and the problem of arrearages are studied. We look a access to the stacks and who fetches rare materials. We evaluate how materials are handled in transit from off site storage to the point of use. Every library special collection can benefit from this security survey.

Because we know how library thefts and mutilation incidents occur, we are able to evaluate your facility and recommend procedures that minimize the opportunity for theft or book mutilation. We specialize in special collection libraries including those with manuscript, maps, and other rare materials including controversial or collectible items.

We have also evaluated library and archive support spaces such as digital processing and book conservation facilities. Steve is a contributor to the book “Creating the High Functioning Library Space: Expert Advice from Librarians, Architects and Designers”.  In 2018, Steve Keller gave a public lecture at Harvard University on the subject of library security and the history of theft of rare books.

If you are interested in a comprehensive study of your operation and workflow from a security perspective, please call us. And if you are planning a renovation, please specify us to your architect as your security consultant of choice.