MT sensors prove invaluable, protecting one-of-a-kind priceless artifacts from water damage
Hours saved in travel time to and from each individual library location for network updates and maintenance
Improved visitor experience with secure guest Wi-Fi and expanded services
35 locations managed by an IT team of 6 employees
Up to $1,000,000 saved in payroll
< 1 hour installation time for sensors and access points
The MT sensors are invaluable to us because the historic collections they protect are irreplaceable. If one piece is damaged, it could be the only piece that’s in the world.
Systems Administrator, Marmot Library Network
Settled at the heart of the Rocky Mountains just off Interstate 70 sits the Eagle Valley Library District (Eagle Valley), just one of the 35 library members served by the Marmot Library Network technology company. Enter through the doors of any Eagle Valley Library District location and you will be greeted by an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and history, with artifacts dating back to times of gunslinging and the Wild West. Beyond just the publications in this district, Marmot Library Network maintains the online union database with a catalog of 1.2 million one-of-a-kind books, documents, maps, and works of art.
Providing IT-related services for public, academic, and school libraries in Colorado, Marmot Library Network has ample responsibility to provide technology that will protect and secure the rare books and artifacts at each of the numerous locations—and in their digital archive—while also ensuring a safe, enjoyable library experience for the residents and tourists of Eagle County.
Marmot Library Network’s IT team of six employees were battling two clear challenges when it came to managing the technology at their growing family of Colorado libraries. Both revolved around security and connectivity, not only the personal information of Colorado residents and tourists and their subsequent library experience, but also the physical, irreplaceable artifacts being stored at different locations.
With guest experience being of utmost importance, it was vital that each library patron could log on to guest Wi-Fi to browse and research at their will. However, this had the potential to lead to cybersecurity issues that could put the user’s personal information at risk. To best serve their patrons and address this ongoing risk, the Marmot team was spending countless hours making the physical trek to each location every time security updates or network maintenance was needed. In the rural Rocky Mountains, with varied and sometimes unpredictable weather, traveling to each remote library location for service updates was no simple feat.
The variable weather was also cause for anxiety when it came to the physical protection of the historic collections stored at different libraries. Eagle Public Library housed their most valuable pieces—ranging from original mining documents to one-of-a-kind gold rush artifacts—in their basement, which had a history of flooding. If any of these pieces were to be destroyed or damaged, replacement could be impossible.
It was clear to the Marmot Library Network team that they needed to deploy new technologies that could secure their library Wi-Fi networks remotely and protect their tangible, historic collections.
To address the issue of branch connectivity and online security, the Marmot team turned to Meraki. With MX security and SD-WAN appliances in place to address cybersecurity risks and MR access points and MS switches deployed for connectivity, the team quickly addressed the visitor experience challenge. Marmot IT could now manage all library locations simultaneously and remotely through one dashboard while providing various applications and services to the libraries and members.
In the case of the Eagle Valley location, it was crucial that the team get technology that could provide protection for these priceless artifacts up and running as soon as possible. With a history of sporadic flooding in the area, water damage could happen at any time. Neither Marmot nor the library district itself could risk more time going by without proper visibility and security. To prevent catastrophic damage, the team deployed MT water leak detection sensors to monitor for future flooding and ultimately protect the irreplaceable items, as well as the library’s network infrastructure. The cloud-managed water leak detection sensor is programmed to send immediate SMS, email, or push notification alerts if water leakage in the space is detected, giving both the library and the Marmot team ample peace of mind.
Cisco Meraki products used:
Security and SD-WAN
The addition of the end-to-end Meraki solution—including the MT sensors, which only took about an hour to install—has given the Marmot Library Network team the comfort of having visibility into each library location without having to physically travel to and from each. This visibility allows for full and seamless management of branch networks within one intuitive dashboard, not only improving the experience for library patrons but for the Marmot team as well. Their small IT team can now operate more efficiently and productively without needing to add more staffing, which could have increased the budget by up to $1 million in payroll alone. The new sense of visibility is also greatly appreciated by the Eagle Valley Library team, who can now rest easy knowing these irreplaceable pieces of history are protected and looked after by the careful eye of the MT sensor.
While the library has not experienced a flood since the sensor deployment, the Marmot team ran a test that, in their words, went “beautifully.” Jason Stow, Systems Administrator at Marmot Library Network, specifically called out the SMS alert feature as “invaluable, especially when a flood is happening, to get the message out to as many people as possible in case somebody is not available.” Looking to the future, the Marmot Library Network team is eager to expand their Meraki deployment in other library locations and their central hub as well, allowing for increased security and visibility, and resulting in less headache for this lean team of six.