During Loyola University’s search for a “single-card” student ID system, they recognised that such a system would not be suitable for areas of the campus that are frequented by non-students.
With a diverse culture and surrounding community, Loyola University is an urban campus where many neighboring institutions, such as DePaul and Northwestern Universities utilise its campus facilities, like its libraries. This became a challenge for Loyola staff to recognise a student from a visitor.
“How to manage our libraries was the concern that drove our initial interest in visitor management,” said Frank Dale, manager of physical security with Loyola University. “We had a fair number of visitors combined with students from other campuses and needed a program to help identify them and the “single-card” system wouldn’t suffice. We were having petty thefts plus, more importantly, we simply wanted to know who was in our facilities.”
From libraries to residence halls
Visitor logs at Loyola were kept by hand and managed on a manual basis from one building to another. The need for automation in the visitor registration process was needed in order to improve efficiency and security.
As security became increasingly important and the need to integrate visitor management across multiple facilities was highly prevalent, Loyola’s security and facilities executives realised that a hand-written system was not feasible and would not be scalable as the campus expanded its facilities in both the Lake Shore and Downtown (Water Tower) locations. A meeting was assembled with representatives of the libraries, the Dean of Students and student organisations to find a better method to manage visitors and as a result, HID Global’s EasyLobby Secure Visitor Management (SVM) solution was selected.
Visitor logs at Loyola were kept by hand and managed on a manual basis from one building to another
EasyLobby SVM provided the ability to scale across multiple locations; the university implemented the visitor management system in 3 of its libraries, 7 residence halls and 3 administrative buildings and is used to badge over 1,500 visitors per day.
“The use of EasyLobby at Loyola has grown significantly since the initial library implementation,” said Dale. All systems are networked to the same central database where enterprise-wide data is integrated, analysed and reported on. In many of the campus’ facilities, EasyLobby SVM is also integrated with security gates.
Protecting the residence halls
The expansion of EasyLobby SVM took place in the residence halls at the main and Water Tower campuses, where it is used to manage student visitors. With a typical Loyola residence hall receiving approximately 100 visitors per day, EasyLobby SVM is used for reconciliation at the end of visiting hours so that campus administration can easily identify which guests are still on campus and which have checked out.
“The EasyLobby visitor management system has helped make our campuses safer,” said Dale. “Especially since we are located in an urban setting, we place a high premium on keeping out unwanted visitors and keeping our students, faculty and staff safe.”
Since EasyLobby SVM was deployed, the return-on-investment has been significant for Loyola
Reducing library theft – and gaining ROI
Since EasyLobby SVM was deployed, the return-on-investment has been significant for Loyola resulting in the elimination of theft in its libraries.
“We were having issues with petty thefts in the libraries, which was especially difficult to manage with so many visitors, plus students from other campuses,” said Dale. “It was extremely difficult to manage those thefts before we deployed EasyLobby because our visitor data was kept by hand and was not integrated across Loyola facilities. These days the rate of theft is effectively zero.”
Expanding with the campus
“We have new buildings going online all the time across our campuses and as a result of EasyLobby’s responsiveness and proactive assistance, we plan to grow our EasyLobby deployment as the campus grows,” said Dale.