Getting Expert Help


On the “Contact Us” page we give you our contact information. We invite you to contact us if you need to talk to an experienced security professional about a topic. In addition to the Chair’s email address we have provided a phone number.

Here’s how it works.  Calls and emails come into the Committee’s Chair. The Chair analyzes your question or problem and identifies the committee volunteer who is most likely to have the answer for you.  Some members are fire experts, some disaster experts, some are experts in contract guard services and others in electronic security systems, etc. The Chair may also take a stab at your question. If we think that your question might not have just one right answer, we may refer you to two experts so you can get a second opinion or perspective.

When you get the name and number or email address of an expert to contact, make contact with them at your leisure. We will email them to expect your call.  This is a free service. Even if we refer you to a consultant who makes his or her living selling advice, they will give you their answer for free and discuss your problems with you to the best of their ability. Occasionally we may even refer you to someone in a different committee since they may actually be the best expert to help you.

If an expert is a consultant, he or she is likely to have experience in large and small facilities. But if the expert is a security professional in an AAM museum, they may only know the solution for their type of museum--art, natural history, etc. How things are handled in a suburban children’s museum may be very different from how they are handled in an urban art museum. Advice may vary with the size of the institution, too.  So ask probing questions. “You gave me the solution for the Smithsonian but how would you do it if my budget was very small?”

If your problem is easily expressed in an email but otherwise complex, we may ask you to email your question so we can circulate it to several experts and ask for several perspectives.  We will keep trying until we find someone to help you.

We encourage you to take advantage of this service. We are happy to help.

What We Can Do For You

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MAP and StEPs Teams!

One of the objectives of this committee during 2011 and 2012 is to provide readers with answers to some of the questions raised by these two assessment programs. Often the program questions don’t provide any guidance as to what the correct answer should be nor can definitive or agreed upon correct answers be found in the literature. For example, you may be asked if you maintain your institution’s important business survival documents in a secure location off site but no one tells you which documents should be retained or what a “secure” location off site is. During Katrina many museums found that items stored in the bank or the director’s home or a nearby warehouse were really not safe so this committee will try to answer some of the questions participants in these programs have pondered for years. When we do we will post them here as sort of a knowledge base or reference source and incorporate them into the guidelines and standards museum security people already use.

In the meantime we can’t stress enough the importance of a document called “Recommended Practices for Museum Security” (recently the name was changed from “Suggested Guidelines”).  This document was published jointly by the American Society for Industrial Security’s museum committee and this AAM committee and it contains a wealth of information on many topics. Boring to a curator going through an assessment--yes. But very useful. It can be downloaded free elsewhere on this site. See the menu buttons for “Guidelines and Standards”.

Eventually we hope to have much more on this site to help those undergoing an assessment. Come back often.