Security Camera Policy

Policy Statement

The Decatur Public Library enriches our community by providing unlimited opportunities for information, education, inspiration and imagination.  We also strive to continue to connect our community to the power of knowledge. To complete this mission, the Library must offer a welcoming, open atmosphere and provide a quiet, comfortable and safe environment where people can use library facilities and collections for intended purposes to the maximum extent possible.
Security cameras are used where needed to provide peace of mind to library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library’s rules and guidelines of conduct, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.  The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of video security cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded video images at the Decatur Public Library.

 

  • Cameras are installed at library locations on an as needed basis.
  • Signage will be posted at Library entrances and other locations throughout the library informing the public that security cameras are in use
  • Security cameras may be placed in both indoor and outdoor areas where security staff and designated Library staff can randomly monitor activity.
  • Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of criminal activity or violation of the Library’s rules of conduct is restricted to designated staff:  Board of Trustee members, the City Librarian, Assistant City Librarian, Librarians in Charge (LIC), Security Staff, Systems Manager or Designated appointee
  • Access is also allowed by law enforcement officials upon request or when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
  • Designated staff as described above may have access to real-time monitors.
  • Video records will be maintained for approximately 30 days with the exception of appropriate still shots or selected portions of the recorded data relating to specific incidents. These shall be retained for one year after the incident, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred.
  • In situations involving banned-and-barred patrons, stored still images may be shared with staff system-wide.  Shared images may remain posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of the banning period.  After the banning period ends, these images may be archived for a limited period of time.
  • Questions from the public may be directed to the City Librarian, Assistant Library Director, or Designated appointee.

Guidelines

  • Digital video security cameras may be placed in both indoor and outdoor areas where security staff and designated Library staff can periodically monitor activity.
  • Because security cameras are not constantly monitored, staff and public should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of personal property.  Neither the Decatur Public Library nor the City of Decatur is responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
  • Cameras may be installed in public spaces where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Examples include common areas of the library such as entrances, book stacks, public seating areas, hallways, stairways, delivery areas and parking lots.
  • Cameras may be installed in areas that could assist Law Enforcement in documenting traffic accidents or other incidents unrelated to the Library that take place on the public streets and surrounding properties within camera view.  Examples include cameras on the exterior of a library building that not only document activity on Library property but also the sidewalk, public streets, and surrounding properties.
  • Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in restrooms.
  • Cameras will not be installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance.
  • Images will typically be stored for an average period of approximately 30 days with the exception of appropriate still shots or selected portions of the recorded data relating to specific incidents. These shall be retained for one year after the incident. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
  • Staff and patron safety is the first priority in any threatening situation.   The protection of library property is of secondary importance.
  • Installation and placement of cameras will be under the management and direct supervision of the City Librarian

A copy of this policy may be shared with members of the public upon request.  The policy is also posted on the Decatur Public Library’s official website.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on November 21, 2013

Amended by the Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees on July 20, 2017