Security Camera Policy
Russell County Public Library uses security cameras to enhance the safety and security of library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library Code of Conduct, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations in library policies, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.
This policy establishes guidelines for the placement and use of the video security cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded video images originating from any facility of the Russell County Public Library.
Purposed & Placement Guidelines
Video recording cameras will be used in public spaces of library locations to discourage violations and criminal activity. The recording of audio is restricted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and will not be used.
Cameras may be installed in outdoor and indoor places where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples include public common areas of the library such as parking lots, entrances, seating areas, service desks and areas prone to theft of misconduct or areas where money is stored or handled.
Cameras will not be installed in areas of the library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or private offices.
Signs will be posted at all entrances informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.
Because cameras will not be continuously monitored, the public and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal property.
Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled area. Video recordings will typically be stored for up to 30 days, with the exception of records retained for criminal, safety, or security investigations. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted.
Cameras are not installed nor will they be used for the purpose of routine staff performance evaluations.
Use & Disclosure of Video Records
Access to archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of injury, criminal activity, or violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct is restricted to designated staff.
Those designated managers may also have access to real-time images, viewable on desktop monitors placed in staff areas to ensure private access.
Access is also allowed by law enforcement when pursuant of a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law. Only the Library Director or director’s designee may use a still shot or portions of the recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing a security risk or investigating a crime. Only the director or director’s designee will be authorized to release images to law enforcement.
Video images will not be maintained, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred or is being investigated.
Video records and still photographs may be used by authorized individuals to identify those responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property, or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations as delineated in the Library Code of Conduct.
In situations involving banned 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 will be archived in the Administrative Office for 5 years.
Unauthorized Access and/or Disclosure
Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage. If the Library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage pursuant to an alleged crime, they will be advised to file a police complaint.
A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any library employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video recording and/or a potential privacy breach has a responsibility to immediately inform the director of the breach.
The Library disclaims any liability for use of the video data in accordance with the terms of this policy, given that the Library is a public facility and the security cameras shall be limited to those areas where patrons and/or staff have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Approved by the RCPL Board of Trustees, 18 July 2017