Policy: Digital Video Surveillance


The Library employs video security cameras to ensure the physical security of the Library facility, staff and patrons. A sign is posted at the library entrance informing the public that security cameras are in use.

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 digital video images at the White Plains Public Library.

Security Camera Locations

Reasonable efforts are made to safeguard the privacy of library patrons and employees. The video security cameras are positioned to record only those areas specified by the Director, and will complement other measures to maintain a safe and secure environment in compliance with Library policies. Camera locations shall not be changed or added without permission of the Director.

Cameras may be installed in locations where staff and customers would not have an expectation of privacy. Examples include common areas of the Library such as entrances, near book and media collections, public seating, and parking lots. Cameras will not be installed in areas where staff and public have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms; nor are they positioned to identify a person’s reading, viewing or listening activities in the library.

Access to Digital Images

Recorded digital video images may contain personally identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials (“patron information”), and will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection provided to library users by the White Plains Public Library’s Confidentiality Policy.

Typically, images will not be routinely monitored in real time unless specifically authorized by the Library Director.

Only the Director or Assistant Director is authorized to access the recorded digital video images in pursuit of incidents of criminal activity or violation of the Library Code of Conduct. Other staff members may be given authorization to access this equipment on a limited basis.

Occasional spot checks of the recorded data will be made by the Library’s Information Technology Manager to assure proper operation of the system and to review access procedures. The frequency of viewing and the amount of video reviewed at one time will be limited to the minimum needed to give assurance that the system is working and to verify compliance of access policies.

Use/Disclosure of Video Records

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.

Video records and still records may be shared with authorized library employees when appropriate or, upon approval by the Director, other library staff to identify those suspended from library property and to maintain a safe, secure and policy-compliant environment.

Under certain circumstances, individuals authorized under this policy may use a still photograph or selected portions of recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing the security risk of a specific individual or for investigating a crime on library property.

Law Enforcement Requesting Access to Security Camera Footage

Library staff and volunteers are required to refer any law enforcement request for security camera footage or still photographs to the Library Director, or, in his or her absence, the Assistant Director. We do not make security camera footage or still photographs available to any agency, of federal, state, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, or court order is issued pursuant to law. Before complying with any such requests, legal counsel is consulted to determine the proper response.

In the event of a search warrant, which is executable immediately, Library Administration will comply with the search warrant and consult with legal counsel. Upon receipt of a subpoena or other court order, Library Administration shall consult with legal counsel to determine if the document is in proper form and that good cause for its issuance in a court of proper jurisdiction is demonstrated. If not, library Administration shall insist any defect be remedied before releasing records that contain patron information.

General Public Requesting Access to Security Camera Footage

Confidentiality/privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage. If a member of the general public wishes to obtain a copy of video footage they should make the request to the Library Director, or, in his or her absence, the Assistant Director.

Retention of Digital Images

The Library avoids creating unnecessary records, retaining records not needed for the fulfillment of the mission of the Library, as well as practices that could place personally identifiable information on public view.

Recorded digital video images are stored on hardware in a locked area in the Library. Recordings are retained for no longer than 72 hours in accordance with the Library’s records retention schedule, unless required as part of an ongoing investigation or litigation.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees June 11, 2014

PDF Version: Digital Video Surveillance Policy.pdf