Security Camera Policy

At the Ambler Branch, the Library employs video security cameras to ensure the physical security of the Library facility, staff and patrons.

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 Wissahickon Valley Public Library and its branches. Reasonable efforts are made to safeguard the privacy of patrons and employees.

The video security cameras are positioned to record only those areas specified by the Director/designee, and will complement other measures to maintain a safe and secure environment in compliance with Library policies. Cameras may be installed in locations where staff and patrons would not have an expectation of privacy. Cameras will not be installed in areas where staff and patrons 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.

The Director/designee, in the course of their normal duties, may monitor and operate the live video security system. Only the Director/designee is authorized to access the recorded archival data in pursuit of incidents of criminal activity, litigation, or violation of Library policies. Other staff, with permission from the Director, may review recorded data to ascertain security concerns related to a specific incident. Such persons shall not violate any laws relevant to this policy in performing their duties and functions related to the video security system.

Images will be stored until overwritten. Typically, the images will not be reviewed unless an incident comes to the Branch Manager, Library staff, or Director.

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.

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.

Video records shall not be used or disclosed other than as specifically authorized by this policy. Video records 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 Pennsylvania state law, Wissahickon Valley Public Library policies, and the American Library Association policies on confidentiality and privacy. All requests for security camera footage or still photographs by law enforcement will be referred to the Director. 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.

Confidentiality/privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage that contains patron information.

Approved by the Board of Directors on July 27, 2023

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