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Security Camera Policy

Guidelines for security cameras used throughout the building


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of digital security cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded images at the Cary Memorial Library (CML).

The Library strives to take reasonable precautions to assure a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff. Because library staff is unable to provide direct supervision over all areas within the library and library grounds, digital security cameras have been placed at selected locations in order to observe and record visible activities of persons within the library.

Cameras will not be installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Camera placement shall be determined by the library director or his/her designee.  Cameras shall not be placed in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

Cameras are not positioned to identify a person’ reading, viewing or listening activities. However, to the extent that any recorded images include identifiable persons requesting information or checking out an item, such record shall be treated as confidential as provided under Massachusetts Law.

Public Notice

Signage shall be conspicuously displayed within the library advising of the recording of digital images. 

Data Storage

Cameras will record activities in real time and images will be saved to the camera server’s hard drive.  Current software deletes images automatically as the capacity of the hard drive is reached.

Digital images will not be maintained, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred or is being investigated. Digital 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’s Rules of Behavior Policy.

In situations involving trespassed patrons, stored still images may be shared with staff.  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 Offices for 5 years.

Authority to Access Camera Data

The library director holds the authority to designate library staff members who may access real time or recorded footage. 

Circumstances under which designated staff may access images in real time include, but are not limited to, observation of areas beyond view from designated work stations for assurance of safety and security.  Access to real time or recorded imagery is also authorized to designated staff upon report of suspicious behavior, including policy violations, criminal activity, destruction or theft of library property or assets, or other activity that may be disruptive to library operations.

Law Enforcement Access to Real Time or Recorded Digital Images

General requests for viewing of real time or recorded images by law enforcement officials must be presented to the library director.  If the library director is unavailable, such requests shall be presented to the administrative or supervisory staff designated by the library director to hold such authority.

Digital images form library cameras are shared with public safety and law enforcement entities under the following conditions:

  • When pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
  • When needed as evidence of criminal activity taking place in the library building or on library property.

Emergency Responders Access to Real Time Camera Feeds

In the event of notification of an emergency situation at the library Lexington Police, or other appropriate public safety/law enforcement authorities, are granted temporary access to the library’s live camera feed in order to coordinate the emergency response. This access must be terminated and the library will change access passwords once the situation is under control and the immediate danger to public safety has passed.

Public Disclosure

Confidentiality/privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage that contains patron information. If the library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage which contains patron information, the general public will be advised to file a police complaint.   

Revised and updated 6/6/2018