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Video Monitoring Policy

Selected areas of the Library are equipped with video cameras for the protection and safety of customers, employees, assets, and property, and to identify persons who may be breaking the law or violating the Rules for Public Behavior on Library Property.

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of digital video cameras and still photographs, as well as the access, use, and retrieval of recorded digital video images and still photographs at Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. Video monitoring and recording will be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable laws and ordinances.

Reasonable efforts are made to safeguard the privacy of customers 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 applicable law and library policies. Camera locations shall not be changed or added without the permission of the Director/Designee.

Cameras are to be installed in locations where staff and customers should not have an expectation of privacy. Examples include common areas of the Library such as entrances, near book and media collections, public seating, delivery areas, and parking lots. Cameras will not be installed in areas where staff and the 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

Only the Director, Deputy Director, Facilities Coordinator, and designated administrative personnel are authorized to access the recorded archival data in pursuit of incidents of apparent criminal activity, litigation, or violation of the Rules for Public Behavior on Library Property. Authorized individuals, with notice to the Director, may ask other staff to review recorded data to ascertain security concerns related to a specific incident.

Such persons shall not violate this policy or any laws relevant to this policy in performing their duties and functions related to the video security system.

Library employees are to review and comply with this policy.

Use/Disclosure of Video Records

  • Video records and still photographs may be used by authorized individuals to identify those responsible for library policy violations, apparent criminal activity on library property, or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations.
  • Video records may be shared with authorized library employees and the Board of Trustees, 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.
  • Individuals authorized under this policy may use a still photograph or selected portions of recorded data to request a law enforcement review for assessing the security risk of a specific individual or for investigating an apparent crime on library property.
  • Video records shall not be used or disclosed, other than as specifically authorized by this policy.


Video records that contain personally-identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials (“customer information”), will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection provided to library users by Ohio state law (including, but not limited to ORC §149.432, “Availability of Public Records for Inspecting and Copying”; and ORC §149.432, “Releasing Library Record or Customer Information“), Mansfield/Richland County 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 Library Director. In his or her absence, direct requests will be referred to the designated Senior Administrative Person.

In the event of a search warrant, which is executable immediately, library administrative staff will comply with the search warrant and consult with legal counsel promptly. Upon receipt of a subpoena or other court order, library administrative staff 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 administrative staff shall insist any defect be remedied before releasing records that contain customer information.

General Public Requesting Access to Security Camera Footage

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

Retention of Digital Images

Images from the library surveillance system are stored digitally on hardware in the Library. It is the intent of the Library to retain all recorded images for a minimum of 14 days, or until the image capacity of the system is reached. Then, the oldest stored images will be automatically deleted by system software to make room for new images.  Images involved in pending legal action may be kept for a longer period of time.

Unauthorized Access and/or Disclosure

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 record and/or a potential privacy breach must immediately inform the Director of the breach.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, October 20, 2020.