Conant Public Library Security Camera Policy

The Conant Public Library operates and maintains a video security system for the safety of its patrons, staff and property to discourage violations of the Library’s policies and criminal behavior while also protecting individuals’ right to privacy. Staff and visitor safety is the first priority in any threatening situation; the protection of Library property is of secondary importance. The video footage is reviewed on an as-needed basis.

Security Camera Purpose and Placement Guidelines

  • Video recording cameras will be used in indoor and outdoor public spaces where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples include public areas such as parking lots, entrances/lobby areas, and areas prone to theft or misconduct.
  • Cameras will not be installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as restrooms and private offices. Cameras will not be positioned in areas where patrons’ viewing, listening, or personal account information may be easily monitored.
  • Signs will be posted at all entrances informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.
  • Cameras will not be continuously monitored. The public and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and the security of their personal property. The Conant Public Library is not responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
  • Recorded data is confidential. Video recordings will typically be stored for no longer than 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.

Use and Disclosure of Video Records

  • Circumstances of reports of policy violations, suspected criminal activity and destruction of theft of Library resources may be monitored in real time.
  • In the case of altercations, theft of library property, vandalism or questionable behavior the footage will be reviewed by the Library Director, Assistant Director, and/or the Director’s designee. The footage will be submitted to the Sterling Police Department with a written report for further review as deemed appropriate by the Director.
  • The 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 as part of an investigation.
  • For investigations initiated by law enforcement agencies, recorded data will be made available to law enforcement upon presentation of a valid court document and a written  request specifying the date and time of the footage requested. Only the Director or Director’s designee will be authorized to release images to law enforcement.
  • In emergency situations the Sterling Police, or other appropriate first responders, will be granted temporary access to the library’s live camera feed to manage the emergency response. This access will be terminated once the situation is under control and the immediate danger to public safety has passed as determined by the Director and emergency responders.
  • In situations involving banned patrons, stored still images may be shared with library staff. Shared images may remain posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of the banning period
  • Patrons who experience a crime such as theft of personal possessions while at the Library must submit a report to law enforcement. Members of the public will not be granted access to recorded data.
  • In all other respects, recorded data will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection provided to library users by Massachusetts State Law, the Conant Public Library’s policies, and the American Library Association policies on patron confidentiality and privacy.
  • 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.

Board Review

The Board of Trustees of the Conant Public Library will review the Security Camera Policy and regulations periodically and reserves the right to amend them at any time. The Board authorizes the Library Director and/or the Director’s designee to waive regulations under appropriate circumstances, specifically during emergencies when response time is critical. The Library Director and Assistant Director are the chief individuals empowered to make decisions regarding the use of security cameras. The Conant Public Library reserves the right to consult legal counsel in matters involving warrants or subpoenas seeking access to security footage.

Approved April 8, 2024