The Neptune Public Library strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for its staff and patrons. In pursuit of this objective, selected public areas of the library premises are under continuous video surveillance and recording. This policy is in force to deter public endangerment, vandalism, theft and mischief in unsupervised areas and to identify those individuals involved in such activity for law enforcement purposes, while adhering to the applicable federal, state, and local law concerning the confidentiality of library records, the disclosure of public records, and the protection of individual privacy.
Signage in Areas under Surveillance:
The public will be notified, using clearly worded signs prominently displayed at the perimeter of the video surveillance areas, so that library visitors have reasonable and adequate warning that surveillance is or may be in operation before entering any area under video surveillance. Signage will be posted at the library entrance at all times, disclosing this activity. Signs posted in relevant areas read “Attention: this area is under video surveillance. All activity is recorded”. A sign at the main entrance reads “The Neptune Public Library uses video surveillance equipment to gather information that may be used to prosecute, or investigate instances of theft, vandalism, or public endangerment.
The library’s video surveillance system shall be used only for the protection and safety of customers, employees, assets, property, and to identify persons breaking the law or violating the library’s Code of Conduct.
When an incident occurs on Library premises:
- Video image recordings will be used to identify the person or persons responsible for Library policy violations, criminal activity, or actions considered disruptive to normal Library operations.
- Video records may be used to assist law enforcement agencies in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
- Video recordings of incidents can be retained and reviewed as long as considered necessary by the Library Executive Director.
- Images may be shared with other Library staff to identify person(s) suspended from Library property and to maintain a safe and secure environment.
- While it is recognized that video surveillance will not prevent all incidents, its potential deterrent effect, and resource as a means of identifying and prosecuting offenders is considered worthwhile.
Security Camera Locations
Reasonable efforts shall be made to safeguard the privacy of customers and employees. The video security cameras will be 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 the 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, delivery areas 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
The system will be secure and will only be viewed by those authorized to do so. The Library administrative staff, in the course of their normal duties will monitor and operate the video security system. Only the following individuals are authorized to access the recorded archival data in pursuit of incidents of criminal activity, litigation, or violation of the Library Code of Conduct: Director and or other authorized individuals, with notice to the Director, may access or ask other staff to review recorded data in order 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. Library employees are to review and comply with this policy.
Use/Disclosure of Video Records
- Video records may be used by individuals authorized under this policy or law enforcement to identify the person or persons responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property, actions considered disruptive to normal library operations or violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct.
- Video records may be shared with authorized library employees when appropriate or, upon approval by the Director, other library staff to identify person(s) 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 shot 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.
All requests for security camera footage or still shots by law enforcement will be referred to the Library Director. In his or her absence, direct requests to the Senior Administrative Person.
In the event of a search warrant, which is executable immediately, the library’s Administration will comply with the search warrant and consult with legal counsel. Upon receipt of a subpoena or other court order, the 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, the library Administration shall insist any defect be remedied before releasing patron records which contain patron information.
Retention and Storage of Digital Images
Images from the library video security system are stored digitally on hardware in the library. Security camera footage will be kept confidential and security recording equipment is housed in a locked area. Logs will be kept of all instances of access to, and use of, recorded data to enable a proper audit trail. Recordings are kept in accordance with the library’s approved records retention schedule, unless required as part of an ongoing investigation or litigation.
General Public Requesting Access to Security Camera Footage
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.
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 has a responsibility to ensure that the Director is immediately informed of the breach.
Dealing with a Breach of Privacy
Once a privacy breach has occurred (loss, theft, or inadvertent disclosure of personal information) immediate action must be taken to control the situation. Identify the scope of the breach and take steps to contain the damage, (e.g. retrieve copies of recorded information, determine if unauthorized access to an electronic system has occurred, etc).
Insure that the Library Director and appropriate staff are notified immediately of the breach. If applicable, notify individuals whose personal information has been disclosed. Conduct an internal investigation into the matter, report on the findings and quickly
implement any recommendation. The objectives of this investigation should include: A review of the circumstances surrounding the event as well as the adequacy of existing policies and procedures in protecting personal information. Try to resolve a complainant’s concerns informally at the onset of the complaint.
Failure by staff to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees
21 February 2012