Security Camera Policy

Security Camera Purpose and Placement Guidelines

Security Camera Policy

The Bedford Free Public Library strives to offer a welcoming environment where patrons  can use the Library’s resources in safety and comfort. Security cameras are in use at  the Library to discourage criminal activity and violations of the Library’s Behavior Policy. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of the  cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded images.

Security Camera Purpose and Placement Guidelines 

Security cameras will be used in public places to document events involving the  safety and security of patrons, staff, and Library property. Cameras will not be  installed in areas of the Library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of  privacy, such as restrooms, private offices, or staff break rooms. Cameras may be  placed in indoor and outdoor areas where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of  privacy. 

Cameras will not be positioned to identify a person’s reading, viewing, or listening  activities in the Library. 

Notices are posted at the Library entrances informing the public and staff that  cameras are in use. 

Cameras are not installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance and will  not be used for the purpose of routine staff performance evaluations. Cameras are not continuously monitored and therefore individuals should continue to  take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal  property. 

Camera locations will not be changed without permission from the Director or a  designee.

Use and Disclosure of Video Records 

Digital records may be used to identify the person or persons responsible for Library  policy violations, criminal activity, damage or destruction of Library property or  actions disruptive to normal Library operations. 

Data from the cameras is recorded and stored. Recorded data is considered  confidential and secure. Access to recorded data is limited to the following Library  staff: Director, Assistant Director, or the Director’s designated appointees. Authorized  individuals may review recorded data in order to identify those responsible for  suspected Library policy violations or criminal activity on Library property. 

Digital security records are not to be used to identify the activities of individual  Library patrons except as viewed in relation to suspected criminal activity, suspected  violation of the Library’s policies, or incidents where there is a reasonable basis to  believe a claim may be made against the Library for civil liability.

The Director, Assistant Director, or their designee may use a still shot or selected  

portions of recorded data to request law enforcement review of a specific individual  or for investigating a crime on Library property. 

A copy of digital security data will be made available to law enforcement upon  request and with the approval of the Director, Assistant Director or their designee.  Recorded data will be accorded the same level of confidentiality and protection  provided to Library users by Massachusetts state law and the Library’s policies. 

Images may be shared with Library staff to identify person(s) banned from Library  property. 

Images may be shared by Library staff upon request by law enforcement for  suspected criminal activity on Library property during a limited specified time period. Confidentiality and privacy issues prevent the Library from allowing the public to view  security camera footage. If the Library receives a request from the general public to  view recorded camera footage, the public will be advised to file a police report. Video images are stored digitally and retained for approximately 30 days. In the event of a suspected crime or incident, still shots or selected portions of the  recorded data will be maintained until resolution of the specific incident. Occasional spot-checking of images and recordings will occur to assure proper  operation of security equipment. 

Live viewing of data may occur to alert staff to customers in an unstaffed public area  of the Library or in cases of suspected criminal activity. 

Recordings shall not be used or disclosed other than as specifically authorized by this  policy. Staff who misuse this data will be subject to disciplinary action. 

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees (July 11th 2023)