Device Use & Security Policy

To safeguard the privacy and safety of library patrons, the use of photographic and audio or video recording equipment (including still cameras, movie cameras, video cameras and cell phone cameras) is prohibited inside library facilities, with the exception of the public meeting rooms, without the prior approval of the library director, branch manager, or their designee(s). Once approved, use of photographic and audio or video recording equipment must be used in a manner that avoids inadvertent photographing or recording of library patrons or the library materials they are using. Anyone photographing or recording adults must have prior approval from the subject; anyone photographing or recording a child (under 18) must have prior approval of the child’s legal guardian.

Library staff or their designee(s) may photograph or record library patrons or programs solely for official library purposes such as news, public relations or archival purposes. In such cases, if the subject is identifiable, library staff must obtain prior written approval from the subject or, in the case of a child, a legal guardian.


The library reserves the right to terminate any photography or recording that causes a disturbance, violates library polices, or endangers the health and safety of participants, library patrons, library staff or volunteers.

Security cameras are used to enhance the safety and security of library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Putnam County Library System (PCLS) policies and procedures, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations, and, when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.

Security Camera Purpose and Replacement Guidelines

  1. Video recording cameras will be used in public spaces to discourage criminal activity and violations of the library’s policies and procedures. The recording of audio is restricted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and will not be used.
  2. Cameras may be installed in outdoor and indoor places, including public common areas of the library such as parking lots, entrances, seating areas, service desks and areas prone to theft or misconduct or areas where money is stored or handled.
  3. Cameras will not be installed in restrooms or private offices.
  4. Signs will be posted at all entrances informing the public and staff that security cameras are in use.
  5. Because cameras will not be continuously monitored, the public and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal property. Neither the PCLS; the cities of Algood, Baxter, Cookeville or Monterey; nor Putnam County is responsible for loss of property or personal injury.
  6. Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled area. Video recordings will typically be stored for no longer than seven days. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will automatically be deleted.
  7. Cameras are not installed for, nor will they be used for, the purpose of routine staff performance evaluations.

Use/Disclosure of Video Records

  1. Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of injury, criminal activity or violation of the library’s policies and procedures is restricted to designated staff and Board of Trustees members.
  2. Those designated persons may also have access to both real-time images as well as recorded images, viewable on desktop monitor(s) placed in secure areas to ensure private access or on remote computers of members of the board. The frequency of viewing and the amount of video viewed will be limited to the minimum needed to give assurance that the system is working or to ascertain if footage is available to a specific incident.
  3. Access is also allowed by law enforcement when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
  4. Video 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 by library policies and procedures. Video images will not be maintained, provided no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred or is being investigated.
  5. In situations involving banned 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. These images may be archived in the administrative offices.

Unauthorize Access and/or Disclosure

  1. Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage that contains personally identifying information about library users. If the library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage, they will be advised to file a police complaint.
  2. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any library employee or board member who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video recording and/or a potential privacy breach has a responsibility to immediately inform the library director and the chairman of the board of the breach.