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Security Camera Surveillance Policy for Valley Cottage Library



Security cameras are present in the Valley Cottage Library (the “Library”) in strategic interior and exterior areas. These cameras are present only for security and safety purposes (e.g., to capture Rules of Conduct violations, criminal activity, or to provide video record of incidents where injury is suffered by patrons or staff).


Signage will be posted at each entrance alerting individuals as to the presence of video cameras. The video surveillance policy will be placed on the library website for access and notice to the public. No cameras will be placed in areas in which individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as restrooms and private offices. Cameras will not be used in conjunction with routine staff performance evaluation. Cameras only capture video footage. No audio recordings are captured. The Library is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of library patron data in accordance with New York State Law (CPLR Section 4509).


Live footage may be monitored by the Director and Assistant Director onsite or remotely. The designated Person-in-Charge may view footage onsite while they are filling this role. Unauthorized viewing of video footage is strictly forbidden and will be subject to disciplinary action. Live footage will not be continuously monitored.


Internal requests by staff to review footage must accompany a completed incident report, staff concern about patron Rules of Conduct violation or suspicion of criminal activity. External requests to review footage will be honored as required by law. Footage will not be released outside of the Library without an official subpoena or court order, except as necessary for the proper operation of the Library. To the extent possible, the Library will comply with requests from law enforcement to access footage when accompanied by court order or subpoena. The Director reserves the right to consult with the Library Board President or Library attorney prior to releasing video surveillance footage. Archived footage may only be retrieved by the Library Director, or Valley Cottage Library Technology personnel acting on orders of the Director. 4871-4116-7362, v. 1


As necessary to comply with valid subpoenas or court orders, the Library will distribute only the footage necessary to comply with the request. Relevant live footage segments or captured still images may be distributed to all staff when viewing of the footage is necessary for staff or building security, to identify banned or barred patrons or those who otherwise pose a potential threat. The Director is the only person able to make the determination to release footage to staff.


The retention of video surveillance images will be determined by the capacity of the available data storage hard-drive. The oldest footage is automatically overwritten by newer images. Footage reviewed and determined to show suspected or actual Rules of Conduct violations, criminal activities, or accidents and injuries involving either staff or patrons may be retained for longer periods as necessary for action or needed record of events. This footage must be archived in conjunction with a related incident report demonstrating need to retain footage.

Adopted November 17, 2021

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