Adopted 7/23/13; reaffirmed 5/27/14

The Royal Oak Public Library (the “Library”) strives to take reasonable precautions to assure a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff. Because library staff is unable to provide direct supervision over all areas within the Library, digital video security cameras have been placed at selected locations in order to observe and record visible activities of persons within the Library.

These digital video security cameras will be used where needed to discourage violations of the Library’s code of conduct, to assist Library staff in preventing the recurrence of any violations and, when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the placement and use of digital video cameras, as well as the access and retrieval of recorded digital video images at the Library.

Cameras may be installed in locations where staff and patrons would not have an expectation of privacy. Examples include common areas of the Library such as entrances, near book and media collections, public seating, public and staff computers, stairwells, delivery areas, and hallways.

Cameras will not be installed in areas where staff and the public have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

The following procedures and guidelines shall govern the use of the digital video security cameras:

  • Digital video security cameras are installed in selected locations at the Library.
  • Cameras will not be installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance and are not to be used to monitor content viewed by patrons.
  • A sign will be posted at the Library entrance informing the public that security cameras are in use.
  • Staff and patron safety is the first priority in any threatening situation. The protection of Library property is of secondary importance.
  • The Library has no obligation to monitor the cameras in real time. Because the cameras are not constantly monitored, Library staff and the public should continue to take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the safety of their personal property. The Library is not responsible for the loss of property or personal injury.
  • Images will typically be stored for a period of 30 calendar days. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically deleted. Authorization to view stored images may be granted only by the Library Director and/or his/her designee(s). If such authorization is granted, notice shall be given to the Library Board.
  • At the instruction of the Director, or his/her designee(s), selected digital video may be saved for as long as he or she determines is appropriate (“Stored Digital Video Records.”)
  • A Stored Digital Video Record is considered a Library record under the Michigan Library Privacy Act – Public Act 455 of 1982 (the “Privacy Act”). The Privacy Act can be found at Michigan Compiled Laws 397.601 et. seq. and can be accessed at: www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-Act-455-of-1982.pdf. Stored Digital Video Records shall not be released contrary to the Privacy Act.
  • Among other purposes, stored Digital Video Records may be used to provide tangible evidence as a means of identification, and may be turned over to law enforcement agencies by the Director, or his/her designee, consistent with the provisions of the Privacy Act. The Director, or his/her designee, shall give notice to the Library Board of any such uses of Digital Video Records.
  • Requests from the public for access to camera images will be considered in light of the provisions of the Privacy Act. Questions from the public may be directed to the Director and/or his/her designee.