Collingswood Public Library Photography and Recordings Policy

Collingswood Public Library Photography and Recordings Policy

The purpose of this policy is to set guidelines that balance the privacy rights of library staff and patrons with the reasonable use of cameras for photography and recording on library property. For the purposes of this policy, “recordings” includes video, audio, and live streaming. “Specialized equipment” refers to larger equipment that could impede foot traffic or create a similar disturbance to library operations. “Photography” includes still images.

Photography and Recordings by Library Patrons
While the Library is a public place, it is considered a “limited public forum” under federal law. Public libraries may reasonably restrict the exercise of free speech rights in their buildings, particularly when the conduct would disrupt or interfere with other visitors or staff or be inconsistent with the Library’s mission.

Subject to the preceding paragraph, permission is not required to take photographs or recordings in the public areas of the library for personal, non-commercial use if non-specialized equipment is used. If specialized equipment is to be used, requests must be made to and approved by the Library Director at least 24 hours in advance of shooting. Photographs and recordings are not allowed in non-public areas (restrooms and staff only areas) unless consent is given by the Library Director. Permission to photograph or record any person under 18 years of age must be obtained from a parent/guardian on behalf of said minor child. Library staff reserve the right to stop anyone from taking photographs or recordings if it compromises a patron or staff member’s right to privacy, results in disruption of normal library operation, is deemed to be harassing, intimidating, or threatening toward a patron or staff member, or if the activity blocks walkways, doors, or stairways. Taking photographs and recordings of the exterior building and grounds does not require permission but the activity may not impede the ingress or egress to or from the library building or property.

Photography and Recordings by Library Staff
The Collingswood Public Library frequently engages in photographing and recording programs and events for its own publicity and promotional purposes. Library staff will make every effort to notify members of the public when filming is taking place.  Please notify a library staff member if you do not want to be photographed or recorded.  The library will not publish photos of minors without the explicit permission of their guardian. 

Photography and Recording by Program Partners
Collingswood area organizations that regularly partner with the library on free community events may use photos or recordings taken during these events in promotional material. If one of the library’s partner organizations intends to arrange for a video or audio recording of an event that is scheduled to take place within the library, this request should be made at least five business days in advance to the Library Director. Note that even when permission to record a program is granted, the photographing and recording of minors who attend such programs is not permitted.

Liability and Enforcement
Members of the public who take photographs or recordings are solely liable for any injuries to persons or property that result from their activities on library property. They are responsible for obtaining necessary releases and permissions required by law and obtaining consent or other permission when taking photographs or recordings of copyrighted material. Library staff reserve the right to ask any individual or group who violates this policy to cease taking photographs or recordings on library property.

Adopted April 7, 2022

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