The Town of Chelmsford maintains security cameras inside and outside of Chelmsford Public Library to help ensure the safety of Library patrons and staff. The cameras also serve as a deterrent to theft, vandalism, illegal activities, or violations to the Library’s Appropriate Library Behavior policy in the Library and on Library grounds.
The Library strives to protect patron privacy and confidentiality. Signs are posted on the Library doors indicating that cameras are in use. Cameras will not be placed in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in restrooms, nor positioned to identify a patron’s reading, viewing, or listening activities.
Use/Disclosure of Security Camera Data
This system is not continuously monitored, so patrons and staff should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the security of their personal property. Real-time displays are available to staff to aid in monitoring entrances.
The Library Director or Assistant Directors may review security camera recordings following a violation of the Library Code of Conduct. These images may be used to identify those responsible for Library policy violations, criminal activity on Library property, or actions considered disruptive to normal Library operations. The Facilities Manager may also use the security cameras to aid in the operation of the Library facility.
Video records or still photographs may be shared with Library staff or law enforcement personnel when appropriate, upon approval by the Director, to identify those suspended from Library property and to maintain a safe, secure and policy-compliant environment.
All requests for security camera footage or still photographs by law enforcement will be referred to the Library Director.
Requests for security camera footage or still photographs from the public are governed by the Freedom of Information Act. Data will not be released by the Library to individuals. Requests from the public must be submitted through the Town of Chelmsford’s FOIA portal at https://www.townforms.com/FOIADirect-ChelmsfordMACitizens
Retention of Digital Images
The recorders and the recorded data are located in a limited access, controlled area. This equipment is a part of the Town of Chelmsford’s video security system and governed by its data retention policy. The length of time videos are stored varies depending on how much is recorded, but is typically deleted after 30 days, unless required as part of an ongoing investigation or litigation. Hard copies of still images may be kept indefinitely as part of incident reports, or posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of a patron’s banned period.
Approved, Library Board of Trustees, February 2019