Security Camera Policy

The Scarborough Public Library uses surveillance cameras to enhance the safety and security of library users, staff, and property.  

Purpose of Security Cameras 

This policy is in force to deter public endangerment, vandalism, and mischief in unsupervised areas and to identify those individuals involved in such activity for law enforcement purposes, while adhering to the applicable federal, state, and local law concerning the confidentially of library records, the disclosure of public records, and the protection of individual privacy. 

The library’s security camera system will be used only for the protection and safety of library visitors, employees, assets, and property, and to identify persons breaking the law or violating the library’s policies. Staff and visitor safety are the first priority in any threatening situation. The protection of library property is of secondary importance. 

Security Camera Locations 

Cameras may be installed in locations where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples include common areas of our building such as entrances, near book and media collections, public seating areas, public computers, and areas prone to theft or misconduct. Signs will be posted at and/or near entrances stating that security cameras are in use. 

Cameras will not be installed in areas of our building where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or private offices. Nor are they positioned to identify a person’s reading, viewing, or listening activities in the library. Cameras will not be installed for the purpose of monitoring staff performance. 


The Library has no obligation to monitor the cameras in real time. As 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. 

Use/Disclosure of Video Records 

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. 

In situations involving users whose library privileges have been suspended, stored still images may be shared with library staff. Shared images may remain posted in restricted staff areas for the duration of the suspension. 

Under certain circumstances, individuals authorized under this policy may use a still photograph or selected portions of recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing the security risk of a specific individual or for investigating a crime on library property. 

Law Enforcement Requests for Security Camera Footage 

Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of criminal activity or violation of the Library’s rules of behavior is restricted to the Library Director and his/her designees. In the case of investigations initiated by law enforcement agencies, recorded data will be made available to law enforcement upon presentation of a valid court order or subpoena establishing probable cause to review the data. 

However, in emergency situations that present imminent danger of physical harm, law enforcement may gain access without a court order. In such imminent-danger emergencies where law enforcement calls for a waiver of the court order, the requesting officer is required to provide their name, agency, badge number, the nature of the emergency, and the extent of data requested. 

Retention of Digital Images 

Video footage will not be retained for an extended period or archived unless it is needed to document possible criminal activity or violations of library policies. Such footage will typically be retained for a period determined by the storage capacity of the equipment, unless required as part of an ongoing investigation. As new footage is recorded, the oldest footage will automatically be deleted. 

The Library makes no representation that it will retain video footage for any specific length of time and, should desired footage no longer be available, patrons may not claim of the Library any liability or responsibility for such footage loss. 


Adopted: February 16, 2023