Section: Library Resources
Revised: 1/19/2012, 8/20/2018, 7/15/2021
Ames Public Library takes reasonable precautions to assure a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff. Security cameras and real-time monitors are placed at selected locations in order to observe and record activities on library premises.
The Library will post signage advising that security cameras are in use.
Camera placement will be determined by the Library Director or their designee.
Cameras will not be placed in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy or in areas prohibited by Iowa Code, such as restrooms.
Cameras will not be monitored continuously by library staff. Cameras will not monitor or record audible communication.
Cameras will record activities in real time and images will be saved to internal storage. Software currently in use deletes images automatically as the capacity of the hard drive is reached. The Library may retain copies of certain images as needed for legal or operational purposes.
The Library Director holds the authority to designate library staff members who may access security camera imagery. Designated staff may use live surveillance, still shots, or selected portions of recorded data to assess the security risk of a specific individual, to investigate a crime or injury on library property, to consult with law enforcement officials, to validate policy violations, to alert staff to banned or disruptive individuals, or to address internal security, safety, or operational concerns. In the discharge of such duties, designated staff members are permitted to connect the recorded digital images with identification data available on the Library’s user database.
The Library Director may authorize the release of security camera imagery at his or her discretion, provided it does not contain information that must remain confidential under Iowa law. Images that are saved or shared may be destroyed when no longer useful; however, images that become part of an official record will become the responsibility of the appropriate authority for the duration of the applicable record retention period.
Any recorded images that include identifiable persons checking out identifiable items or requesting identifiable items or identifiable information shall be treated as confidential to the extent provided in Iowa Code § 22.7(13).
Only designated library staff may view real-time images or screen recorded images to determine if they contain protected information. Any inadvertent views of protected information shall be held in confidence by the library staff, in accordance with the Library’s Confidentiality Policy.
Images that include records protected by Iowa Code § 22.7 will not be released without a court order.
Requests for Access to Security Camera Images
All requests to view or obtain security camera imagery must be presented to the Library Director. If the Library Director is unavailable, such requests must be presented to a designated member of staff. Law enforcement and City officials may view recorded images, unless they include records protected by Iowa Code § 22.7(13).
Any security camera imagery provided to law enforcement agencies or other external persons or agencies will be with the knowledge and authorization of the Library Director, when practicable.
If recorded images include records protected by Iowa Code § 22.7(13), authorized staff will provide access to criminal or juvenile justice agencies when pursuant to a valid search warrant, subpoena or court order, or when otherwise required by law. Authorized staff will consult with legal counsel to determine if the request for confidential records is permitted by law.
All requests for public disclosure of recorded images must be presented to the Library Director or the staff member designated to act in their stead. Guidelines for public disclosure of security camera video imagery shall follow the procedures established by the Library Director in accordance with Iowa Code chapter 22.
Ames Public Library Confidentiality Policy