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West Plains Public Library

Video Recording/Photography

WHEREAS, the West Plains Public Library (the “Library”) wishes to establish a policy for the use of cameras and recording devices upon the premises of the Library, as well as any photography or recording activities occurring upon the premises of the Library; and

WHEREAS, the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees has duly considered and adopted the following policy regarding Photography and Recording;

NOW THEREFORE, the Policy of the West Plains Public Library is established as follows:

Public Forum Areas

Public libraries are classified as “limited public forums,” which essentially recognizes that libraries have the ability to place “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and speech-related activities occurring on their property as long as the restrictions are both reasonable in nature and viewpoint neutral. This policy does not pertain to any meeting that is subject to the Open Meetings and Records law, commonly known as the Sunshine Law, as written in RSMo sections 610.010-610.200. Restrictions for filming and photography of Open Meetings can be found in the Open Meetings & Open Records policy of the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees Bylaws.

Photography and Audio/Video Recording

Photography and audio/video recording is allowed as described below only to the extent that it does not interfere with the delivery of Library services and is consistent with the Library's mission. All parties involved in photography and audio/video recording are expected to follow the Library’s Patron Code of Conduct Policy.

Persons photographing and audio/video recording on Library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are audio/video recorded or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases. Presence in the Library is not consent on behalf of patrons for use of their image or likeness by any third party. Failure to obtain releases and permissions from persons being audio/video recorded or photographed will be deemed unacceptable behavior for purposes of enforcing the Library's Patron Code of Conduct Policy. The Library Director or designee shall terminate any photography or audio/video recording that violates the aforementioned Patron Code of Conduct Policy or other Library policies or appears to compromise public safety, patron confidentiality, or security. Further, termination may occur at any time that the audio/video activities become incompatible with the normal activity of the Library’s use, safety, and function.

The Library reserves the right to document its services and the public's use of its facilities by taking photographs and making video or audio recordings of its classes, events, activities, and their participants for use on its website and social media accounts and in Library publications, including but not limited to, brochures, flyers, news releases and other promotional materials. To ensure the privacy of all individuals, including children, photos and recordings may not capture any identifiable likenesses of individuals without the patron or staff’s permission, and images will not be identified using full names without written approval from the photographed subject or parent/guardian, if the subject is a minor. A patron's first name may be included with a photograph or other recording, unless the individual or the individual's parent/guardian instructs the Library that this is not acceptable. Patrons or staff wishing not to be photographed or recorded should inform the photographer or Library Director.

News Media Photography and Audio/Video Recording

The Library has an open-door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs, resources, and services. Advance authorization for such coverage must be obtained from the Library Director or designee.

The Library does not grant permission for news media to use its facilities for stories or projects that do not relate to the Library itself; the Library disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories and disallows access to Library patrons for opinion polls or interviews within its facilities, unless permission is expressly granted by the Library Director or designee.  Anyone wishing to conduct such activities should contact the Library Director well in advance of the desired activity.

Documentary-Type Audio/Video Recording and Photography for Publication or Broadcast

The Library permits photography and audio/video recording of its premises and activities when the use of such involves the Library directly, i.e. books, articles, or videos about the Library, the Library's position as a learning destination, or as part of a production describing the City of West Plains. Authorization for such activity must be obtained in advance from the Library Director.

Research Photography

The Library permits research photography of its materials and resources with certain limitations. Researchers and journalists are responsible for obtaining their own permissions when photographing copyrighted material in the Library.

Amateur Photography and Audio/Video Recording

Personal use casual or amateur, non-flash photography and recording is permitted at the Library and Library programs and events for personal use, but not for publication or broadcast; provided that such use is not disruptive, does not interfere in any way with Library operations and does not capture any identifiable likenesses of individuals or Library content being viewed by an individual without their permission or their parent/guardian’s permission if a minor. Photography and recordings at Library events are subject to the permission of the individual conducting the program or event (i.e. authors, performers, presenters, speakers, etc.), or by the Library Director, who shall have final authority to grant or deny permission for such activities according to Library policies. Permission should be sought and granted before the start of the program.

Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in Meeting Rooms

Groups renting Library facilities may arrange for photographers and news media during their event. Audio/video recording and photography for such events is restricted to the space reserved by the group and may not take place in other areas of the Library without advance authorization of the Library Director or designee.

Library Director

The Library Director or designee shall have the authority and responsibility to determine any violation of this Photography and Recording Policy and may suspend, terminate, or prohibit any such activity that the Library Director or designee deems in violation of this Policy, the Patron Code of Conduct Policy or other Library policies, or that appears to compromise public safety, patron confidentiality, or security of the Library.

 Policy approved at the January 8, 2024 meeting of the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees by Board President Jarryd Alsup. 


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