How do you monitor users within your library? Many libraries have cameras to ensure the safety of both users and staff. While safety is always of the utmost importance, it can also lead to privacy violations. Cameras placed inside the library might be able to follow a user through the building, tracking their use and borrowing history. This footage could be viewed by library staff or requested by law enforcement. Everyone who enters a library should have the right to a private experience, free from an obtrusive eye in the sky.
The Dangers of Video Surveillance and A.I.
Video surveillance in the library can take many forms. Read about it more here https://www.ala.org/advocacy/privacy/guidelines/videosurveillance
Take a look at where your security cameras are pointing.
- Can they follow someone through the building and keep tabs on what they access?
- If possible, have security cameras only outside of the library.
If your library doesn’t have cameras, you may still be violating the privacy of users by monitoring their behavior inside the building. Sometimes staff may have conscious or unconscious biases that lead them to follow certain types of people through a library space. Don’t follow users around the library or peek at what is on their computer screens.