Camera Surveillance Policy


The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is committed to creating welcoming, safe, and secure environments and to protecting the privacy rights of library patrons. The purpose of this policy is to govern the use of surveillance cameras in library facilities.


  • Surveillance cameras may be installed on library premises in order to enhance security and deter crime, and to assist in the apprehension of those who violate the law and/or commit severe violations of library policy.
  • The placement of cameras is limited to locations that do not violate the public’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Appropriate locations include public entrances and entrance/exit areas. No cameras will be located in restrooms or at service desks.
  • Exterior cameras are not the responsibility of SCCLD.
  • There will be no audio recordings.
  • Signs will be posted at library entrances informing the public that security cameras are in use.
  • Access to camera footage is limited to the County Librarian or designee.
  • Camera footage will not be released without a court order, search warrant, or subpoena, unless there are exigent circumstances*, as determined by the County Librarian or designee.
  • Camera footage will be retained for one year, unless the technology to store recorded data in an economically and technologically feasible manner for one year is not available or if there is a court order, search warrant, or subpoena requiring retention for a longer period of time.
  • City Managers will be advised of the SCCLD Camera Surveillance Policy. The SCCLD recognizes that cities build and own most library facilities and that the cities of Cupertino, Gilroy and Milpitas have elected to equip their libraries with surveillance cameras. In these cases, the Library and cities will collaborate on procedures that both serve safety objectives and adhere to the privacy rights of the library patrons. In new construction, staff will endeavor to work with city staff to ensure that surveillance cameras are located and footage used and retained consistent with this policy.

*“Exigent circumstances” means the County Librarian’s good faith belief that an Emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires use of the surveillance technology or the information it provides.

Approved by the Santa Clara County Library District Joint Powers Authority Board June 2, 2016.
Number: 7.1
Date: 6/2/16
Back to Top