Sewickley library board weighs cameras to answer thefts
Board members are considering installing security cameras at Sewickley Public Library in the wake of thefts.
“Right now, we're having a little debate on the idea of putting video cameras in the library,” board member Gianni Floro said.
“On the one hand, the library should be a place of academics with time and peace, and being able to do some reading and not look over your shoulder — and a camera's looking down over you.”
Part of the discussion is focused on privacy of patrons who use the library, said Floro, who added that the concern was theft of personal property.
“But in the same respect, over the past number of months and into the early spring and summer, there's been a number of thefts,” he said.
Library leaders who consider using security cameras should “develop and enforce strong policies protecting patron privacy and confidentiality appropriate to managing the equipment, including routine destruction of the tapes in the briefest amount of time possible, or as soon as permitted by law,” according to Chicago-based American Library Association's website.
The organization's Intellectual Freedom Committee developed a series of questions and answers for library staff — including information on protecting patron privacy — based on the group's Library Bill of Rights.
Except for a camera in an elevator of Northland Public Library in McCandless, Director Amy Steele said the facility has no security cameras inside. A camera is on the exterior of the building.
“(Adding cameras) has been considered in the past, but I can't say it's on the near radar at this point, Steele said.
“There hasn't been discussion.”
Library staffs wrestle with protecting patron privacy when considering cameras, she said.
“We hold that privacy issue with patrons near and dear to our hearts, and we do whatever we can to protect that,” Steele said.
Previous discussions occurred at Northland, she said.
But there is a level of personal safety that should be considered, she said.
“You never know, as far as today, what might happen,” Steele said.
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley VFW could be forced to close amid financial concerns
- Aleppo firefighter’s ministry aims to help first responders
- Photos: It’s the ‘Great Pumpkin,’ Sewickley YMCA
- Photos: Osborne Elementary students, staff ‘race for education’