Filming and Photography Policy

Filming and Photography Policy

The priority for Tompkins County Public Library is to provide Library services to the Tompkins County community, as fully described in the Library’s Mission Statement. The filming and photography described below is allowed only to the extent that it does not interfere with the provision of Library services and is consistent with the Library’s Mission Statement and Rules.

Note that any persons filming or photographing on Library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases.

When filming or photography is conducted in sponsorship with the Library, permission forms are required. Permission forms may be obtained from the Library Administration. Requests for forms may be sent to Tompkins County Public Library Administration, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Also note that Library staff may terminate any photo session that appears to compromise public safety, security, patron privacy or does not meet the standards of this policy.

News Media Photography

The Library allows for photographers and reporters from reputable news agencies to work on stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs. Advance authorization for such photography must be obtained from the Library Administration (607-272-4557).

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; however, research photography of the Library's materials and resources are permitted within certain limitations. It disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories, and disallows access to Library patrons for opinion polls or candid interviews within its facilities.

Documentary-Type Photography for Publication or Broadcast

The Library permits photography of its premises and activities when the use of the photographs involves the Library directly, i.e. books, articles, or videos about the Library itself, the Library’s position in the county of Tompkins County as a tourist or learning destination, or as part of a piece used to describe our community’s environs. Advance authorization must be obtained from the Library Administration.

Commercial Photography

The Library does not permit commercial photography on or in its facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, using Library buildings, grounds or interiors as a stage set for portraiture, model photography, and product photography. This includes photography or filming used to advertise goods or services unrelated to the Library for commercial sale or promotion.

Research Photography

The Library permits research photography of its materials and resources within certain limitations. Researchers and journalists are responsible for obtaining their own permissions when photographing copyrighted material in the Library. Additional permissions must be obtained from the Library Administration to photograph materials or items in special collections because of complex copyright issues in these areas. Because of these issues, permission to reproduce materials from special collections may in some cases be denied or involve a fee. Please send a written request to Library Administration before planning your project to obtain advance authorization.

Amateur Photography

Casual amateur photography and videotaping of short segments is permitted in Library facilities for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted. Such photography or videotaping should not include any other unrelated persons. Please note: library furnishings cannot be rearranged to accommodate the photographer’s wishes.

Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in the Borg Warner Community Room, Thaler Howell Room or Study Rooms

Groups arranging meetings in the Borg Warner Community Room, Thaler Howell Room or Library meeting facilities may arrange for photographers and news media during their event. Photography for such events is restricted to the space reserved by the group and may not take place in other areas of the Library. Groups must post notice of filming or photography outside the room. The following notification language should be used:

Notice: Filming and Photography in session for this event.

Adapted from the Nashville Public Library 

Approved by the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees September 27, 2011


PDF Version of the Policy