Video Surveillance Policy


The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of any video surveillance system at Library branches, balancing the security benefits derived from the use of video surveillance with the privacy rights of the individual.


This policy applies to all types of video surveillance systems that are or may be used at Library branches.


  1. Video Surveillance System refers to a video, physical or other mechanical, electronic, digital or wireless surveillance system or device that enables continuous or periodic video recording, observing or monitoring of personal information about individuals in Library branches.
  2. Camera refers to a device that converts images into electrical signals for television transmission, video recording, or digital storage.
  3. Record includes a video or image downloaded from a video surveillance system.
  4. Covert refers to concealed or hidden.

Guiding Principles

In the daily operation of the services at Library branches, the safety of patrons and staff is maintained by conventional means such as alert observation by staff, the consistent application of the Library’s Code of Conduct, security-conscious design of Library locations and, where required, patrols by security personnel.

However, in some circumstances, the additional protection provided by the use of video surveillance is essential in maintaining lawful, safe and appropriate use of Library premises. The information collected through video surveillance is used only to address unlawful conduct and breaches of Library policies and/or Library Codes of Conduct by patrons, volunteers, contractors and/or staff.

The installation of any video surveillance system pursuant to this policy is in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the Kingston Frontenac Public Library Statement of Patron Privacy and other applicable legislation.


Use of Equipment

Any video surveillance equipment will be kept in a secure location and access will be limited to members of the Library’s management staff and others only as authorized by the Chief Librarian or designate. The video surveillance equipment will be used only for the purposes articulated in this policy. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that video surveillance systems will be monitored in real time.

No camera will be placed so that it views into an area where individuals have a greater expectation of privacy, such as in washrooms, change rooms or neighbouring buildings.

Use of Records

The records collected through video surveillance are used:

  • To investigate any incident involving the safety or security of patrons, staff, volunteers and/or contractors;
  • To investigate any incident involving the safety or security of any library branch;
  • To investigate an incident involving violations of the Code of Conduct applicable to patrons, staff, volunteers or contractors;
  • To investigate an incident involving violations of the KFPL Workplace Violence Policy and KFPL Workplace Harassment Policy;
  • To provide evidence as required to protect the Library’s legal rights;
  • To provide law enforcement agencies with evidence related to an incident under police investigation.

The length of time records are retained is dependent upon the video surveillance system. The systems are designed to automatically record over previous recordings and records are not accessed unless an incident prompts an investigation.

For audit purposes, logs will be kept of all instances of access to, and use of, records.

Covert Cameras

Covert cameras will only be installed for a limited and reasonable period of time, consistent with the objectives of monitoring and in order to address unauthorized or alleged illegal activity at a Library branch. There must be reasonable cause to suspect that an illegal or unauthorized action(s) is taking place or is about to take place. Where a covert camera is installed, informing the individual(s) concerned that the recording is taking place would seriously prejudice the reason for making the recording. In such cases, no signage will be posted. The installation of a covert camera will be subject to approval by the Chief Librarian or designate.


The Library shall post signs visible to members of the public at all entrances and/or prominently displayed on the perimeter of the grounds under video surveillance.

Release of Records

Access to records is limited to those authorized under this policy. If access to a video surveillance record is required for the purpose of a law enforcement investigation, the requesting Officer must complete a release form (See Appendix b) Record of Disclosure to a Law Enforcement Agency) and forward it to the Chief Librarian or designate.

Access to a record may be provided to a third party (e.g. an individual whose image has been recorded and retained) and any request for access to a record by a third party must be made in writing to the Chief Librarian or designate.The processing of a request (including the fees charged) will be pursuant to Regulation 823 of MFIPPA.

Records required for evidence shall be saved to a secure file and stored in a secure environment. Such records will be destroyed after two years unless they are still required for evidence and/or pursuant to any applicable legislation. In cases where a patron has been banned by the Library, the record(s) will be retained for a period of up to six years, or for the period of the ban, whichever is longer.

Dealing with a Breach of Privacy

The Chief Librarian/CEO is responsible for the Library’s privacy obligations under MFIPPA.

Any Library employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a record in contravention of this policy has a responsibility to ensure that the Chief Librarian and appropriate staff are immediately informed of the breach.

Once a privacy breach has occurred (loss, theft, or inadvertent disclosure of personal information) immediate action must be taken to control the situation.

The Chief Librarian will identify the scope of the breach and take steps to contain the damage (e.g., determine if unauthorized access to the system has occurred, retrieve copies of recorded information, etc.).

The Chief Librarian will inform the Information and Privacy Commission and, if applicable, notify affected parties whose personal information was disclosed.

The Chief Librarian will conduct an internal investigation into the matter to review the circumstances surrounding the event as well as the adequacy of existing policies and procedures in protecting personal information.


All Library staff will be made aware of their obligations under MFIPPA and this policy. Training will be provided to the appropriate staff responsible for the administration and application of this policy.

Policy Review

The Library Board will review this Policy as required.


Failure by staff to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


  1. Record of Release to Law Enforcement Agency


Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990

Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance Cameras in Public Places (Information and Privacy Commissioner, September 2007)

Kingston Frontenac Public Library Statement of Patron Privacy

KFPL Workplace Violence Policy

KFPL Workplace Harassment Policy

Document Control

Original policy date: 2008

Last Reviewed: October 2022

Changes made: See report to the Board dated October 19, 2022

Next Review: October 2026