Video Surveillance in Public Libraries: A Case of Unintended Consequences?
Proceedings of the 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1932-1941 (2013)
10 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2013 Last revised: 11 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2013
This paper presents the findings of an exploratory qualitative research study in which the authors sought to examine why two public libraries have implemented video security systems and why one of these libraries has reversed course and recently removed a previously installed surveillance system. We found that one library initially installed the system in various branches as an ad hoc response to specific incidents of crime without central administrative oversight, while the other installed their system as an integral part of the design and construction of their central library location and collaborates with local police and professional consultants on security issues. The former library system subsequently removed all of their cameras in 2011 as a consequence of having negative interactions with local police departments.
Keywords: surveillance, privacy, library, intellectual freedom, privacy law, surveillance studies, video surveillance, cctv
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