Library wants to adjust weekend hours, declare official video surveillance policy

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Teton County Library is proposing a couple of changes—specifically, to its weekend schedule and concerning the use of security cameras—and would like feedback from its users.

A 45-day public comment period will commence May 29 and run through July 12. At its monthly public meeting in May, the Library Board approved staff recommendations to change the library main branch’s weekend hours, and adopt a clarified video surveillance policy.

Changes to Teton County Library policy require a public comment period ahead of approval by the Library Board and corresponding implementation by staff. Feedback, comments, ideas and concerns can be submitted via email to the library board. Community members are also welcome to share their comments at the next meeting of the Library Board on Thursday, June 20, at 12:00pm.

Background for proposed hours change

Between April 7-May 9, 2019, library staff conducted a four-week, hour-by-hour count of patron activity in non-reserved spaces of the library to determine if Saturday and Sunday patron patterns warranted an adjustment to weekend hours. The space study results showed that Saturday library use is high at the current closing time of 2:30pm, while Sunday library use dips well before the current closing time of 6:30pm.

Accordingly, the proposal is to extend Saturday hours, and shorten Sunday hours, for a closing time on both days at 5:00pm beginning September 1, 2019, resulting in a cumulative 1/2 hour of additional open time. Current hours have been in place since January 2018.

Purpose of Security Cameras

The Teton County Library has exterior security cameras to enhance the safety and security of Library patrons, staff, and property. Security cameras are used to discourage illegal behavior and policy violations, to enhance the opportunity to apprehend offenders, and to provide recorded data relevant to the control of Library security and operations.

The security camera installation consists of dedicated cameras providing real-time surveillance and recorded archival data. There is no audio recording associated with the cameras.

Proposed policy

At the May Library Board meeting, Library Director Dawn Jenkin recommended creating an official video surveillance policy that spells out staff access to video data and acceptable use of that data, especially as it pertains to patron privacy, which is of utmost importance to library staff.

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