Public Forum Areas

Last Updated Date

Public libraries are classified as “limited public forums,” which essentially recognizes that libraries have the ability to place “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech and speech-related activities occurring on their property as long as the restrictions are both reasonable in nature and viewpoint neutral. This policy does not pertain to any meeting that is subject to the Open Meetings and Records law, commonly known as the Sunshine Law, as written in RSMo sections 610.010-610.200. Restrictions for filming and photography of Open Meetings can be found in the Open Meetings & Open Records policy of the Cape Girardeau Public Library Board of Trustees Bylaws.   

Photography and Audio/Video Recording

Photography and audio/video recording is allowed as described below only to the extent that it does not interfere with the delivery of Library services and is consistent with the Library's mission. All parties involved in photography and audio/video recording are expected to follow the Library’s Patron Code of Conduct Policy.

Persons photographing and audio/video recording on Library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are audio/video recorded or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases. Presence in the Library is not consent on behalf of patrons for use of their image or likeness by any third party.

Failure to obtain releases and permissions from persons being audio/video recorded or photographed will be deemed unacceptable behavior for purposes of enforcing the Library's Patron Code of Conduct Policy.

Library staff shall terminate any photo or audio/video recording sessions that violate Library policies or appear to compromise public safety, patron confidentiality, or security. Termination may occur at any time that the activities become basically incompatible with the normal activity of the Library's use, safety, and function.

Library staff or designees may take photographs or audio/video recordings as part of Library services or activities.

News Media Photography and Audio/Video Recording

The Library has an open door policy for news media photographers and reporters who are doing stories or projects that directly involve the Library and its programs, resources, and services. Advance authorization for such coverage must be obtained from the Library Director or designee.

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; The Library disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories and disallows access to Library patrons for opinion polls or interviews within its facilities.

Documentary-Type Audio/Video Recording and Photography for Publication or Broadcast

The Library permits photography and audio/video recording of its premises and activities when the use of such involves the Library directly, i.e. books, articles, or videos about the Library itself, the Library's position as a learning destination, or as part of a piece used to describe the City of Cape Girardeau. Authorization must be obtained in advance from the Library Director or designee.

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. 

Amateur Photography and Audio/Video Recording

Casual amateur photography and audio/video recording is permitted for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted. Amateur photographers have explicit responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are photographed or audio/video recorded.

Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in Meeting Rooms

Groups renting Library facilities may arrange for photographers and news media during their event. Audio/video recording and photography for such events is restricted to the space reserved by the group and may not take place in other areas of the Library without advance authorization of the Library Director or designee.

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Girardeau Public Library on May 4, 2023.

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