- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha Library Board is considering loosening its policy regarding turning over security video to police.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2fffPTB ) reports that the current library policy requires officers to obtain a court order before receiving security video.

Director Laura Marlane has proposed making the policy less restrictive so library staff could release a video if police needed to take immediate action to save a life.

“We want to keep the library safe for everybody and we want to work with police the best we can,” Marlane said. “But preserving patron privacy is also a very important part of what we do.”

But board member Kathleen McCallister said police should have access to footage any time there’s a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. She’s offered an alternate proposal supporting her beliefs.

“I think we’re being too nice to the bad guys,” she said.

Marlane said she plans to work with McCallister on striking the right balance.

Other board members have citied privacy concerns about changing the policy.

Police officials have asked the library twice in recent years to loosen its policies on releasing information, including the security video policy. But library leaders mirrored guidelines set by the American Library Association, saying patrons should expect a measure of privacy in their facilities.

The board has not taken any action on either proposal and will continue to discuss them.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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