Filming/Photography in the Library

Harris-Elmore Public Library and the Genoa Branch Library provide a myriad of educational, cultural and civic engagement services to the community, as described in the library’s mission statement. Photography and filming, as described below, is allowed to the extent that it does not interfere with the provision of library services and is consistent with the library’s mission statement and code of conduct.


The terms “photograph” or “photography”, “recording” or “filming” are used generally and refer to any method including photography, filming, videotaping or any other process of still or moving image or audiovisual capturing in any method used now or in the future.

Amateur Photography

Casual amateur photography by patrons and visitors wanting a memento of their visit is permitted in library facilities so long as additional equipment such as lighting is not used.

General Policy Regarding Permission

Permission is not required for photographing/filming/recording in public areas if no tripods, lights or other specialized equipment is used. However, there may be designated areas in library locations and/or exhibition areas or other areas or events where photographing is prohibited.

For all other photographing/filming/recording, requests for permission must generally be made at least 24 hours prior. Requests for permission should be directed to the Director or Branch Manager during normal library business hours.

Approvals of Requests

The Library Director or Branch Manager is authorized to grant permission to photograph/film/record the interior of library buildings, setting the conditions under which the photographing may take place, or to deny permission.

Factors Considered for Approval

The Library Director or Branch Manager will consider and act upon requests for permission to photograph considering:

  • The public interest

  • Statutory requirements

  • The library’s interest

  • Issues of confidentiality

  • The amount of time each project will require

  • The need to maintain impartiality among competing photographers

  • Any other purpose that the Library Director or Branch Manager deems to be in the interest of the Harris-Elmore Public Library and Genoa Branch Library.

Exterior Photography

Photographing the exteriors of library buildings does not require permission; photography may not impede the ingress or egress of visitors or staff to or from any library building.

Media Requests

While the Harris-Elmore Public Library and the Genoa Branch Library have an open-door policy for news media photographers and reporters whose stories directly involve the library’s programs, resources, collections, and services, obtaining advance permission is extremely important to:

  • Protect the safety and privacy of those using library facilities and resources

  • Ensure library business is conducted without disruption

  • Ensure that the library’s users are not disturbed

Media representatives must obtain approval from the Library Director or Branch Manager and must be accompanied by a member of Library staff during all photographing.

Nonprofit, Academic or Research Projects

Photographers working on nonprofit, academic, or research projects must secure authorization in advance to avoid disrupting library operations.  Research photography of the library's materials and resources is permitted within certain limitations. Using library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories as well as photographing library users for opinion polls or “person on the street” interviews is prohibited without prior approval from the Library Director or Branch Manager.

Researchers and journalists are responsible for obtaining their own permissions when photographing copyrighted material in the library. Additional permissions must be obtained from the Harris-Elmore Public Library to photograph materials or items in special collections (Grace Luebke Local History Room) because of complex copyright issues in these areas. In those cases, the researcher will need to fill out our “Release form for Reproduction of Materials”.

Commercial Photography

Library buildings may not be used as settings for a creative film or videotape, advertisements, fashion shoots or for any other photography which will be used for commercial purposes without the prior approval from the Library Director or Branch Manager. The production company shall compensate the library for staffing expenses necessary to open, secure, and monitor library premises during a shoot at overtime rates.

Movie and Music Industry

The library may permit use of its facilities by the movie or music industry for film projects where a library setting is called for, if the project does not interfere with the mission of the Harris-Elmore Public Library and Genoa Branch Library; is in accordance with the rest of this policy and does not advertise or promote commercial products. Filming may not be related to political campaigns or to partisan issues. The production company shall compensate the library for staffing expenses necessary to open, secure, and monitor library premises during a shoot at overtime rates.

Library Liability for Injuries

Permission to photograph/film/record does not release the persons or groups involved from liability for injuries to persons or property that result from their activities on library property.


Photographic Releases

Photographers filming or photographing on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who can be identified in any photography. The library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases.

Photography Logistics

The library’s Director or Branch Manager may terminate any session that appears to compromise public safety or security of people, buildings, collections or violates said policy.

Approved by the Board of Trustees

February 10, 2020

Contact Info

Harris-Elmore Public Library

328 Toledo St.

P.O. Box 45

Elmore, OH 43416

Phone:  (419) 862-2482

Fax:  (419) 862-2123

Library Hours

Monday Wednesday Friday: 10am-5pm

Tuesday & Thursday: 10am-6pm

Saturday: 10am-2pm

Sunday: CLOSED

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