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Publishing Photos Taken At The Library

Publishing Photos Taken At The Library

One of the fun things about library events and programs, such as the Summer Reading Program, is taking pictures of the participants having a great time and sharing that with others -- perhaps on a bulletin board within the library, or posted out on the library's website.

But, in doing so, there are Rights of Publicity and Privacy to consider; for example, did you know that it is a violation of the right of publicity to use photographs from library programs in order to market or advertise the library or to call attention to future programming? An excellent article in Information Today, "Laws for Using Photos You Take at Your Library," by Bryan Carson covers this and many more points to think about when using children's photographs.

Considerations include:

  • Ask for parental permission before using images of children, whether on the library’s website or elsewhere. A parental consent form is one way of achieving this.
  • Avoid using the first name and last name of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people outside the library. An easy rule to remember is if a child is named, avoid using his or her photograph; if a photograph is used, avoid naming the child.
  • Consider using group photos rather than photos of individual children.
  • Ensure that the image file is appropriately named – do not use children's names in image file names or ALT tags if published on the web.
  • Ensure that images are appropriately stored and secured on the library’s network.
  • Only use images of pupils in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.

Some websites to visit for additional information:

Protecting Student Privacy

Use of Photographs in Publicity Materials

Tips for Library Users

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