Policy on Photography & Filming




The most significant priority of the New Bedford Free Public Library is to provide library services to the community, as described in the library’s mission statement.  The photography described below is allowed only to the extent that it does not interfere with the provision of library services and is consistent with the Library’s Mission Statement and Rules of Conduct and does not infringe on the privacy rights of library patrons and staff.


Please note that the New Bedford Library engages in photographing and videoing programs and events and reserves the right to utilize them for its own publicity and promotional purposes online and in print.  Attendees and/or participants consent to having their photograph taken and used for such purposes.  Library staff will notify members of the public when photography and video recording is taking place and any patrons and/or their child(ren) who do not want to be photographed or recorded will be respected.


The news media and members of the public are welcome to take photographs in and around the library.  The responsibility for obtaining releases for news photos lies with the media outlet.  The library staff may terminate any photo session that appears to impede library operations, compromise public safety, building security, patron privacy, or is inconsistent with the Library’s Mission Statement and/or Rules of Conduct.


Casual Filming and Photography

Visitors and patrons are allowed to engage in casual filming and photography while present in the library. The library is a public space and is not responsible for incidental filming or photography of visitors and patrons of the library.


Caregivers visiting the library may take pictures of their children to record special moments.  Please be respectful of other children and do not take their picture without asking their caregiver for permission.  Only handheld cameras and cell phones may be used to photograph or take videos.  Because of safety and liability concerns, the use of additional equipment such as tripods, lights, and backdrops is not permitted without prior permission.


Patrons are asked to request permission from the Library Director or Librarian-in-charge prior to conducting professional style photo or video sessions of the interior of the building to screen for patron and staff privacy, building safety or security issues.  This includes amateur photography using tripods, lights and backdrops.


Recognizing the historic significance and architectural style of the New Bedford Free Public Library, photographing or filming the exterior of the library building for your personal use does not require permission.  While engaged in photographing or filming, care must be taken not to impede the ingress or egress of visitors or staff to or from the library building, its outdoor spaces, and parking areas.  Photographs, sound music and videos can only be use for non-commercial purposes.  Changes to library facilities or furnishings (furniture, artwork, lighting fixtures, shelving, etc.) is strictly prohibited.


Photographic Releases

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


Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events Using Meeting Rooms at the Library

Groups arranging meetings using the library meeting rooms may arrange for photographers and news media during their event.  Photography for such events is restricted to the meeting room space reserved by the group and may not take place in other areas of the library.


Library Liability for Injuries

Permission from the library to conduct a photograph/film/recording event does not mean the library assumes any liability.  The person or group responsible for the photograph/film/recording event, assumes any and all liabilities, damages, losses or injuries that participants may sustain to their person or property which arise out of or are related to the photography/filming/music activities.


Weddings and Other Celebratory Events

Please keep in mind that the primary function of the library is to provide informational and literary material to our patrons.  To avoid service disruptions, we limit indoor photographs or films of wedding, prom and special recognition parties to the bride and groom, prom couple or the person being honored and the photographer.  Please notify the library director 48 hours prior to your planned session.  Please be aware the New Bedford Library does not allow alcohol on the premises.


Your donation of $50 (or more) helps the New Bedford Free Public Library continue to be the place where everyone can dream, create and grow.  Donations can be made to the New Bedford Free Public Library Donations Account with a memo note of Wedding Photos.  Thank you.




Adopted by the Board of Library Trustees

May 30, 2017

Revised by the Board of Library Trustees

December 21, 2021