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Filming and Photography Policy

The most significant priority for the Nashville Public Library is to provide library services to the Nashville community, as fully described in the Library’s Mission Statement. The duty of fulfilling the Library’s mission is the first priority of the Nashville Public Library and the filming and 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.

Note that any persons filming or photographing on library premises have sole responsibility for gaining all necessary releases and permissions from persons who are filmed or photographed. The Library undertakes no responsibility for obtaining these releases.

Also note that library staff may terminate any photo session that appears to compromise public safety or security.

News Media Photography

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. Advance authorization for such photography must be obtained from the Library’s Public Relations Department at (615) 862-6028.

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; however, research photography of the library's materials and resources are permitted within certain limitations (see "Research Photography" section below). It disallows using Library facilities as interview venues for unrelated stories, and disallows access to library patrons for opinion polls or man on the street interviews within its facilities.

Documentary-Type Photography for publication or broadcast

The Library permits photography of its premises and activities when the use of the photographs involves the library directly, ie. books, articles, or videos about the library itself, the library’s position in the city of Nashville as a tourist or learning destination, or as part of a piece used to describe our city’s environs. Authorization must be obtained in advance from the Library’s Public Relations Department.

Commercial Photography

The Library does not permit commercial photography on or in its facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, using library buildings, grounds or interiors as a stage set for portraiture, model photography, and product photography. It includes photography or filming used to advertise goods or services unrelated to the Library for commercial sale or promotion.

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. Additional permissions must be obtained from the Nashville Room or Metro Archives to photograph materials or items in special collections because of complex copyright issues in these areas. Because of these issues, permission to reproduce materials from these divisions may in some cases be denied or involve a fee. Please discuss your needs with a staff member in these areas before planning your project to obtain advance authorization.

Amateur Photography

Casual amateur photography and videotaping is permitted in library facilities for patrons and visitors wanting a remembrance of their visit. The use of additional equipment such as lighting is not permitted.

Movie Industry

The Library will permit use of its facilities by the movie or music industry for filming major entertainment projects where a library setting is called for, if the project does not interfere with the mission of the Nashville Public 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, because the Nashville Public Library wishes to avoid any appearance, no matter how slight, of impropriety or impression of political preference. These projects must be approved in advance through the Mayor’s Office of Film, with details worked out in advance with the Library. Such filming may take place only during hours when the library is closed, and all equipment must be removed during the Library’s operating hours. Library personnel such as are necessary to open, secure, and remain on the premises during a shoot must be paid at overtime rates by the production company.

Photography for Groups and Non-Library Events in the Conference Center or meeting facilities

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

Approved by the Library Board June 21, 2005