Des Moines Public Library

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    "Are you taking pictures? Do not take pictures in here." the librarian said as soon as we walked into the library. I felt a little bad, but I took a few photos anyways.

    PinkMoose and Asif Photography added this photo to their favorites.

    1. mikemccaffrey 55 months ago | reply

      Umm... aren't you allowed to take photos in public buildings? What reason could they have for you not to take photos?

    2. bryanboyer 55 months ago | reply

      is this the new one by David Chipperfield?

      No pictures in a public library? that is stupid.

    3. jessamyn 55 months ago | reply

      Yes, it's the Chipperfield building! Really nice building sort of uninterestingly filled with books.

      She said we could talk to the lady in marketing on the third floor about photography permission. We didn't. Maybe I'll go back over there today and have a chat with her.

    4. jbroome 55 months ago | reply

      Can't you give her the secret librarian handshake and make everything go away?

    5. bryanboyer 55 months ago | reply

      you know, I don't agree with it when an institution like a private museum says you can't take pictures but I can sort of understand it* since they probably want to sell you some trinkets.

      but for public institutions like a library there is really no reasonable reason for denying you the right to take pictures. certainly you're not stealing any potential funds from the library by taking some pictures. is it for security? I sure hope not...

      if you do talk to the marketing person, you should ask them to google/flickr search for Seattle Public Library and see the immense load of results that come back celebrating their investment in superior architecture. after spending so much money on a Chipperfield building I am surprised they don't want to flaunt it!

      *as an architect it is especially annoying when people deny the right to take pictures. I'm usually interested in some tiny detail that will never ever show up in any book or magazine. I've gotten good at sneaking pictures.

    6. jessamyn 55 months ago | reply

      I wrote the director and the marketing and tech people about why they have this policy and where I can find it. Will see what they say.

    7. jessamyn 55 months ago | reply

      Got an interesting response from them [upshot: they've got a weird policy but they're nice people] and I'll post it once I'm home from Iowa.

    8. bryanboyer 55 months ago | reply

      I don't know what's more disappointing: that Chipperfield asked them to disallow photos or that the Library complied.

    9. bryanboyer 55 months ago | reply

      @jessamyn: this issue has generated a bit of discussion at archinect as well, FYI.

    10. jessamyn 55 months ago | reply

      I dropped Chipperfield a note via his website, I'll mention if I hear back from him.

    11. ricklibrarian 55 months ago | reply

      Funny, I was asked to put my camera away in Iowa City a few years ago. Of course, I had already taken a number of arty pictures at that point. I didn't waste them. We like photographers at Thomas Ford. We figure we get free promotion.

    12. PrairieHaus 55 months ago | reply

      Wouldn't surprise me if they don't want photos because of defective windows that keep cracking:

    13. flyingember 53 months ago | reply

      I believe the general agreement is that when you're allowed in a public place you are allowed to take photos.

      The location's options are:
      - to not allow you in/remove you from the location
      - to take your camera and be materially responsible for it or refuse to allow you to have it there. some phone models have a no camera option for this reason. courthouses take items with a ticket like cameras and phones and hold onto it

      If you want a good recent example of the latter, several Sarah Palin events have banned cameras, cell phones and the like since it's the only legal way they can stop any sort of recording.

      As well, someone being in a public place does not give them a right to privacy as it's a public place. There are exceptions for items like upskirt/downblouse, restrooms, zooming in on medical documents and the like. The other big one is taking a photo and using it for a fake testimonial. Children are not given special treatment from the above but it's generally bad practice to post full names.
      this is a good beginning source

    14. Geoffrey Kroll 45 months ago | reply

      When I asked at our nearest library the woman asked me what I was going to photograph. I told her I did not have anything in particular, but wanted to ask before I just began shooting my camera. All she said was not to disturb other patrons and avoid photographing them. Nothing reached out and touched me, so no photo's were taken (it is a plain looking library).

      I think in part they worry about the children in there and the sicko's that should be thrown in an active volcano.

      flyingember .. in Indiana they can't even prosecute over upskirt shots .. NewsChannel 15 investigates why upskirt pictures are not prohibited by Indiana law

      NOT that I condone that type of behavior, just commenting on your post using that example. ;-)

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