Guidelines for Filming, Photography, and Video in Library Facilities

 Helpful tips

If you are a student, faculty member, or member of the community who would like to photograph, film, or record video in the University Libraries for non-commercial purposes:

If you are a student, faculty member, or member of the community who would like to photograph, film, or record video in the University Libraries Special Collections for non-commercial purposes:

If you want to photograph, film, or record video in the University Libraries for commercial purposes, you must read and follow University of Iowa procedures:


In keeping with the educational mission of the University, the Libraries may be used as a location site for student or faculty film and/or video projects.  Providing prior notification to the Libraries of your plans to film or take photos can help Libraries staff better facilitate your project.

Use of photographic, videotape, or film equipment within the libraries

  • Must occur during University Libraries’ regular operating hours
  • In general, access to staff offices and other non-public and staff-only areas is not permitted
  • Must be accomplished without interfering with the study, research, privacy, or safety needs of library users
  • Must not interfere with the ability of library staff to function
  • Must be done within the constraints of all University of Iowa policies, rules, or regulations
  • Must not hinder access to exits, stairways, corridors, doorways, and other library facilities
  • Cannot involve the use of camera dollies, smoke, and smoke effects, etc.
  • May be restricted during midterms or near final examinations

Responsibilities of the filmmaker, photographer, and/or film crew

  • Return library facilities to the original condition found before filming started. Library staff will not be responsible for moving furniture, setting up film shots, or assisting with the film setup or take down.
  • Bear of the cost for the repair of any damage incurred.
  • The filmmaker/photographer shall not present any individual in a defamatory manner or violate any individual’s expectation of privacy.


  • Persons who could be photographed or recorded should be informed when such activity is imminent.
  • Any individual may decline being photographed or recorded and is not required to be subject to photography or recording.
  • The filmmaker/photographer is encouraged to obtain the prior written consent of any individual, including any library users or library staff, who will appear in or be the subject of the photography/videotaping/filming. Obtaining written consent is especially encouraged for any individual having a prominent role (e.g., speaks at some length) in the photography/videotaping/filming or for any individual who displays or creates a copyrighted work during the photography/videotaping/filming.

The Libraries reserves the right to terminate any photography, videotaping, or filming that causes an undue disturbance, violates Libraries or University policies or regulations, or endangers the health and safety of participants, library users, or library staff.

Approved by Libraries’ Administrative Group: November 2, 2016