Thursday, October 24, 2013

DAR Library digital camera policy changed

Last week I visited the DAR Library and discovered they had finally changed their digital camera use policy. Previously the use of any digital camera (including cell phone cameras) was forbidden for the purpose of making copies. You may now use a digital camera to make copies in the Library (not Siemes Technology Center*) for a daily use fee. There are some additional rules which are described on the use agreement you will need to sign. Additional photographic equipment (tripod, flash, etc.) are not allowed. Currently the fee is $15. I could not find information on the website about this policy and I was told there hadn't been many people taking advantage of it.
    Previously I was (repeatedly) told the reason cameras were not allowed was fear of a drop in photocopying fees. A usage fee is a good option for any repository to help cover costs and I'm always happy to pay a reasonable usage fee.
     If you wish to use a digital camera to make copies please follow the rules and pay the fee. All repositories have expenses and a drop in income or funding may result in reduction of hours or complete closure. A camera use fee is better than an increase in the entrance fee as you have a choice whether you wish to pay it (I didn't on the day I visited because I only did research in Siemes). Additionally, make sure you follow any guidelines provided by the repository. Most rules are designed to allow everyone to work in the repository under reasonable conditions (i.e. no blinding flash constantly going off next to you), to protect the records, and to follow copyright law.

*You may be allowed to use a camera to copy microfilm however since a camera stand is not allowed, it is faster and you get better results from a photocopy. The exception may be an extremely large record but you'll need an extremely steady hand!