18. Overcoats, raincoats, and other kinds of outdoor clothing, umbrellas, bags, cases, cameras, photocopying devices, and similar personal belongings shall normally be deposited in the locker-room adjacent to the entrance hall during each visit to the Library.
Which is not to say that photocopying, per se is not allowed in the University Library, because it is... either using self-service machines or via Imaging Services (UL: Photocopying). So the problem is presumably guarding against Library users photographing/photocopying works that they shouldn't? But from what I can tell, those works are accessible only in the Reading Rooms, so presumably a ban on photogrph/copying works in those areas would suffice? (If the books that may not be copied can be taken out of those rooms, then they can easily be copied in thre photopcopier room...)
Or maybe the photocopiers log and scan everything, so the Library knows exactly what copies have been made...?! (I think not...)
The photocopiers are modern ones, after all (I'd post a photo but I might get caught again...) which is to say that they are also scanners, capable of scanning books etc and emailing the scan to a supplied email address. Email addresses need to be entered manually (rather than being identified automatically from a scan of a Library card, or entry of the shorter CRSID for example) so it's user beware in terms of making sure you enter the correct details. (I know, I know, not every user will have those details... so in those cases, they could choose to enter their email address...)
Hmmm, so I wonder: what if I'm in the photocopier room when I take a photo/scan of a book title page, for example, using my phone rather than on of the photocopiers? Will I get shouted at if anyone sees me?!
But so what if a "no cameras" rule is enforced?
- no cameras means no scope for exploring services like the use of QR codes in the library.
- no cameras means no scope for exploring the use of cameras for grabbing universal bar codes using apps like BookMobile or SnapTell (Note that the Cambrdge University Library bar codes don't seem to be resolvable using the bar code readers I have on my phone (not that I've tried using that camera based functionality inside tjhe library, of course...;-), though with a few tweaks of the bar code reader code that could probably be addressed...)
- no cameras means no opportunity to explore personal photocopying services:
- no cameras means no opportunity to explore self-service checkout; I'm guessing that the UL currently uses magnetic strips to check whether or not a book is being taken from the library when it shouldn't be, and I also guess that RFID tag enabled books use the RFID tag and a record lookup to perform a similar role... which means that if the UL was to go with RFID, it would presumably be possible for patrons to scan out books using a client on their own phone that was linked to the UL book checky outy service (can you tell I've started picking up on library jargon?!;-)
- and no cameras means no chance of exploring what sort of role the toy of the moment, Google Goggles, might play in a research context*:
*I originally wrote "library context", rather than "research context" (or "study context") there... Hmmm... a symptom of it's our Library and we make the rules maybe?
If the Library wants to engage in the mobile revolution, then I would humbly suggest that it needs to think about its camera policy. According to a small, informal and what I guess should be best described as anecdotal survey - Mobile Phone Internet & Camera Usage - it seems as if it's only the minority of mobile phone users who aren't in the regular habit of using their mobile phone as a camera... More elaborate surveys (e.g. Global survey shows cell phone is 'remote control' for life) seem to come to a similar conclusion...