Social Media Policy

The Independence County Library ("Library") uses social media to increase awareness of and accessibility to its programs, resources, and services in order to carry out its mission. The purpose of this policy is to address use of social media activities including but not limited to blogs, social networks, online communications, websites, and mobile applications by the Library and its employees, volunteers, and patrons. The Library's social media sites are not intended to be traditional public forums for the general exchange of ideas and viewpoints, but a limited public forum for discussing Library programs, events and materials. The Library does not make its social media accounts available for general public discourse, but rather reserves and limits the topics that may be discussed on social media accounts.

Library - Sponsored Social Media

Only those employees responsible for the Library's social media sites should be actively participating on those sites during work hours. Employees who contribute to the Library's social media should present content in a professional manner and should check facts, cite sources, avoid copyright infringement, present balanced views, acknowledge and correct errors and check grammar and spelling before posting.

Employees should not discuss confidential, work-related matters through social media. Content that is posted on Library-sponsored social media sites is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Employee Personal Use of Social Media

Library employees have the same right to self-expression enjoyed by members of the community as a whole when discussing matters of public concern. As public employees, Library employees are cautioned that speech made pursuant to official duties is not protected speech under the First Amendment and may form the basis for discipline if deemed a violation of any policy of the Library. Employees should keep in mind the following best practices when posting content about library-related subjects and issues on personal time.

  • If you identify yourself as an employee of the Library, make it clear that the views expressed are yours alone and do not represent the views of the Library.
  • Respect the Library's confidential and proprietary information. Do not post information that is still in draft form or is confidential.
  • No comments with any kind of negative, mocking, condescending, etc. slant should be made about patrons in general, about specific questions from patrons, or about patron behavior on the Library's social media sites.
  • The Library does not endorse, monitor, or review the content of personal, non-Library related social media activity of its employees.

Posting on Social Media

The Library permits patrons to comment on Library posts and patrons are invited to share opinions about Library-related subjects, resources and programs. Postings do not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, or opinions expressed in posts on its social media sites.

The purpose of the Library's social media sites is to inform Library users about educational opportunities, library programs, events (including those co-sponsored with other organizations) and materials, and to encourage dialogue and the exchange of information and knowledge between users and Library staff about these programs, events, and materials. The Library reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed to be in violation of this policy or any applicable law. Content that is deemed not suitable for posting by the Library because it is not topically related to the particular subject being commented on, or is deemed prohibited based on the criteria defined below, shall be retained pursuant to the records retention schedule along with a description of the reason(s) the specific content was deleted. Content and comments on the Library's social media accounts containing any of the following forms of content and postings shall not be allowed:

 

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