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Social Media Policy

Purpose:

This policy governs the Prospect Heights Public Library District's (“the Library”) participation in online venues and social media. The Library makes use of social media tools to reach out and be accessible to current and potential library users. Social media allows the Library to meet users where they are and give the staff and public a convenient way to interact and share information, ideas, and opinions on a range of topics related to the Library's mission, collections, and services. 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 forum for discussing library programs, events, and materials.

 

Social Networking Definition:

The social networking software to which this policy refers is any facility for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Library’s blog, or any other social site where the Library has an account and through which the Library shares information about library-related subjects.

 

Goals of Use:

The Library maintains a presence on a number of social media platforms in order to promote Library programs and services as well as to promote information literacy and lifelong learning to current, former, and potential patrons of the Library. To do this, the Library shares upcoming events, news items, and links about the Library, libraries, information literacy, research, information technology, and education, as well as world events or holidays. Social media profiles are maintained and monitored by library staff.

 

User Privacy:

It is the policy of the Library that the privacy of all users will be respected in compliance with federal and state laws. Only users who have shown consent to receive communication via social networking sites by “liking,” “friending,” “following,” creating an alert to new content, leaving a comment, or otherwise initiating communication will be contacted by the Library through that specific site. The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use personally identifiable information stored on third party social media sites, other than to communicate with users on that site. Users should be aware that third party websites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.

 

Library Liability:

The Library is not responsible or liable for content posted by subscribers or third parties in comment sections, forums, message boards, or other social networking sites and postings do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Library, its employees, or the Library Board of Trustees. Users who subscribe to external social networking sites do so at their own risk and are responsible for sharing personally identifying information through those sites. 

 

Postings and Restrictions:

Comments, posts, and messages from the public are welcome as a means of engagement and interaction with the community. Comments on social networking sites are open to all but are moderated by library staff. Comments should be relevant to the specific post they are attached to. The Library reserves the right to deny or remove any comments, tags, and/or images that violate the law, the rights of any third part, or library policies.

Unsuitable comments include but are not limited to:

  • Obscene, racist, or sexist content
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threats
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Private or personal information submitted without consent
  • Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion
  • Commercial and/or political promotions
  • Spam
  • Any messages deemed to be in violation of copyright, trademark right, or other intellectual property right of any third party
  • Any material deemed contrary to the general purposes or detrimental to the services of the Library

By posting comments, posts, or other material on Library’s social media sites, users give the Library the right to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, modify, and otherwise use such content for any purpose in any form on any media format. 

 

User Responsibilities and Use Restrictions:

Users of all ages have the responsibility to protect their privacy and should not post personally identifying information, such as last name, school, age, phone number, or address. The Library does not act in place of, or in absence of, a parent. Users may not post comments, tags, or images that are included in the above unsuitable comments lists. Abuse of this policy may result in the responsible poster being barred from posting any subsequent messages to the Library’s social media profile(s). 

Patrons should be aware that they may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous by any offended party, not just the Library.

 

Reporting Violations:

Users may report violations of the Library’s social media site’s policies to the Library by contacting the administrators of the Library’s social media sites by email at social@phpl.info.

The Library periodically evaluates the role and utility of its online venues and social media. Accounts may be altered or terminated at any time.

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