Staff Social Media Policy

Social media can be defined as content created by people using highly accessible Internet-based publishing tools for sharing and discussing information. Some examples of social media are blogs, wikis, and video hosting sites.

These emerging platforms for online collaboration offer new ways to engage with patrons, colleagues, and the world at large, and have the potential to help staff build stronger professional relationships and take part in national and global conversations related to the work we are doing.

The Athens Regional Library System encourages the use of social media tools; however, due to the nature of social media, which encourages free-flowing conversations and allows for instantaneous publication reaching a potentially wide audience, the following guidelines are provided in order to assure effective and appropriate information, security, responsible speech, and privacy protection.

  1. Ensure that all departmental or branch library social media sites are sanctioned by the Athens Regional Library System Director.
  2. Ensure that the focus of the social media site is consistent with the mission of the Athens Regional Library System and that participating staff have the requisite expertise to post information and have understood and agreed to the principles and guidelines set forth in this document.
  3. Respect confidential information, the privacy of others, and do not discuss documents and decision-making and conversations which are internal to the library without appropriate approval. Know and comply with library policy related to confidentiality of patron records. Never comment on legal matters or litigation related to the library without approval from the Director.
  4. Ensure that staff posts and comments are respectful and considerate and contain no remarks that are offensive or off-topic. When responding to others' posts which you may disagree with, keep it appropriate and polite. Do not denigrate others. Airing grievances against management, patrons, fellow employees, departments or State agencies is not appropriate.
  5. Ensure transparency when posting or commenting by identifying yourself and your role within the library. Remember that you are personally responsible for your content. Be sure that all of the content associated with you is consistent with your work and the library's values and professional standards. Make sure that you write and post about your areas of expertise and assigned duties, and that you make it clear to your readers when writing about a topic outside of your expertise. When modifying earlier posts, make it clear you have done so.
  6. In some social media formats, you may encounter comments which cause you concern as a moderator or responsible party. If user content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then the content should be allowed to remain, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the Library. If the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, then the content should be rejected and removed.

1/12/2010

B. 8. d. Social Media

Social media can be defined as content created by people using highly accessible Internet-based publishing tools for sharing and discussing information. These emerging platforms for online collaboration offer new ways to engage with patrons, colleagues, and the world at large, and have the potential to help staff build stronger professional relationships and take part in national and global conversations related to the library’s work.

The Athens Regional Library System encourages the use of social media tools; however, due to the nature of social media, which encourages free-flowing conversations and allows for instantaneous publication reaching a potentially wide audience, the following tenets are required in order to assure effective and appropriate information, security, responsible speech, and privacy protection.

Library Social Media

All library social media entities, sites, or memberships, whether regional, branch, or departmental, must be pre-approved by the Executive Director or the Director’s designee. ARLS disavows and is not responsible for any sites, posts, opinions, or content not coordinated through and approved by the Executive Director or designee.

  1. The focus of all library social media sites must be consistent with the mission of the Athens Regional Library System.
  2. The ARLS Public Information Officer coordinates the library’s social media presence.
  3. Participating staff administering or editing library social media sites must have the requisite expertise to post information.
  4. Confidential information may not be shared via social media; all posts must adhere to library policies, especially those concerning the privacy of others. Documents, decisions, and conversations which are internal to the library may not be released without appropriate approval. Comments on legal matters or litigation related to the library are not allowed without pre-approval from the Executive Director.
  5. Staff posts and comments must be respectful and considerate and contain no remarks that are offensive or off-topic. Responses to posts must be appropriate, polite, and may not denigrate others. Airing grievances against management, patrons, fellow employees, departments, or local or state agencies is not appropriate.
  6. Transparency must be maintained when posting or commenting by identifying the poster and his/her role within the library. Employees are personally responsible for content they post. All of the content associated should be consistent with the library's values and professional standards.
  7. If user/patron content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then the content should be allowed to remain, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the library. If the content is offensive, denigrating, completely out of context, or otherwise against Patron Responsibilities and Conduct policy, then the content should be rejected and removed.

Personal Social Media

Employees may use personal social media on their own time and using their own equipment. The following types of personal social media postings are not allowed:

  1. Sensitive or proprietary information about ARLS.
  2. Confidential information about patrons or fellow employees.
  3. Posts which violate ARLS policies covering harassing, demeaning, or creating a hostile work environment for other ARLS employees.

Posts on personal social media are the legal liability of the poster, not the library.

(10-17-2017)