Social media has become a valuable resource for the dissemination of library information to the community. The purpose of the social media policy is to ensure effective promotion of library services, resources and events to the public; ensure a high standard of customer service; and expand the library’s connection with the community on social media.
Definition of Social Media
Social media is defined as any web application, site or account created and maintained by the Putnam County Library System. These include, but are not limited to, the library’s WordPress Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
The manager of a department or location may assign an employee or employees to manage social media accounts. The library may require a member of library management to be added as account administrator in order to ensure continuity of access.
Content of posts: Posts should inform library users about services, resources, programs and events; promote library use; and encourage dialogue between users and library representatives. Social media posts should be positive in tone and reflect the values and viewpoint of the library rather than personal opinions.
Third-Party Posts: The library is not responsible for the content of posts made by third parties, including patrons, reviewers, advertisers, etc. Public posts by third parties do not reflect the positions of the library, its employees or Putnam County.
The Putnam County Library System reserves the right to delete public posts or comments that are deemed inappropriate or off-topic.
Content containing any of the following will be removed immediately from the Putnam County Library System social media forum:
- Obscene content
- Hate speech
- Personal attacks, insults or threatening language
- Private or personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, or requests for personal information
- Potentially libelous statements
- Falsification of identity
- Plagiarized or copyrighted materials
- Comments, links or information unrelated to the purpose of the forum
- Spam or other commercial, political or religious messages unrelated to the library or its social media postings
- Solicitation of funds
- Posts in violation of laws or library policies
- Duplicate posts by an individual user
- Any images, links or other content that falls into the above categories
The library reserves the right to ban or block users who have posted in violation of this policy.
Personal Social Media Posts
This policy is intended to provide guidelines to ensure that social media tools are used properly and to address potential risks. The suggestions provided in these guidelines are designed to protect library employees. Every library employee is responsible for reviewing and complying with the following policy at work and outside of work.
The lines between public and private, personal and professional, are blurred in online social networks, and whatever you post on your personal account will likely reflect on the library. Therefore, be aware of your association with the library and thoughtful of how you present yourself online. A personal social media account, while an appropriate place to share personal opinions, is not a place to present an individual opinion as an official agency view. Be mindful that, despite privacy controls, whatever you publish can be seen by many different people, including your supervisors, coworkers and patrons.
Library employees cannot use personal social media sites for political purposes, to conduct private commercial transactions, or to engage in private business activities during business hours and with library-owned property. Library employees are also prohibited from using social media to violate any other applicable state, federal or local laws, policies and regulations.
Employees’ personal use should not be attributable to the library. An employee’s use and comments made on social media sites are subject to First Amendment protections. However, any personal use must be conducted in such a manner that a reader would not think that the employee is speaking for or on behalf of the library. If you list the Putnam County Library System as your employer on your personal social media profiles, any information you post will be held to a higher level of scrutiny.
Personal social media postings shall be consistent with the library’s Policy on Workplace Discrimination and Harassment, the library’s Policy on Violence in the Workplace, and the Code of Conduct. Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated. Examples include communications that could reasonably be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating; posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation; or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 and over), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, pregnancy, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected category under state and/or federal law.
Any information that is considered confidential shall not be released on any social media account. Confidential information includes business secrets or other information not otherwise available to persons outside of the library; confidential financial data or other non-public, proprietary information; or confidential information regarding business partners, vendors or customers.
Respect the laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and third-party rights. Do not infringe on the library’s or individual agency logos or other trademarks.
Your social media accounts may be subject to monitoring without notice or consent if these sites are accessed on library property, outside of official duties.
Violation of any of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.