Social Media Policy for LSC-CyFair Library
- LSC-CyFair Library, a joint public and academic library, is committed to providing an online environment that is engaging, enlightening, and entertaining and which supports the information needs of our unique community. This document defines acceptable use parameters of social media for all authorized staff of the LSC-CyFair Library. Social media from the Library is intended to inform, engage, and present a reliable presence within the community, supplementing the means of communication currently in place for news, programs, and events from Lone Star College-CyFair and Harris County Public Library.
- Social media can be defined as any web-based application, site, software, or account created and maintained by the Library that facilitates an environment for library staff and library patrons to civilly engage and discuss current events, items of interest, or library related subjects/issues with members of the public.
- Some examples of social media outlets include:
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogging platforms such as Tumblr.
- LSC-CyFair Library actively participates in social media to:
- Present an inclusive library presence within the community.
- Engage and inform library users and the general population of our community service area and the surrounding areas.
- Cultivate an open and relaxed dialog, both between library staff, students and patrons, and among library users.
- Promote the value and importance of the services offered by LSC-CyFair Library.
- Showcase library events.
- Use feedback and discussions to determine needed library services.
- Promote research tips and useful tools and websites.
- The development of the Library’s social media presence is a collaborative effort that is moderated mainly by our social media coordinator. All staff members are encouraged to make recommendations for content and submit posts and images for review.
- Though social media platforms allow for a more relaxed tone that encourages interaction with our followers, posts on social media sites should be professional and in good taste. Be respectful of LSC-CyFair Library, its services, employees, students, and patrons. Understand that social media is public, permanent, and retrievable. Your messages can be read by anyone, even those not on your friend/subscriber list. There should be no expectation of privacy or anonymity.
- The LSC-CyFair Library social media will endeavor to follow these best practices:
- Add value with brief titles and messages: post content that will be useful, interesting, or engaging to your audience. Don’t just post/repost several links to other items (i.e. original content is encouraged).
- Before posting, check facts, cite sources, and check spelling and grammar. Do not use copyrighted photos and/or images without permission.
- Post regularly. Simply having a presence isn’t enough—you need to populate the site with good content.
- Ask questions in your posts. Don’t just talk at your readers—engage them. Ask questions in some of your posts and see what kind of response you get via comments from followers.
- Monitor your page and keep up with the conversation. Regularly read all the posts on your page, including those posted by others. Sometimes library users will ask important questions via social media rather than phone or email. Make sure to find these questions and answer them directly on the page.
- Protect confidential and proprietary information. Social computing blurs lines between internal and external communications. Sensitive information must never be posted.
- Don’t censor negative comments. You may see patrons or community members post negative comments from time to time—use your best judgment as to whether you want to try to reply officially and respectfully, or simply ignore the comment.
- Report potentially illegal content to library administration.
Guidelines on Posts by the Library
All social media posts should endeavor to follow the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association (see appendix A). The Library will not post items or comments that are obscene, racist, derogatory, or similarly objectionable in their content:
Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
Potentially libelous statements
Plagiarized copyrighted material
Commercial promotions or spam
If an image is posted, and is not owned by LSC-CyFair Library, the image source will be noted whenever possible. However, content obtained from Google images or similar sources is assumed to be free, open-source content. If the owner of the content contacts the Library and requests the content be removed from our social media, the Library will comply.
“Friending/Following” – Who Does the Library Follow and Why?
- The Library’s social media presence is open for interaction with all members of the public. The Library will accept links, followers, or “friends” from everyone except:
- Users who have violated the site’s policies
- Users who post any inflammatory, offensive, or exploitative materials
- Users representing commercial promotions or spam
- The Library will “follow back” or “like” any fans or followers that are:
- Related to libraries, literature, or academics
- Non-commercial in nature
- Of possible interest to LSC-CyFair Library and the surrounding areas
- The Library does not collect, maintain, or otherwise use personal information stored on any third-party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site. The Library may contact you to seek permission to use your content in another forum, but it will never do so without explicit permission and credit. Users may remove themselves at any time from the Library’s “friends,” “fans,” or “followers” lists. Users should be aware that third party websites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.
- The Library reserves the right to block problematic accounts and remove any posts or comments. Reasons for removal include, but are not limited to: inappropriate language, personal attacks or insults toward others on the site, inflammatory comments, solicitations or spam, or off-topic comments.
- The Library assumes no liability regarding any event or interaction created or posted by any participant in any library-sponsored social media service, and it does not endorse content outside the “pages” created by Library staff. These guidelines only govern the official Library social media sites and not the personal accounts of library staff; however, employees of the Library should conduct themselves professionally when posting directly to the Library social media from their own personal pages as they could be viewed as representatives of the Library by posting in this capacity.
- The Library is not responsible or liable for content posted by subscribers in any forum, message board, or other social media resource, and such subscriber comments do not reflect the opinions and/or positions of Lone Star College, Harris County Public Library, LSC-CyFair Library, its administrators, or its employees.