The Library increasingly uses social media to engage with members of the community it serves. The purpose of this policy is to address the use of social media (as defined below) by the Library, its employees, volunteers, trustees, and patrons.
Social media is defined as websites and applications such as blogs, social networks, and online catalogs that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. The Library currently uses several social media platforms to engage with its patrons and the community at large. Examples of social media platforms include without limitation: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and blogs.
General Rules and Guidelines
The following rules and guidelines apply to the use of social media, whether such use is for the Library during working time or for personal use during non-working time. (Using Library equipment to access social media sites is also governed by the 4.11 Use of Information Systems of the Employee Handbook. Employees should also refer to this policy before accessing such sites via the Library's equipment). These rules and guidelines apply to all employees.
- Employees are prohibited from discussing confidential Library matters through the use of social media, such as the Library's trade secrets, patron account information, strategic business plans, patron lists, confidential Library financial information, business contracts, and other proprietary and nonpublic Library information.
- Employees cannot use social media to harass, threaten, bully, or discriminate against co-workers, supervisors, trustees, patrons, vendors or suppliers, any organizations associated or doing business with the Library, or any members of the public, including website visitors who post comments. The Library's anti-harassment and EEO policies apply to use of social media.
- Employees should respect all copyright and other intellectual property laws. For the Library's protection, as well as each employee's, it is critical that an employee show proper respect for all the laws governing copyright, fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, trademarks and other intellectual property, including the Library's own copyrights, trademarks, and brands.
- This policy is not intended, nor shall it be applied, to restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours, and working conditions with co-workers.
Library-Sponsored Social Media
The Library uses social media to actively engage with the Lake Forest community and invites the community to share on its social media sites ideas, opinions, and information about Library-related subjects, resources, and programs. The Library uses social media to promote Library news and events, make patrons aware of the resources and services it offers, provide interesting or valuable information to its patrons, attract new users to the Library, and to let its patrons see a more informal side of the Library. As such, the Library does not promote its social media sites as traditional public forums available for the general exchange of information and viewpoints, but rather reserves and limits the topics to those relevant to the Library, its mission, and the community it serves.
The Library will only post information that it believes is of interest to its audience and reflective of the Library's mission and values. The Library may share, comment on, retweet, or like posts and tweets from other sources.
All such Library-related social media is subject to the following rules and guidelines, in addition to the rules and guidelines set forth above:
- Only employees designated and authorized by the Library can prepare content for or delete, edit, or otherwise modify content on Library-sponsored social media. Library-sponsored social media accounts are owned by the Library. Any employees who create such accounts or are provided access to such accounts do not obtain ownership rights to such accounts or any content contained in them. Employees who create or are provided access to Library-sponsored social media accounts must provide the Library with all passwords and/or log-in information to such accounts immediately upon the Library's request, and must transfer "manager" or "owner" status (as defined by the particular social media site) upon the Library's request.
- Designated employees are responsible for ensuring that the Library-sponsored social media conforms to all applicable Library rules and guidelines. These employees are authorized to remove immediately and without advance warning any content, including offensive content such as pornography, obscenities, profanity, and/or material that violates the Library's EEO and/or anti-harassment policies.
- Employees who want to post comments in response to Library-sponsored content should identify themselves as employees. When Library employees respond to a comment or post, they will maintain a professional and friendly demeanor, as is expected with any interaction between staff and the public.
- Employees should check factual accuracy, grammar, and spelling before posting to the Library's social media sites.
Employee Use of Personal Social Media Accounts
Employees of the Library are able to express their personal views and beliefs on their personal social media accounts. However, the following rules and guidelines, in addition to the rules and guidelines set forth above, apply to employee use of social media on the employee's personal time.
- Employees who utilize social media and choose to identify themselves as employees of the Library may not represent themselves as spokespeople for the Library. Accordingly, employees are strongly encouraged to state explicitly, clearly, and in a prominent place on the site that their views are their own and not those of the Library or of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with the Library.
- Employees may not advertise or sell Library products or services through social media.
The Library reserves the right to monitor employees' public use of social media, including but not limited to statements or comments posted on the Internet, in blogs and other types of openly accessible forums, diaries, and personal and business discussion forums.
Employees should have no expectation of privacy while using Library equipment and facilities for any purpose, including the use of social media. The Library reserves the right to monitor, review, and block content that violates the Library's rules and guidelines.
The Library will investigate and respond to all reports of violations of the Library's rules, guidelines, or policies. Employees are urged to report any violations of this policy to their Department Head or Library Director. A violation of this policy may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.
(Approved October 11, 2016; amended September 11, 2018.)