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Social Networking Policy

In keeping with the mission of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library (the Library) ofproviding access to the world of educational, recreational, and information resources in a variety of formats and technologies”  the Library shall participate in various online social networking applications, in order to give members of the community increased access to library resources without requiring a visit to a physical branch or service outlet.

Definition of Social Networking:
Social networking is any website or online application which allows users to share information.  Social networking can include, but is not limited to, blogging, instant messaging, social networking sites, and wikis. Many social networking sites will allow users to become a “friend”, “fan”, or otherwise associate their own profiles with the Library’s profile on these sites.  Examples of such sites are Facebook. Twitter, YouTube, various blogging sites like Blogger and WordPress, etc.

Privacy on Social Networking Pages/Sites

  • The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site, unless granted permission by users for the Library to make contact outside the site.
  • The purpose for contact outside the site may include reference help, program promotion, volunteer opportunities or other similar activities.
  • Users may remove themselves at any time from the Library’s “friends” or “fan” lists, or request that the Library remove them.
  • Users should be aware that third party websites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.

Monitoring Use of Library Social Networking Pages/Sites
The Library does not act in the place, or in the absence, of a parent or guardian and is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s use of this resource. Comments, posts, and messages are welcome on Library social networking pages/sites. While the Library recognizes and respects differences in opinion, all such interactions will be monitored regularly and reviewed for content and relevancy (before publishing when possible).

Library staff reserves the right to remove any posts deemed inappropriate.
All postings which contain any of the following will be removed and the poster may be blocked from posting any subsequent messages to Library social networking pages/sites:   

  • Obscene, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory content
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Private, personal information published without consent
  • Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion
  • Unauthorized commercial promotions or spam
  • Organized political activity
  • Photos or other images that fall in any of the above categories

In addition, the Library reserves the right to edit or modify any postings or comments for space or content, while retaining the intent of the original post. The Library shall also be granted the right to reproduce comments, posts, and messages in other public venues, e.g.  a response to a YouTube book review may be quoted in a newspaper or on the Library website.  Identifying information, other than first name, will be removed, unless prior approval is granted by the poster.

The Library assumes no liability regarding any event or interaction that takes place by any participant in any Library-sponsored social networking service and does not endorse or review content outside the "pages" created by Library staff.  Participation in Library social networking services implies agreement to follow all Library policies, including its Social Networking Policy and its Internet Code of Ethics, and, also, the terms of service of each third-party service.  The role and utility of social networking sites will be evaluated periodically by Library staff and may be terminated at any time without notice to subscribers.

Disclaimer

To reach out to potential library users, AVRL maintains an online presence on selected social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Content on Library pages will be vetted by Library staff; however, sites that are linked to Library pages are not monitored by Library staff.   The Library does not endorse any information, opinions, services or advertisements available for viewing on social networking sites. 

As with the use of all Library services and resources, it is the responsibility of parents/guardians, not Library staff, to determine and monitor their minor children’s use of the internet.  The Library reserves the right to remove anyone from its social networking pages, who has associated his/her own profile with the Library’s profile.

Rules for Posting

By submitting a comment to any of the Library’s social networking pages, you agree to abide by the following rules, which are designed to ensure that people feel comfortable in any online discussions and are keen to participate and that any such discussions stay relevant and on topic:

  • Stay on topic
  • Be concise
  • Be respectful  
  • Don't incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, sexuality or other personal characteristics 
  • Don't 'spam' 
  • Don't post personal information 
  • Don't advertise
  • Don't impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organization
  • Don't break the law          

We encourage open, lively debate but the decision to publish comments received by the Library is at the discretion of Library staff.  Comments that violate any of the above rules will not be published.

If users break the rules, the Library reserves the right to suspend their accounts, including library privileges.

Adapted from the Whitman Public Library (MA)’s social networking policy, and the Social Networking Policy of the Colchester-East Hants Public Library.

November 10, 2011