Social Networking Policy
In keeping with the Haverhill Public Library’s mission to “serve the cultural, social, and community needs of a diverse population by providing global access to informational, educational, and recreational resources,” the Library participates in various “social software” applications whereby library staff and community members can interact through virtual (online) communication. These resources, summarized below, allow all members of the community access to the resources of the Haverhill Public Library without mandating a visit to the physical library. The Haverhill Public Library regards online social software applications in the same way as its other information resources in accordance with its mission of serving Haverhill’s needs for informational, educational, cultural, and recreational pursuits.
Social software is defined as any website or application which allows users to share information. Social software can include, but is not limited to, blogs, instant messaging, social networking sites, media sharing sites, and wikis. Many social networking sites allow users of those sites to become a “friend”, “fan” or otherwise associate their own “profiles” or virtual presences with the Library’s profile on these sites. Examples of such sites are Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Delicious, YouTube, and various blogging sites like WordPress. As with more traditional resources, the Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent and is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s use of this resource.
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 Library contact outside the site. The purpose for contact outside the site may include program promotion, volunteer opportunities, reference help, 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. Comments, posts, and messages are welcome on Haverhill Public Library social networking sites. While the Library recognizes and respects differences in opinion, all such interactions will be regularly monitored and reviewed for content and relevancy (before publishing when possible). All postings which contain any of the following will be removed and the poster barred from posting any subsequent messages to library social networking sites:
- Obscene, sexist or racist content
- Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
- Potentially libelous and slanderous statements
- Plagiarized or copyrighted material
- 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
- Commercial promotions or spam
- Organized political activity
- Photos or other images/media that fall in any of the above categories
In addition, the Haverhill Public 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. For example, 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 user. The Haverhill Public 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 Haverhill Public Library staff. Participation in Haverhill Public Library social networking services implies agreement with all Library policies, including its Social Networking Policy, Library Code of Conduct and Internet Use Policy, and the Terms of Service of each individual third-party service. If a user does not agree to these terms, they are not to use the services provided.
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. Library social media accounts may friend, follow or link to other public, academic, school and special libraries, librarians and educators, publishers, bookstores, authors and illustrators, news sources, city resources, local businesses and other government entities. Specific networks such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube will be monitored on a daily basis during normal hours of library operation, via review of the site or through email notifications.
If a fan/friend posts a comment deemed in violation of the Library’s social media policy, the Library will delete the content in violation. The fan/friend whose comment(s) are removed will be sent a private alert message via the social media in question, informing him or her that comment(s) were removed due to violations with the Library social networking policy. The message will restate the policy and direct the fan/friend to contact the site administrator for further information/clarification. The message will also explain the consequences of the “three-strike” policy for repeat violations. A fan/friend whose comments are removed for a second violation of the Library social networking policy will receive a second, similar private alert message, and be notified that upon receiving a third violation of the policy, s/he will be removed as a fan/friend of the Library. Upon a third violation and removal of the comment, the fan/friend will receive a message informing him/her that s/he is being removed as a fan/friend and will be directed to the site administrator for further information/clarification.
Fans/friends/followers should be aware that information submitted voluntarily through social media sites associated with the library where such information is publicly available, including your name, city or town, and the substance of anything posted may be disseminated further or publicly discussed by a member of the organization.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, Haverhill Public Library, February 17, 2011