Social Networking Software Policy
Social Media is defined as any web application, site or account created and maintained by Milton Public Library which facilitates an environment for library staff and library users to share opinions and information about library related subjects or issues. This policy governs staff, board members’ or volunteers’ use of these tools for professional purposes. The Milton Public Library recognizes and respects differences in opinion.
The Milton Public Library regards online social software applications in the same way as its other information resources in accordance with its mission of serving Milton’s needs for connecting people, ideas, and information. As with more traditional resources, the Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The Library is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s use of this resource.
In addition to the general rules respecting use of the Library, the Milton Public Library Board prohibits the use of its social software applications for any purpose which would contravene any statute or government regulation, or which might create civil liability by the user or the Library Board to any person. For example, the Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits certain forms of discrimination and harassment of other individuals or groups, and the Criminal Code includes prohibitions against child pornography, obscenity, hate literature, and literature for illicit drug use. An example of civil liability is the law of libel and slander. No effort has been made to be exhaustive in giving the above examples. Users are reminded that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Use of Library social software applications is conditional on the user’s agreement to observe this policy. By continuing to use the application, the user indicates agreement to all requirements of this policy.
Comments, posts and messages are welcome on the Library’s social software sites, provided they do not contain:
- Obscene or racist content
- Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
- Potentially libelous statements
- Plagiarized 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
All social software sites affiliated with the library will be regularly screened. All postings which contain any of the above will be immediately removed and the poster barred from posting any subsequent messages to library social software sites.
Only authorized staff are permitted to establish social media channels on behalf of the Library or to speak on behalf of the Library in social media channels. Any proposals by library staff to use social software applications to expand or promote the collections, services and programs of the Milton Public Library are first vetted by the appropriate department Manager. The Manager then submits the proposal to the Chief Executive Officer of the Milton Public Library for review and approval prior to implementation.
Accessing social media sites for personal use during work hours is not permitted. Staff may make reasonable personal use of office technology on their own time, provided it does not adversely affect their work or the work of others and has minimal effect on the library’s resources.
When engaging in social media outside of work, staff should make it clear that the views they express about the library or community are their own; they should be respectful of the library, their colleagues and library patron’s; they are strictly prohibited from posting sensitive, libelous, incendiary, or personal information regarding the library and any library related contacts.
By posting content, the user agrees to indemnify the Milton Public Library and its officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages and costs (including attorney’s fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to the posted content. Forums and messaging may not be used for commercial purposes or for organized political activity.
If any user does not agree to these terms, they are not to use the service, as violation of the terms can lead to legal liability.
Issued: November 2011
Reviewed: October 2020