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Hastings Public Library

Social Media Policy


The Hastings Public Library uses various online social software services (social media) to provide public forums for interaction with the community. These forums provide a valuable and timely way for the Hastings Public Library to disseminate information about and promote library news, events, projects and services. They also serve to inspire conversation and expand the Library’s connection with the community and encourage interaction between the community and library staff.

Definition of Social Media

Social media is defined as any web application, site, or account created and maintained by the Hastings Public Library. Social software can include, but is not limited to, blogging, instant messaging, social networking sites, wikis, and library websites.

Parental Controls and Privacy

As with more traditional resources and the Internet, the Library does not act in place of, or in the absence of, a parent/guardian and is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent/guardian may place on a minor’s use of social software applications. 

Users should have no expectation of privacy in postings on Library sponsored social media sites; by using such sites, you consent to the Library’s right to access, monitor, and read any postings on those sites. Users must understand that social media is permanent, retrievable, and public. Messages can potentially be read by anyone once posted. The Library recommends that users do not post their personal information or contact information on social media sites, including information such as such as last name, school, age, phone number, or address.

Usage Rules

The Hastings Public Library welcomes the comments, posts, and messages of the community and recognizes and respects differences in opinion. However, all comments, posts, and messages will be periodically reviewed and the Library reserves the right to, but is not required to, remove any comment, post, or message that it deems inappropriate or off-topic. 

The Hastings Public Library is not responsible for or liable for any content posted by any participant in a Library social media forum who is not a member of the Library’s staff. 

The Library reserves the right to reproduce comments, posts and messages in other public venues; such reproduction may be edited for space or content while retaining the original intent of the post. 

Content containing any of the following will be removed immediately from any Hastings Public Library social media forum:

  • Obscene content or hate speech
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
  • Private or personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, or requests for personal information
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Falsification of identity
  • Plagiarized material
  • Comments, links, or information unrelated to the purpose of the forum
  • Spam or other commercial, political, or religious messages unrelated to the Library or its social media postings
  • Solicitation of funds
  • Any images, links, or other content that falls into the above categories

 As using Social Media is a privilege, the Library reserves the right to ban or block users who have posted in violation of this policy. In addition, users are expected to abide by the terms and conditions set by third party social media platforms as well as follow appropriate Federal and State Law.

 The Library asks that individual user complaints be addressed directly to the Library Director so they can be addressed quickly and specifically. Social Media is not the mechanism used by the Library to document or address Library user problems and concerns, or influence Library policy, procedures, or programs.

Liability and Participation

The Hastings 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 content outside of the pages maintained by the Library and the posts created by Library staff. 

Participation in Library social networking services implies agreement with all Library policies, including its Social Media Policy, Internet Policy, and the Terms of Service for each individual third-party service.

Ongoing Use Evaluation

The role and utility of social networking services in relation to the goals and purposes of the Library will be evaluated periodically by the Library’s staff and board of trustees, and may be terminated at any time without notice to subscribers.

Board approved February 3, 2020

Filed under: policy, social media
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