Social Media Policy
Waterloo Public Library (WPL) uses social media in many forms. WPL staff maintains and edits the content of WPL social media sites to comply with library policies. Library social media is intended to support the mission of the Waterloo Public Library: To provide free access to information, education and recreation in a welcoming environment.
WPL’s Social media sites may also be used to notify the general public of Library employment opportunities. WPL’s social media sites are not intended to be traditional public forums for the general exchange of ideas and viewpoints, but a limited forum for discussing library programs, events and materials. Courts have recognized that Libraries are limited purpose public forums, and as such, are only obligated to permit the public to exercise rights that are consistent with the nature of the Library and consistent with the government’s intent in designating the Library as a traditional public forum.
Individuals who violate the Library’s Social Media Policy may be temporarily banned from WPL’s social media sites and/or facilities. This decision can be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees.
Social media is defined as any web application, site, or account used by the Library to facilitate the sharing of opinions and information about library-related subjects and issues. It includes any facility for online publication and commentary, such as blogs, wikis, and social networking sites.
WPL will utilize social media tools to encourage community involvement and to create a dialog between the Library and its patrons regarding library services, resources, events and programs, and community information.
Comments expressed on any social media platform do not reflect the views or positions of the Library, its officers, or its employees. Social media users should exercise their own judgment about the quality and accuracy of any information presented through social media.
WPL does not endorse the advertisements promoted on any social media site. These advertisements are displayed by vendors and do not express WPL’s views or positions.
The Library may occasionally refer to public comments made on social media. However, it will not collect, sell or knowingly transfer to any third party any personally identifiable information related to social media engagement with the Library. Please be advised that each social media platform has its own privacy policies, which should be carefully reviewed by all users.
Public Comments and Posts
The Library’s social media is monitored and managed by WPL staff. Comments, posts, and messages are allowed on the Library's social media sites as long as they conform to the Library's Social Media Policy. All interactions will be regularly monitored and reviewed for content and relevance. The Library reserves the right to refrain from posting user submissions or comments or to remove or edit them at any time.
Posts on the Library’s social media sites must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Stay on topic. Comments and posts should be library related.
- Duplicate posts from the same individual will be deleted.
- Don’t include personal information about yourself or others.
- The library is not responsible for user-generated content. A posted comment is the opinion of the user only. Publication of a comment does not imply endorsement or agreement by WPL.
- Spam and commercial content will be removed. The Library will remove posts or comments used for campaigns, political, religious or commercial purposes or for soliciting funds. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and will result in removal.
- Individuals should not post anything that they do not have the right to post. The Library follows a notice-and-takedown procedure for complaints of copyright violation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- Posts containing speech that is not protected by the First Amendment, such as copyright violations, obscenity, child pornography, defamatory or libelous comments, or imminent or true threats against the library, library staff or other users will be deleted. Individuals are fully responsible for libelous or defamatory comments. No harassing, stalking, abusive, or unlawful behavior will be tolerated.
- Be aware of copyrighted and trademarked materials. Do not place information, intellectual property, logos, trademarks, or photos protected by copyright and trademark laws without the permission of the owner.
- Users may report concerns by using the social media site’s reporting functions or by filling out a Statement of Concern for Library Resources and submitting the form to the Library Board of Trustees. WPL social media posts will not be removed without following the approved procedure and no reported content will be removed upon the authority of a single staff member or administrator.
Approved by Board of Trustees. 7/8/2021