Skip to Main Content

St. Clair County Community College Library

Social Media Guidelines

Basic SC4 Library Social Media Guidelines

SC4 Library adheres to SC4's Social Media Guidelines.

SC4 Library will not post social media content that is:
  • Objectionable, obscene, vulgar, racist, violent, pornographic, or otherwise offensive
  • Copyrighted, plagiarized, or improperly attributed
  • Personal attacks, insults, threats, profanity, or potentially libelous and/or defamatory statements
  • Commercial promotions or other spam

 

Other SC4 Library Social Media Guidelines:
  • Consider carefully who or what to like, follow, friend, etc.
  • Be mindful about what you post or link to
  • Be accurate, honest, and professional
  • Understand the responsibilities of posting as well as the potential liabilities
  • Remember that social media is a public forum- be respectful, positive, and informative
  • Proofread carefully before posting - use proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization
  • Use appropriate casual, friendly language over stiff, formal language - the goal is to sound like you're talking in person rather than writing
  • Make sure any links work properly
  • Check the library's event calendar to make sure we're marketing our events
  • You are speaking for the library - use "we", not "I"
  • The library’s social media accounts belong to the library, rather than to any specific individual or individuals who may have access to them
  • Provide library contact information in a prominent and easy to access area across all platforms. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for patrons to get in touch.

Responding to Questions & Comments

Remember that you're representing SC4 Library and SC4 itself, so it is important refer to the SC4 Social Media & Website Guidelines, the SC4 Staff Handbook, and the St. Clair County Community College Brand & Identity Standards.

 

Responding to questions made on your page:

Try to direct questions to the appropriate channels to which the question relates to.

For example, if you see a question regarding where to go to book a study room, an appropriate response would be, “Hi, XXXX. If your question is related to booking a study room, please see our page at https://esearch.sc4.edu/groups or contact the Library at library@sc4.edu or 810-989-5640 if you have further questions. Thank you for your question."

Responding to posts made on your page: (From SC4 Social Media & Website Guidelines)

"If someone posts something that is off-topic, feel free to 'hide it. This is an option on Facebook that makes the post invisible to everyone other than the person who posted it and their friends.

If the post is slanderous, derogatory or vulgar:

  • *Hide the post.
  • **Block the user if this is a common occurrence.
  • You can also report users to Facebook for things like spam/scams, pornography/nudity, graphic violence, attacks on an individual or group, hate symbols and illegal drug use.

If the post has factual inaccuracies, do not be afraid to respectfully correct them. However, avoid engaging in a lengthy debate online.

If the poster seems to be unhappy with something that can be fixed, feel free to send them a private message offering to help them. You may or may not change their mind, but it never hurts to try.

If someone posts something great on your page, just be sure to at least take a surface level sweep of the person’s profile. While it is great that Jenna loves “SC4 Business,” it is less great when one click to their profile by a potential visitor shows that Jenna also loves using hateful language or vulgar content."

 

* Removing posts "that do not fit within the definition of unprotected speech, for example, on the basis that they are controversial, constitute profanity or may be offensive to other users could expose the library to litigation as the courts have found those categories of speech to be protected by the First Amendment and terms such as 'controversial' and 'offensive' to be subjective."

    "The social media content of a public library or publicly funded academic library can be subject to an open records, or Freedom of Information Act, request. All user’s posts that are removed for any reason whatsoever should be securely retained in accordance with your organization's retention schedule."

** "Permanently blocking a patron from the social media site based on prior comments could be considered a prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment."

 

Above quotes from: Intellectual Freedom Committee. "Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries." American Library Association, June 2018, www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/socialmediaguidelines.

Confidentiality & Personal Responsibility

Remember to refer to the SC4 Privacy Policy.

 

As online representatives of both our college and our library, it is extremely important to ensure that your posts are:

  • Completely factual
  • Not misleading 
  • Do not reveal non-public information about SC4 Library, SC4, or individuals, whether students, staff or faculty
  • Exercise sound judgment and common sense
  • If you have doubts or misgivings, DO NOT POST.
  • It is acceptable (and encouraged) to discuss your work and engage with our students, staff, faculty, and community, but you do not want to disclose anything that contains confidential, proprietary, personal, or otherwise private information about SC4, its employees, students, affiliates, vendors or suppliers.

Tentative SC4 Library Social Media Schedule

SC4 Library Social Media Schedule

Social Media          

Posting Frequency   Content Type                                                                                                                   Staff Responsible
Library Blog 1-2 times/week Library events & news, library displays, special collaborations, new books, etc Hayley
Facebook 2-3 times/week Blog posts, library events, news & displays, community information, trivia board, pictures, etc. Lisa H./Hayley
Instagram 2-3 times/ week Library pictures, displays, trivia board, new books etc.

Lisa H./Hayley

Pinterest 2-3 times/week New books, book collections/themes Lisa H.
YouTube TBD Tutorials and how-to's Librarians

 

While posting daily is not necessary, SC4 Library social media accounts should be checked regularly.

 

Remember: "Libraries are under no legal obligation to participate in social media, nor are they required to host public conversations. A library could choose, for instance, to solely participate in one-way communication, that is, to make announcements and not seek or respond to questions or comments. But once a public library or publicly funded academic library does invite conversation, it may be considered to have established a designated public forum."

Quote: Intellectual Freedom Committee. "Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries." American Library Association, June 2018, www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/socialmediaguidelines.