Social Media Policy

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Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (FVRL) uses carefully chosen social media sites and platforms as an important communication and collaboration tool to increase awareness of and accessibility to its programs, resources, and services; and to encourage dialogue and the exchange of information and knowledge between users and FVRL staff.


The Social Media Policy addresses use of social media channels including but not limited to blogs, social networks, online communications, online catalogs, websites, and mobile applications by FVRL and its employees, volunteers, trustees and patrons. Social media channels will be chosen, created, or discontinued by the Communications and Marketing Director or their designees, based on need, library goals, and objectives.

Designated staff

Only those employees trained to post to FVRL’s social media sites should be actively participating on those sites. With the exception of employees designated by the Executive Director or Communications and Marketing Director, posting and monitoring on behalf of FVRL should be limited to work hours.


Employees who contribute to FVRL’s social media are expected to:

  • Present content in a professional manner and should check facts, cite sources, avoid copyright infringement, present balanced views, acknowledge and correct errors and check grammar and spelling before posting.
  • Follow FVRL Guidelines for Social Media when posting to any FVRL accounts.
  • Not discuss confidential, work-related matters through social media.

Content created by employees on FVRL social media channels is owned by the library and is considered work product. FVRL has the right to re-share and reuse content created on work time for the library. Content that is posted on library-sponsored social media sites is subject to the FVRL’s Public Records Policy.

Patron posting to FVRL's social media sites

FVRL encourages patrons to comment on its social media posts, and they are invited to share opinions about library-related subjects, resources, and programs. Patrons are personally responsible for their commentary. Patrons should be aware that they may be held personally liable for commentary that is defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous by any offended party, not just FVRL. Posts by patrons do not indicate FVRL endorsement of the ideas, issues, or opinions expressed in posts on its social media sites.

Employee personal use of social media

FVRL employees have the same right to self-expression enjoyed by members of the community as a whole when discussing matters of public concern. As public employees, FVRL staff is cautioned that speech made pursuant to official duties is not protected speech under the First Amendment and may form the basis for discipline if deemed a violation of any policy of the library. FVRL employees should be aware that staff members may be friends with or follow each other's social media. As such, posts they believe are personal and confidential may be shared with others in the workplace, including individuals who are not included in the original post. Harassment, threatening behavior, or bullying of other staff members on personal social media may be reported. Such behavior – even on personal accounts – may be in violation of FVRL’s Rules of Conduct and personnel manual and as such subject to review and discipline.

Employees should keep in mind the following best practices when posting content about library-related subjects and issues on personal social media channels:

  • Share what you do at the library. Feel free to use personal social media channels of all types to share library-related content.
  • If you share about the library, let people know you work for FVRL. Identify yourself as an employee, and make it clear that the views expressed are yours alone and do not represent the views of FVRL.
  • Don’t violate the confidentiality of the FVRL or its patrons. If in doubt, check with your supervisor first.
  • Avoid making comments with any kind of negative, mocking, condescending, etc. slant about library patrons or staff in general, about specific questions from patrons, about interactions with staff of the library, or about patron behavior on the library’s social media sites.
  • Don’t overstep official library channels. The Executive Director and the Communications and Marketing Director are FVRL’s official spokespeople, and they speak for the library on official matters.

Trustee use of social media

FVRL trustees possess the same right to self-expression enjoyed by members of the community as a whole when discussing matters of public concern. Trustees should follow the same best practices listed above when posting content about library-related subjects on social media as are expected of library employees.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees: May 20, 2019