Social Media Policy

Policy Owner(s): Director of Public Services — Services Strategies

Date of Origin: 5/10
Date(s) of Revision: 4/13

The King County Library System (KCLS) uses popular social media to offer welcoming and inviting spaces where patrons will find useful and entertaining information, to extend library services in new mediums, and to facilitate exchanges on library‐related subjects and issues. This policy ensures the proper use of KCLS’ social software by library staff and patrons.


KCLS’ social software tools provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions and information about library‐related subjects and issues. KCLS has the right to moderate, edit, delete, move or close any comment at any time without warning or explanation.

Comments and posts containing the following content by patrons or staff are unacceptable:

  • Intentionally misleading information, libelous or defamatory content
  • Verbal abuse, personal attacks, name‐calling or harassment
  • Obscene or profane posts
  • Specific and imminent threats
  • Personally identifying information, such as last name, age, phone number, address
  • Personal information about other individuals
  • Commercial material, advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes and solicitations
  • Spam and multiple disruptive or repetitive messages
  • Off‐topic or duplicate comments from the same individual
  • Post that reveals crucial plot elements or spoils the ending for others
  • Copyright violations

Comments and postings by library patrons do not necessarily reflect the official position of KCLS or its staff. All comments and posts are public records. Patrons are strongly encouraged to protect their privacy when commenting or posting on social software tools.

All KCLS social media sites and blogs are managed centrally by Online Library Services (OLS). KCLS has a dedicated Social Media Team that is responsible for representing KCLS on social media sites and blogs. Individual staff may not speak as a KCLS employee for the Library System using social media, which includes individual library, cluster and/or other noncentral social media sites and blogs. Any requests for content promotion should go through the Social Media Team using the Social Media Post Form available on the Intranet.

Staff members are, however, encouraged to share content posted by KCLS’ Social Media Team.
In addition, staff members may not:

  • Use the KCLS logo for profile images in social media, except in cases where the social media site (i.e. LinkedIn) automatically pulls the KCLS logo to associate it with employment information in your personal profile.
  • Use personal online identities and accounts to represent KCLS at any time. Due to the difficulty in separating official and individual personas online, KCLS staff should be cautious in their use of social media to avoid representing KCLS inappropriately to the public.

DEFINITIONS (if applicable)

  • Social Media: Any web application, site or account offered by the library that facilitates the sharing of opinions and information about library related subjects and issues. Includes forms of websites, file sharing, patron ratings of library materials, user‐generated video and audio, virtual worlds and social network pages.