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Social Media Guidelines

Ely Library - Social Media Procedure Guidelines



These guidelines and best practices are for faculty and staff intending to engage in Ely Library social media activities and defines acceptable use parameters for the library’s social media accounts. These guidelines also reflect the role our patrons and followers play in participating in and engaging with us on our social media accounts, and our expectations for that participation.

These guidelines follow the mission of Ely Library to support the curricular, research, and community-building activities of WSU through the effective and efficient provision of information resources, services, and instruction in a supportive learning environment.



A social media account serves as a digital face of the library and should maintain the same level of customer service, professionalism and respect provided in the physical library. Ely Library actively participates in social media to:

*Promote the value and importance of the services offered by the faculty and staff of Ely Library.          

*Showcase library spaces and events.

*Promote research tips and useful tools of scholarship.

*Highlight materials owned and available for use by the library.

*Introduce the faculty, staff, and student assistants working in the library.

*Reach out and engage the WSU community in open, professional, and responsive ways.


Basic Administration:

The development of Ely Library’s social media presence is a collaborative effort moderated by more than one person. Library staff work together to periodically assess the role of each social media site and to ensure the style and presentation of each account matches the library’s mission. All library staff are encouraged to contribute content; however, there will be only one or two designated editors for the library’s social media accounts.


Best Practices:

  1. Check for accuracy - before posting, check facts, cite sources and reputability of websites, and check spelling. Refrain from using copyrighted photos and/or images without permission.
  2. Use good judgement - posts on social media should be professional in tone and in good taste. Consider this when naming pages or accounts, selecting a profile photo or icon, and selecting content to post. Be respectful of WSU, its services, employees, students, and community. Remember that social media is public, permanent, and retrievable; posts can be read and accessed by anyone, even those not on your friend/follower list. Similar to university email, there should be no expectation of privacy.
  3. Monitor your page and keep up with the conversation. Regularly read comments as followers may ask important questions via social media.
  4. Add value - the best content relates to Ely Library and its mission to be a service, resource, and space for learning and scholarship. Reflect the library’s purpose using appropriate photos, humor, facts, and related content.
  5. Social media content should be written from the point of view of the “We,” which represents the library as a whole and not as an individual staff member. Staff members should refrain from expressing personal views when posting on the library’s behalf.


Guidelines on Posts by the Library:

Many staff members participate in Ely Library’s social media accounts and are individuals with different ways of expressing ourselves in our personal and professional lives; however, we are committed to follow some rules in our online behavior, and we ask that anyone who responds, comments, or tags us does the same. We will not post:

*Items or comments that are obscene, racist, homophobic, derogatory, or similarly objectionable in their content.

*Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language.

*Potentially libelous statements.

*Plagiarized or copyrighted material.

*Commercial promotions or spam.


So, while we encourage our followers to express themselves and engage with us, we also expect that to happen with respect, civility and common courtesy. We reserve the right to delete any comments/posts that do not follow these parameters.



Ely Library reserves the right to remove pages, posts, comments, or other content from its social media sites for any reason, including but not limited to, content deemed threatening, profane, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights, off-topic, commercial or promotional for organizations or programs not related to or affiliated with Ely Library or otherwise injurious or illegal. Users are fully responsible for the content they post on any Ely Library social media site.


By submitting content to any Ely Library social media site, users understand and acknowledge that this information is available to the public, and that the library may use this information for internal and external promotional purposes.


Followers may remove themselves at any time from Ely Library’s pages/accounts. Followers should be aware that third party sites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.  Ely Library reserves the right to remove any posts, comments, or followers that do not follow the guidelines stated above.



Adapted for use from the California State University San Marco Social Media Guidelines, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


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