Social Media Policy
The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District (“the District”) recognizes that social media platforms have become mainstream forms of communication among District residents and leverages them to promote and share information about the District’s collections, programs, events, services, facilities, and projects. This policy provides guidelines for the use of social media by District staff and its intended audience, consisting of members of the public living in the District’s service area, on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others.
By joining, utilizing, commenting, or posting on the District’s social media sites, any user agrees to comply with this and all other District policies, as may be amended from time to time. The District, its employees, and Trustees assume no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from engagement with District-sponsored social media accounts.
The District’s social media accounts are limited public forums and are intended only for discussion of topics that increase awareness of and accessibility to District offerings and information—not for general public discourse. The District reserves the right to limit any social media postings to topics for which the District’s social media accounts are intended.
The District reserves the right to reject or remove content that violates its Patron Code of Conduct, other District policies or applicable laws and regulations. The following types of impermissible content that may be subject to removal include:
- Comments or postings that constitute solicitation or are unrelated to increasing awareness of and accessibility to District offerings and information.
- Threatening language, hate speech, and content that incites violence and/or illegal activity.
- Defamatory posts.
- Content that promotes or fosters discrimination of any form.
- Sexually explicit, pornographic, lewd, or obscene content.
- Personally identifiable information about oneself or others including addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, or other sensitive information.
- Content of a commercial nature unless related to the awareness of and accessibility to District offerings.
- Any other content that is determined by the District to violate its Patron Code of Conduct or other District policies.
Content that is inconsistent with this Policy will be removed by the administrators of the District’s social media accounts in accordance with this Policy. A record of the content will be retained pursuant to state record retention guidelines in the form of a screen capture along with a description of the reason the content was removed or deleted.
Enforcement of Policy
As set forth above, District staff shall remove any content that violates this Policy immediately and, to the extent possible, notify the poster of the reasons for the content’s removal. The Library Director, in consultation with other staff and/or legal counsel, shall determine whether such content should be permanently removed, subject to the appeals procedure included below. Those engaging in repeated violations of this policy or that are severely disruptive, dangerous, or threatening to others through postings to social media accounts may be blocked from posting or otherwise using the District’s social media accounts for up to a year at the discretion of the Library Director and subject to the appeals procedures included below. In the event the patron is a minor, parents will be notified of this action.
Patrons whose social media privileges are limited or suspended may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Board. Any content removed by the District shall remain unavailable during the appeal. A hearing will be held at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting at which the patron may contest the decision and present any testimony, argument, or evidence. The Board’s decision is final and will be provided to the complainant in writing. The Board may suspend an individual from posting or commenting on the District’s social media platforms for periods of up to one year unless a longer period of suspension is warranted based on the severity of the individual’s conduct. In such cases, the patron shall be required to request reinstatement subject to Board approval following such period.