Social Media Policy


Approved by the Executive Board November 1, 2013, Tab 16

These are the official policies for social media use on behalf of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). Social Media is defined as any web site or application that enables individuals to post and share content that others can view and also share. Social Media tools include, but are not limited to, social-networking sites, social sharing sites, social bookmarking, micro-blogging tools, wikis, and blogs, among other tools.

The policy below has been developed to assist you in using social media effectively. It covers what is recommended, expected and required when staff and the Executive Board discuss Association-related topics, whether at work or on their own time, in a public forum.

This Policy Applies to

All Staff and Executive Board members of the American Association of Law Libraries (the "Association"). It applies to conduct by or between co-workers, managers/supervisors, employees, consultants, independent contractors, customers, vendors, suppliers, or any other persons who do business with the Association.

Policy for Social Media Site Administrators

If you are responsible for an existing or newly approved AALL-branded social media site, please refer to the additional Social Media Policies for Site Administrators.


The prevalence of Social Media has blurred the lines between public and private, personal and professional. By identifying yourself as having an affiliation with the Association (e.g., listing AALL as your employer), you are creating perceptions about AALL and your expertise. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of AALL—or whose participation in a social media activity might reasonably be interpreted as representing or reflecting upon AALL—to understand and follow these policies.

  1. Personally responsible for content:  You are personally responsible for the content you publish online. While, in general, what an employee does outside of work is their affair, activities in or outside of work that affect job performance, the performance of others, or the Association's interests, do fall within the focus of this policy. Do not post anything that could compromise your professional image, along with your colleagues or AALL.
  2. Proprietary or confidential information: If an individual publishes content related to work or subjects associated with the Association online, the individual needs to ensure that the content is not proprietary or confidential to the Association. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to the Association.
  3. Participant: Although not as an official representative of the Association, participation in blogs, discussion forums, etc., is encouraged. Bring value when commenting. Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives. Be informative and interesting; check facts and figures. If you see something interesting, valuable, or relevant, share it.
  4. Social networks and company affiliation: Be aware of your association with AALL while online. If you identify yourself as an Association employee or Board Member, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself with colleagues and members. Be mindful of the forum/venue you participate in as well; be sure it is consistent with the values and business conduct guidelines of the Association.
  5. Use a disclaimer: Whether you publish to a blog or some other form of social media, make it clear that what you say there is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of AALL. At a minimum in your own blog, you should include the following standard disclaimer: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent American Association of Law Libraries positions, strategies, or opinions."
  6. Think before you post: The internet is not anonymous and does not forget. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it's wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.
  7. References and citations:  Link back to the source, when possible, if you reference or use content from another person or organization.
  8. Inaccurate information: Be an ambassador; if you see misrepresentations made about AALL online, contact the Director of Content Strategy. They will work with the Board and the Executive Director to get inaccurate content about the Association corrected. Be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don't alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.
  9. Copyright: Accurately attribute material that is not your own. Respect copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws.
  10. Acceptable conduct: Respect your audience. Don't engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the Association's workplace. You should also show proper consideration for others' privacy and for topics that may be considered sensitive, such as politics and religion. Consider the audience. It can include current or potential members, and current/past/future staff. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public sites.
  11. Professional commitments – Ensure that your online activities do not interfere with your job or commitments to members.

Responsibility for the enforcement of this policy

Department directors will be responsible for compliance. As with all Association policies, compliance will be subject to review by the Executive Director, Executive Board, and Human Resources. Any exception to this policy requires the express written approval of the Executive Director and the Executive Board.

Violation of this policy

Violation of this policy and any related procedures may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. The Association reserves the right to remove content from an employee's post made while representing the Association if the post is in violation of the policy outlined above.

General statement

As with all policies and procedures, the Association reserves the right to modify, revise, discontinue or terminate this policy at any time without prior notice.

Please see related policies for more information:

Personnel Policies
Speaking For AALL
AALL and Antitrust FAQs

  • Social Media Notice

    Social Media Rules, Etiquette & Legal Notice

    (Note: This notice applies to the American Associations of Law Libraries forums on My Communities. You must accept these terms before you are able to access this tool.)

    Thank you for being part of our community. To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation.

    By joining and using this community, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and guidelines. You also agree to reserve discussions and shared files and content to that best suited to the medium. This is a medium with which to solicit the advice of your colleagues, benefit from their experience, and participate in an ongoing conversation.

    Please take a moment to read these important guidelines. In order to preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate membership in this community for anyone who violates these rules.

    The Rules

    • Do not attack others. The discussions and comments are meant to stimulate conversation not to create contention.
    • Do not post commercial messages on any discussion list, resource library entry, or other area where others might see it. Contact people directly with product and service information if you believe it would help them.
    • Use caution when discussing products. Information posted on the lists and in the libraries is available for all to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws.  Please see AALL and Antitrust: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for additional information.
    • All anticompetitive, defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials are strictly prohibited. Do not post anything you would not want all members to see or you would not want anyone to know came from you.
    • Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright or trademark without the permission of the owner. Please note carefully all items listed in the disclaimer and legal notice below, particularly regarding the copyright ownership of information posted.
    • Remember other participants have the right to reproduce postings to this site unless you specify otherwise.
    • Do not post or transmit any information that may invade another’s privacy or publicity rights. Do not engage in any political activity or post or transmit information supporting or opposing candidates for office.
    • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate lists or libraries. Do not spam several lists or libraries with the same message.
    • All messages must add to the body of knowledge. We reserve the right to reject any message for any reason.

    Discussion Group Etiquette

    • Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, location.
    • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.
    • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Delete any header information, and put your response before the original posting.
    • Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information from which everyone can benefit.
    • Send messages such as “thanks for the information” to individuals—not to the entire list. Do this by using the “Reply to Sender” link to the left of every message.
    • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list.” Instead, use the web interface to change your settings to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing email addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new email address. Simply change your settings.
    • Warn other list subscribers of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says “Long Message.”

    Disclaimer & Legal Notice

    This site is provided as a service for the members of the American Association of Law Libraries. The American Association of Law Libraries is not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. We disclaim all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by the American Association of Law Libraries or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. In no event shall the American Association of Law Libraries be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or misuse of this site or of any information posted on this site.

    Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials. Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants the American Association of Law Libraries and users of this site the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material. If you believe material posted on this site infringes on your copyrighted work, please see the “Procedures for Requesting Removal of Infringing Material” below.

    Messages may not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or impliedly leads to price fixing, a boycott of another’s business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade including but not limited to information about prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers. See AALL and Antitrust: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for additional information.

    The American Association of Law Libraries does not actively monitor the site for inappropriate postings and does not on its own undertake editorial control of postings. However, in the event that any inappropriate posting is brought to the attention of the American Association of Law Libraries we will take all appropriate action.

    The American Association of Law Libraries reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.

    Procedures for Requesting the Removal of Infringing Material

    The owner of a copyrighted work (or the agent for the owner) who believes that material posted on this site infringes on the copyrighted work may request that the allegedly infringing material be removed from the site by notifying AALL’s designated agent, the Executive Director, for such purposes. The notice must:

    1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
    2. Provide the electronic or physical signature of the owner of the copyright or a person authorized to act on the owner’s behalf;
    3. Include a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
    4. Include a statement by you that the information contained in your notice is accurate and that you attest, under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner or that you are authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf; and
    5. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.

    You may submit your notice of alleged copyright infringement to our designated copyright agent by mail or email as set forth below:

    Executive Director
    American Association of Law Libraries

    105 West Adams Street
    Suite 3300
    Chicago, IL 60603
    p 312.939.4764
    f 312.431.1097

    Please note that you may be liable for damages, including court costs and attorneys’ fees, if you submit a notice and you materially misrepresent that content on the site is infringing. Upon receiving a proper notice, we will remove or disable access to the allegedly infringing material and promptly notify the alleged infringer of your claim. We will also advise the alleged infringer of the statutory counter-notification procedure described below by which the alleged infringer may respond to your claim and request that we restore his or her material.

    If you believe your own copyrighted material has been removed by us from the site as a result of mistake or misidentification, you may submit a written counter-notice to our designated copyright agent. To be effective, your counter-notice must:

    1. Identify the material that has been removed or disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or disabled;
    2. Include a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court in which your address is located, or if your address is outside the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found;
    3. Include a statement that you will accept service of process from the party that filed the notice of alleged copyright infringement or the party’s agent;
    4. Provide your name, address, and telephone number;
    5. Include a statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material in question was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled; and
    6. Include your physical or electronic signature.

    You may submit your counter-notice to our designated copyright agent by mail or email as set forth below:

    Executive Director
    American Association of Law Libraries

    105 West Adams Street
    Suite 3300
    Chicago, IL 60603
    p 312.939.4764
    f 312.431.1097

  • Social Media Policies for Site Administrators

    Social Media Policies for Site Administrators

    If you are responsible for an existing or newly approved AALL-branded social media site including, but not limited to, Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn group, YouTube channel, or blog, these policies are designed to help you and the entire Association succeed. These policies are in addition to the AALL Social Media Policy.

    1. Register with the Director of Content StrategyBe added to the inventory of social media sites and receive important information about AALL’s social media activity. Only registered sites will be allowed to use the AALL affiliation.
    2. Stay current:  You are expected to maintain your site and update it regularly.
    3. Monitor and moderate posts as appropriate:  Review content prior to posting when necessary, but encourage a free flow of ideas as much as possible. Monitor the site to learn the needs of your fans/followers and moderate accordingly. Do not allow anonymous postings.
    4. Include your contact information: Make it easy for members to contact you to report inappropriate content or to connect with AALL.
    5. Have a succession plan:  Maintain at least two administrators to cover any instances when someone will no longer be able to participate.