Social Media Policy

  • Bookmark and Share

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 AALL (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 his or her 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 to members – Don't cite or reference members without their approval. Link back to the source, when possible, if you do make a reference.
  8. Inaccurate information – Be an ambassador, if you see misrepresentations made about AALL online, contact the Director of Membership Marketing and Communications. 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
Social Media Notice

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 Membership Marketing and Communications – Be 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.