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Social media policy


Social media is defined as any web application, site or account created and maintained by Ottawa Public Library (OPL) which facilitates an environment for library staff and library users to share opinions and information about library-related subjects or issues. OPL recognizes and respects differences in opinion.


Ottawa Public Library regards online social media in the same way as its other information resources in accordance with its mission of serving Ottawa's needs for learning, literacy and community connections. As with more traditional resources, the Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The Library is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor's use of this resource.
In addition to the general rules respecting use of the library, the Ottawa Public Library prohibits the use of its social media for any purpose which would contravene any legislation or government regulation, or which might create civil liability by the user or the Library Board to any person. For example, the Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits certain forms of discrimination and harassment of other individuals or groups, and the Criminal Code of Canada includes prohibitions against child pornography, obscenity, hate literature, sedition and literature for illicit drug use. An example of civil liability is the law of libel and slander. No effort has been made to be exhaustive in giving the above examples. Users are reminded that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Use of Library social media is conditional on the user's agreement to observe this policy. By continuing to use the application, the user indicates agreement to all requirements of this policy. Comments, posts and messages are welcome on OPL social media sites, provided they do not contain:

  • Obscene or racist content
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Plagiarized material
  • Private, personal information published without consent
  • Comments totally unrelated to the content of the forum
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion
  • Commercial promotions or spam

All social media sites affiliated with the Library will be regularly screened by library employees. All postings which contain any of the above will be immediately removed and the poster barred from posting any subsequent messages to Library social media sites.

By posting content, the user agrees to indemnify OPL and its officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages and costs (including attorney's fees) incurred by any of them which arise out of or are related to the posted content. Forums and messaging may not be used for commercial purposes or for organized political activity.

If any user does not agree to these terms, they are not to use the service, as violation of the terms can lead to legal liability.

Adapted from: Burlington Public Library Social Software Policy;
Newton Free Library Blog Policy; Washoe County Library Social Software Policy