Policy and Rules

Boreham Library Blogging Policy (draft)

[as of 2007/10/11, there is no official blogging policy for UA Fort Smith, so this is merely an unofficial proposal for this blog]

[draft 2008.5.29a]


The purpose of library blogs is to promote information literacy and library communication at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Blogs are to be used to convey information about library events, library tools (e.g. researching databases), library issues in the news, and relevant information that pertains to the library.

Posts made to other blogs or sites on the web by the authorized persons should follow this policy and ethics.

Note:  Any blog will likely contain links to external websites and/or news articles not maintained by the library. UA Fort Smith and the Boreham Library is not responsible for the content, practices or policies on those pages.

Policies and Procedures:

Designated staff will be responsible for overall blog administration.

  • All Students, Faculty and Staff are invited and encouraged to participate in blogging. Posts made to blogs or other sites on the web should always include a note that the opinions are strictly those of the individual and not of UA Fort Smith or the Boreham Library or other staff members.

  • Students, faculty and other Library users are able to leave comments which may be posted to a blog with the blog administrator’s clearance.

  • Blogs are to be used as a forum of education and communication to the staff, faculty and students of the University.

  • It is expected that all blog posts will be of a professional nature and will reflect positively on the University and the Library. What is said will be read by co-workers, faculty, administration, students and whoever finds this material on the internet.

  • University Blogs are not to be used to express personal, political, or social opinions/ commentary.

  • Blogs are meant to be fun and educational. They are to be considered opportunities to convey relevant information for the University.

  • Remember it is very easy to damage a reputation, but difficult to create a positive one!

Before blogging, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this information relevant to UA Fort Smith and/or the library?

  • Does this information positively promote UA Fort Smith and/or the library?

  • Did you verify the veracity of the information that you are posting?

  • Do you need to cite any of the information?

  • Have you checked your spelling and grammar?

Code of Ethics for Blogging and Commenting

  1. Posts will be made deliberately and with accuracy. While humor is permitted, it should be used discreetly and no “joke” or “hoax” posts are permitted.
  2. Posters will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
  3. Posters will preserve the original post, using notations to show where any changes were made so as to maintain the integrity of the blog.
  4. The blog will never delete a post until/unless it becomes irrelevant, outdated or inaccurate by changing situations, and will do so only in order to avoid confusion and misinformation.
  5. Posts and comments will be deleted if they are spam or off-topic, or deliberately intended to be personally offensive or abusive.
  6. The blog will reply to emails and comments when appropriate, and do so promptly.
  7. Posters will strive for high quality with every post – including basic spellchecking.
  8. Posters will stay on topic. Long posts should be edited and referred to longer sources of information, such as instructional web pages, elsewhere.
  9. Posters will disagree with other opinions respectfully, only when absolutely necessary for strict accuracy, and without making assumptions concerning others or their motives.
  10. Posters will link to online references and original source materials directly whenever legally possible, and provide proper citations as appropriate.
  11. Posters will disclose conflicts of interest.
  12. Posters will keep private issues and topics private, since discussing private issues can jeopardize personal and work relationships.
  13. Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not official communications. Posters are personally responsible for their posts, and remain mindful that what is posted will be public for a long time.
  14. Posters will respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  15. Posters will not disclose confidential or other proprietary information, including that of students, staff or faculty.
  16. Posters will not cite or reference students, faculty, staff, other patrons, partners or suppliers without their approval.
  17. Posters will respect their audience and not use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion. Commenters are subject to having comments edited or deleted without notice on the same basis.
  18. Posters will always try to add value and provide worthwhile information and perspective.

[assembled and adapted from Dutchess Community College and various other sources on the web]

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