Facebook, other social media hot topic at Collier library meeting

Facebook, other social media hot topic at Collier library meeting

Daily News Correspondent


Social media remains a hot topic, especially for librarians.

The Collier County Library Advisory Board met last week to discuss Sunshine and public records laws and how they pertain to social media and new e-book checkouts.

Assistant County Attorney Colleen Greene answered board members’ questions at their meeting Wednesday at the Collier libraries headquarters, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive.

Greene helped to guide them in what they can and cannot discuss on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

“If you understand core issues of Sunshine and public records law, you will understand how they relate to social media,” Greene said.

Regarding social media, any email or any written or digital record comes under public records laws.

“Public records law overlaps with the Sunshine law and all records have to be maintained and available to the public,” Greene said. “If you are on Facebook or Twitter and talking about official business, that Facebook page would have to be maintained for public record.”

Greene advised library workers to print out any conversation they have online or through e-mail and keep the printouts in a binder.

“When in doubt, just avoid it,” Greene said. “Or call the County Attorney’s Office.”

Other items on the agenda included looking at the libraries policies and possibly revising items soon. This includes Internet use and the liability of the library if someone is using the public, library computers to plan criminal activity.

Regarding the library system’s budget, Marilyn Mathis, Collier County libraries director, said there could be a midyear budget cut.

Meanwhile, Collier libraries will receive $203,263 in state aid, about $30,000 more than expected, she said.

While Collier libraries are operating at about 70 percent of the staff they had in 2007, Mathis said, they are taking a look at how people use the library overall and how their programs are benefiting the community.