MEETINGS & ONLINE COMMUNITIES

LISTSERV POLICY

Purpose

Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) provides electronic forums for librarians, library staff and library trustees to discuss issues of concern to public libraries in Ontario.

Goals

Mailing lists managed by a listserver programme shall be classified whether they are open (anyone can subscribe) or closed (subscription shall be restricted to a particular defined subset of the library community). Open lists shall be evaluated on the basis of what benefit they provide to the public library community.

Procedure

1.  Definitions

1.1  Listserver
A program or service that automates the distribution of e-mail messages to a prescribed list of users or subscribers.

1.2  Mailing Lists
A particular list containing a defined set of subscribers, the rules and guidelines outlining a particular topic or subject area for the messages posted to that list, and the related computer resources dedicated to that list.

1.3  Moderated Mailing List
A list that requires every posting to be approved by an official before being posted or broadcast to the list.

1.4  Open Mailing List
A list that allows all individuals to subscribe provided they agree to and abide by the rules and guidelines of the particular list.

1.5  Closed Mailing List
A list that only allows people or groups to subscribe if they meet a particular set of pre-conditions, such as belonging to a particular profession or library organization group, etc.

1.6  Listowner
The person or persons representing the sponsoring organization who have agreed to ensure that the list content and its subscribers respect and honour the policies and guidelines of the Southern Ontario Library Service.

2.  Criteria for Selection

2.1  All applications for the setting up of a mailing list shall be approved by the Southern Ontario Library Service.
2.2  The following guidelines shall direct SOLS in its decisions:

2.2.1  SOLS must be convinced that the mailing list clearly states its purpose and objective, including what contents or topics will be permitted and what contents or topics will be excluded.
2.2.2  SOLS must be convinced that an open mailing list identifies a clear service to the library community as well as the provincial, national or international community in the provision of this service.
2.2.3  SOLS shall be convinced that there is sufficient interest for the operation of a mailing list to warrant the allocation of resources to the list.
2.2.4  SOLS shall be convinced that the list sponsors can provide listowners with sufficient time, expertise and interest to oversee the operation of the list.
2.2.5  In the case of an application for a closed list, SOLS must be satisfied that the sponsor is able to support its mailing list for at least a year.

3.  Operation of Lists

3.1  All lists and listowners will agree to abide by the provisions of any legislation including the prohibition of criminal activity on the list.
3.2  All lists and listowners will agree to abide by the policies of the SOLS.
3.3  The amount of disk storage required should not exceed the levels typical of other LISTSERV lists.
3.4  The LISTSERV is not to be used for commercial purposes.
3.5  The SOLS reserves the right to assign an agent or officer of SOLS to the mailing list as either a subscriber or a listowner to oversee and supervise the operation of the list.
3.6  Each list shall provide welcome information to new users in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file that clearly lists:

3.6.1  The purpose and guidelines of the particular list;
3.6.2  Contact e-mail addresses of the listowners.

3.7  The LISTSERV administrator may require listowners and potential listowners to attend training on managing a LISTSERV list.

3.8.  Listowners shall be responsible to:

3.8.1  Discourage, restrict or remove subscribers who slander, libel, or swear at other users;
3.8.2  Encourage all subscribers to identify themselves when posting messages;
3.8.3  Remove problem email addresses from the subscriber file. Problem boxes include those that bounce mail back to the listserver, have suspicious addresses, or operate only intermittently;
3.8.4  Encourage subscribers to keep their postings germane to the list and respectful to the policies and mandate of SOLS;
3.8.5  Encourage subscribers to adopt good "Netiquette" including refraining from extensively quoting material from previous postings.

3.9.  For subscribers who violate the provisions of sections 3.8, the listowner shall have the responsibility and authority to exercise the following options:

3.9.1  Post a private e-mail to the offender informing them of the offense and elicit their cooperation in a spirit of dialog and collegiality;
3.9.2  Post a private e-mail message to the offender informing them of the offense and warning them that should an offense occur again, the subscriber will be removed from the list;
3.9.3  Issuing a command to the listserv to remove the offender from the list and prevent their re-subscription to the list.

3.10  SOLS reserves the right to delete any mailing list that no longer has a sufficiently large number of subscribers and/or a sufficient level of activity to justify, in the opinion of the SOLS, its continuation. SOLS also reserves the right to delete any mailing list which is used for the transmittal of offensive, inappropriate material or used for commercial purposes.

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