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Draft - User Generated Content An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Draft Version 2.1, June 1, 2015


User Generated Content

An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights


With the widespread use of library technology that incorporates social media components, intelligent objects and knowledge sharing tools, comes the ability of libraries to offer their patrons greater engagement with user-generated content (UGC) also known as user-created content (UCC).  These features vary from the ability of users to contribute commentary such as lengthy content reviews or to simple point and click rating systems (e.g. one star to five stars) to extensive social interactions.  In such instances, it is clear that patrons, if left unchecked, may vastly transform authoritative files, information architecture and change the flow of information within the library system.  Libraries enabling user-generated content must clearly distinguish between such user-generated content and official library-sanctioned content.  In addition, such a distinction should serve to affirm both the user's First Amendment right to free expression and his or her responsibility for that expression.


Adopted July 13, 1951, by the ALA Council; amended June 25, 1971; July 1, 1981; June 26, 1990; January 19, 2005; July 15, 2009; and July 1, 2014.