As a publicly supported institution, the Library has a responsibility to be responsive to requests for information about our activities. Public knowledge about the Library can also help us fulfill our mission to support inquiry and learning at the University and for the people of North Carolina. Media outlets provide an important way for the Library to communicate with the UNC campus; with citizens of the region, the state, and beyond; and with the community of research libraries. Reporters, in turn, require timely and accurate information in order to do their job.
The following media policy covers requests to the UNC University Library for interviews, comment, photography or filming, by any media organization, including student media.
- Library staff members are encouraged to speak directly with a reporter in the following situations:
- If you are answering a reference question or providing materials from library collections, or if you would provide the information to any library patron (e.g., hours, location, policies);
- If you are a designated spokesperson for a particular program, exhibit, service or issue;
- If you are the person responsible for a particular program, exhibit or service, and are able to speak knowledgeably about it.
- Refer other media inquiries to the Library Communications Office immediately so that we can assist the reporter in a timely manner. If you are unable to reach the Communications Office, contact your AUL or department head. University News Services can provide assistance in working with the media if members of the Library Communications Office are not available. The University’s 24-hour media line is (919) 445-8555.
- Speak only to facts about which you are personally knowledgeable. If you do not have requested information at hand, arrange to provide it later or refer the reporter to the Library Communications Office or to the individual who can supply the needed information.
- If you prefer not to speak with the media or do not feel able to do so, make the appropriate referral or take a message so that you can gather the necessary information before calling the reporter back.
- Notify the Library Communications Office immediately about all interviews and referrals you have given so that we know of stories involving the Library and can be prepared to provide additional information.
- Current public records requests by media organizations about the University, including the Library, are to be handled according to the University’s public records requests policy.
If you interact with the media as a private citizen (e.g., write op-ed pieces or letters to the editor, answer person-on-the-street interviews, participate in stories about non-work activities) and you are identified as a Library employee, be sure to indicate that you are speaking on your own behalf and not as a spokesperson for the Library.
The Library Communications Office always appreciates hearing about your publications, interviews, or media-related activities that are based on your professional qualifications but are not related to Library news stories.
Sept. 3, 2009