Policy & Guidelines


LITA email lists are unmoderated discussion groups for anyone interested in information technology in libraries and information services. Participants may exchange information, ask questions, and post employment opportunities and other announcements. Anyone with an email address may subscribe to LITA email lists.

Posting Policy

  • Messages should relate to the general topic of information technology, with particular reference to libraries and information services.  Messages on interest group lists must relate to the interest group focus.
  • Announcements of conferences, workshops, new publications, and position openings appropriate to the topic of the list are allowed.
  • Advertisements are not permitted. However, a simple statement that offers a way to follow-up for more information on a service or product is tolerated if it accompanies a substantive message discussing a subject appropriate to the list.
  • Virus warnings (not bug reports), are strongly discouraged, and ONLY official CERT or CIAC advisories are acceptable. In addition, before forwarding any virus information you may wish to check Internet Hoaxes and Virus Hoaxes for hoax information and how to spot hoaxes.
  • Personal attacks such as name-calling and personal insults will not be tolerated.
  • All postings must be free of copyright restrictions that limit distribution. For example, posting a significant amount of a copyrighted work verbatim requires the permission of the copyright holder. To verify that such permission was obtained, all postings of this nature must include a statement that this is the case.
  • Due to ALA's tax exemption as a 501(c)(3), ALA resources cannot be used to support or oppose any candidate for public office. Nor can they be used to link to other sites that contain such support or opposition. Neither can ALA's resources be used to suggest or support boycotts or to make defamatory remarks.
  • The list owners will remove those who make inappropriate postings.

Guidelines for Participation

The following guidelines are offered as advice on how to best participate in this discussion list in a manner that will both contribute to the experience of all readers and also reflect well on you.

  • Say something substantial. Simply saying "I agree" (in so many words) or "I disagree" (in so many words) does not meet this guideline. Specific technical questions are, however, quite appropriate, as are brief answers to such questions.
  • Say something new. Redundancy will not convince someone to adopt your view. Explaining the same argument differently in an attempt to make others see the light is not an effective strategy.
  • Be careful with the "Reply" command. If you mean to reply only to the poster, address a new message to the individual's email address, do not reply to the email list message.
  • Take "conversations" off the list. When list interaction becomes two-sided (two individuals trading comments or arguments) it is a sign that you should take the discussion off the list and correspond with that person directly. If the discussion was of interest to the general membership you will see others posting on the topic as well.
  • Agree to disagree. The likelihood of convincing someone to change a strongly held opinion is low. State your case, but give up on the idea of convincing others to adopt your view.
  • Be civil. Treat others the way you wish to be treated.
  • Respect the rights of others. An email discussion list is a commons. Your right to post ends at the right of others to not be insulted, badgered, or to have their time needlessly wasted.