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Facebook Shuts Down Ads By Local Library

The Josephine County Library has a clever way to serve patrons during the pandemic closure. But Facebook has banned ads about the service, making it harder to get the word out. 

Facebook has banned the Josephine Country Library from posting ads about its electronic library cards. “E-cards” allow users to download e-books, audiobooks, and reference material while the library is closed during the pandemic.

Facebook pulled the ad about the cards after only one day, and banned the library from posting others. No reason was given. Those who routinely post ads on Facebook characterize the ban as being put in "Facebook Jail".

"We received notice from them that we had to appeal it," said library director Katy Lasky. "And that they would not be able to resolve the issue until September. That is when it really sunk in that we were going to have a hard time reaching people with our digital services."

Lasky says that, without some direct dialog with Facebook, she can only guess about the cause. She assumes it’s hidden somewhere in the language used in the ad. Library staff has tried to have the ad restored by completing steps recommended by Facebook, but the ban continues.

Jen Roberts, a library board member, says, "Because Josephine County has vast amounts of rural area, Facebook is one of the only means of communication the library can rely on. And during quarantine, that communication is more vital than ever."

Lasky continues to look to Facebook for a change of heart. "My hope is that somebody from Facebook hears our plea and allows for public libraries to be authenticated and receive the benefit of not having their accounts disabled during a pandemic."

While the Josephine County Library continues to wait on Facebook for a resolution, the E-cards are available at the library's website.


Dave has worked in broadcasting for over 30 years as an on-air host, producer, writer, and recording engineer. He now oversees news hosts at JPR and also manages radio operations.