Photo Guidelines

ALSC welcomes the use of photos and images in posts. Using photos and images is a great way of bringing blog posts to life, however ALSC bloggers and guest bloggers must comply with all applicable laws in an effort to use images appropriately. This document serves as a step-by-step guideline for image usage on the ALSC Blog. Please direct questions about these guidelines to ALSC Blog Manager, Mary Voors or ALSC Senior Programs Officer, Communications, Laura Schulte-Cooper.

1. Before Posting Photos on the Blog – ALSC encourages bloggers to post photos to the ALSC Blog. Before you post, please take the following steps:

  • Familiarize yourself with Creative Commons and the correct application of its licenses
  • Search a rights-free photograph site. There are a wide variety of sources (such as NASA, US National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service) for images which exist in the public domain
  • Think about appropriate attribution for your photos; who deserves credit for the photo that you are sharing on the blog?
  • To have the photos on your post accessible to all, please include short alternative text. Alternative text offers the content an image to screen reader users or in other situations where images cannot be seen or are unavailable.

2. Using Your Own Photos – You want to use your own photo. Great. This can be a wonderful solution, but it is important to think about the subjects in your pictures. Before you post your own photos, please consider the following:

Example from Photo Guidelines
An excellent example of an image, posted by the individual with an attribution. (posted on ALSC Blog)

I am using my own picture — taken by me — which does not capture individuals:

  • You should be okay, but please include an attribution (i.e. Photo by Dan Rude, ALSC) in the caption field, as a “mouse over” or in a link-back to your source.
  • You may want to use photos that capture hands, back, back of the head, arms (anything but the face). Even if an identifiable person is not included, it is important to include an attribution for your picture

I am using my own picture — taken by me — that captures individuals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are identifiable adults captured in the picture? If so, do you have a signed waiver for those individuals?
  • Are identifiable children (anyone under age 18) captured in the picture? If so, do you have a waiver signed by both guardian/parent and child?
  • All photographs containing images of identifiable children require verifiable consent from the child’s guardian or parent. These waivers must be obtained and kept on file at the ALSC office. Photo waivers are available here:

ALSC Blog Photo Release Form for all ages

  • Waivers must be submitted to the ALSC office within 30 days of posting a picture on the ALSC Blog. Any picture that exceeds 30 days without a waiver may be removed from the ALSC Blog
  • You may also choose to blur the faces of the individuals captured in the photograph.

3. Using Photos from Other Sources

I’m using a photo that a friend gave me:

  • Please make sure your friend has given you permission to share the photo on our blog.
  • When you post your photo, make sure to give the photo the correct attribution, listing the photographer’s name
  • When using a photo that captures individuals, please check that your friend has gotten permission from the subjects to share this photo. Images with identifiable people must have a waiver on file at the ALSC office.
Using a link-back from Flickr
Using a link-back from Flickr. By clicking on the image, a reader can link directly to the attributor’s Flickr page (posted on the ALSC Blog)

I’m using a rights-free photo that I found on a website:

  • Make sure that you link back to the original source (i.e. a link to the Flickr page where you found your photo)

I’m using a photo of a book cover:

  • Using book cover images can be a tricky proposition. In general, we advise you to use images of book covers that come from publishers’ or authors’ websites
  • If you use a book cover image from a publisher’s or author’s website, always link back to the website

4. Using Photos from Conferences

I’m using a photo from an ALA conference:

  • Because of a clause in registration, ALSC uses photos from Annual and Midwinter Conference without needing a waiver. As a part of registration, ALA includes a stipulation which reads: “registration constitutes permission to utilize photos/videos taken of you at the event for news, promotion and similar purposes.”
  • This clause does not apply to speakers, because they are not considered to be registrants. Any photo of a speaker should be cleared with the ALSC staff.

I’m using a photo from a conference other than ALA Annual or Midwinter:

  • If your photo includes identifiable adults, you should make sure that you have verifiable consent. If your photo includes identifiable children, you should make sure that you have verifiable consent from both guardian and child.

I’d like to use ALSC photos from conference

  • ALSC often archives photos from conferences into the blog media library (Dashboard>Media>Library). These photos will be tagged in the media library with the event specific tag (i.e. #alaac14, #alamw14)/. If you’re interested in using ALSC photos from a conference, please contact the blog’s staff liaison, ALSC Senior Programs Officer, Communications, Laura Schulte-Cooper at

5. Using ALSC Stock Photos

I’d like to use ALSC stock photography

  • ALSC is committed to helping bloggers obtain photos to use with their posts. To that end, the division has purchased a number of stock photos. ALSC owns the rights to these photos, so they can be used at any time on the blog. You can retrieve ALSC stock photos through the blog media library (Dashboard>Media>Library) by searching “ALSC stock.” These photos can be attributed to “ALSC stock photo.”

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