Last night, we had a great discussion about fake news, media literacy, and the role of the public library to help people find reliable sources. Big thanks to Sean Corcoran and Allison Butler for leading the discussion, and to FCTV for streaming the program live to Channel 13. I also would like to thank the audience for all of their participation and thoughtful comments and questions. I hope everyone learned a little bit more about how to identify reliable news sources. At the bottom of this blog, you will see a list of online news resources and ways to improve your media literacy.
I began the evening with a few quotations:
“The highest purpose of the library is to serve as the armory of the truth, to defend it against lies that serve the powerful.” John Overholt, Curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Neil Gaiman
“When Oxford Dictionaries announce post-truth is Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realise action is needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking — a crucial skill when navigating the information society.” IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations
“Standing up for our values also means, as we all surely know, that we must be especially careful to provide the highest level and quality of service to people and communities who see the world differently, and who maybe aren’t unhappy about the new direction of the country.
Indeed, the American Library Association Code of Ethics states: ‘We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.” That’s not always easy or comfortable, it’s just crucial because it’s everyone’s library. We absolutely cannot afford to start eroding confidence in who we are and what we do.” Joseph Janes, Library Journal, March/April 2017
And for those of you interested in the erroneous Moby-Dick quotation about cranberries that I mentioned last night, you can read my blog on this here. And as a bonus, my blog on an erroneous Scott F. Fitzgerald quotation! (And do read the comments at the bottom of that blog entry! We even were mentioned on a blog created in New Zealand!)
All of the resources below will help you with your media literacy skills and give you a hand identifying true news from untrue news. And remember, you can always ask a reference librarian for more help!
Center for News Literacy: Stony Brook University School of Journalism. It is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet.
Factcheck.org: A Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center
Fighting Fake News, and article by Marcus Banks from American Libraries Magazine
How to Spot Fake News from IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)
Indiana University East Campus Library: How to identify and avoid fake news
Mass Media Literacy: Their mission is to ensure that all Massachusetts students are taught the critical thinking skills needed to engage with media as active and informed participants in the 21st century.
Massachusetts Library System Fake News Resources
The News Literacy Project: a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach middle school and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age.
Snopes: a small staff of researchers and writers dedicated to investigating and analyzing rumors.
Storytellers Without Borders, a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Public Library
The Trust Project at Santa Clara University
You might also be interested in this six volume set of books in the Reference Room: Encyclopedia of Journalism, General Editor, Christopher H. Sterling. Of particular interest, the section on “Self-Regulation” which includes a history of news scandals.