“Popping the Fake News Bubble: Engaging Students in 21st Century Media and Information Literacy,” sponsored by OELMA and CMCIG of ALAO, will be held on Monday, June 19, 2017, at the OSU-Newark Campus, 1179 University Drive, Newark (43055). Featuring a hands-on keynote with media literacy expert, Frank W. Baker (http://frankwbaker.com/), as well as concurrent sessions, poster sessions, maker stations for lesson plans, tech tools, assessment ideas as well as opportunities to network – this summer workshop will give you the tools to engage teachers and students come the fall. Register today – https://aom.formstack.com/forms/oelmasummer.
To write this blog post (and for my own amusement), I typed “fake news” as a Google search. In 67 seconds, Google returned 169,000,000 results. “Fake news” has become the hot topic of 2016-17. Unfortunately, says Kathy Dempsey of Libraries are Essential, many people don’t understand what fake news is (intentionally leading articles, often published for profit or gain) and what it is not (any news that you don’t agree with). Dempsey, in the May 2017 Information Today “We the People” column entitled “What’s Behind Fake News and What Can We Do about It?” implores librarians to “get their hands dirty.”
Let’s get over the hype and start getting our hands dirty – after all, we are the information educators in our departments, in our schools, in our districts. When it comes to information, we know how to find it, how to verify it, how to use it, and how to cite it. As Dempsey says – “Why are you not at the forefront of this movement?” Are we creating portals of information? Are we sharing fact-checking advice on social media? Are we promoting our text- or chat- reference services for quick answers? Are we creating programs such as “How to Find the Truth” (Dempsey). Librarians are among the most trusted professionals and libraries the most trusted institutions, so in Dempsey’s words “why not use some of this clout to step up and start teaching how to separate fact from fiction.”
So consider this Summer Workshop, the first step in getting your hands dirty. We don’t have to use political examples we know there is plenty of fake news out there. Let’s bring our communities back to reality and prove the adage that our students (citizens) need libraries now more than ever.