Our online column Letters of the Law explores a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, with the help of a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including … Continue reading Is My Library Liable for Fake News?
Tech time At “Do the Bot: Librarians Using Robots to Impact Learning,” Archon Auzenne, Lee Glover, and Gloria Miller, librarians from Clear Creek Independent School District in League City, Texas, demonstrated how different types of robots can be used to teach students programming and coding. After learning how Bee Bot, Edison, and Sphero robots work, … Continue reading The Standards at Work
On November 5, the American Library Association (ALA) issued a statement in response to the decision by the Citrus County (Fla.) Board of Commissioners to not allow Citrus County Library System to buy a digital subscription to the New York Times after one commissioner labeled the newspaper “fake news.” The ALA statement reads: “The core mission … Continue reading ALA Responds to Citrus County New York Times Block
And libraries are especially well suited to be “democracy coaches,” in the words of Amanda Smithfield, a librarian at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee. Open to everyone regardless of political leanings, they serve as voter registration hubs and polling places and provide meeting space for community groups and forums. Our special report … Continue reading Special Report: Democracy in Action
The Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of the event was headlined “Drag Queens Dazzle at Library Storytime,” while enthusiastic parents voiced support on the library’s Facebook page. Other Facebook commenters voiced opposition, sharing links to conservative websites and articles with headlines like “Parents Beware—Registered Sex Offenders Are Performing for Small Children at Drag Queen Story Hours in Public Libraries” … Continue reading Check Your Facts
Librarians can ensure patrons make informed decisions in local, state, and national elections by helping them think critically. Libraries of all types can promote media literacy by providing handouts, LibGuides, training, and programs about separating fact from online fiction. The following resources can assist. The National Association for Media Literacy Education, a nonprofit organization based … Continue reading Media Literacy in an Age of Fake News
“California wildfires are being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!” This tweet was a statement by a US president about … Continue reading Battling Information Illiteracy
“First we wanted to find out how journalists find and use information,” said Chimene E. Tucker, communications, journalism, and LGBT studies librarian at University of Southern California. “A simple survey would not work in this case,” she said, “because we needed to ask probing questions about methodology.” So the team conducted 50 semistructured, in-depth interviews … Continue reading Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era
In Six Issues Facing Libraries Today: Critical Perspectives, John M. Budd calls these issues persistent and thorny—and they are. The first topic addressed is information: what it is and what it is not. Budd explores the criteria used to evaluate statements and suggests further avenues for considering the theory of information. Next is information literacy, an … Continue reading Future Strategies
Long before the session was due to begin, every seat was full. Attendees were sitting on the floor and more were standing along the walls. Moderated by Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom James LaRue, this panel featured Nicole Cooke from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Damaso Reyes from The News Literacy Project, Joyce Valenza … Continue reading Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?
Saving Federal Funding Thanks to extensive grassroots efforts by ALA members, in September the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an increase of $4 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, all of which would go to the formula-based Grants to States program. The bill also included increased funding in FY2018 for a … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review
Host and AL Associate Editor Phil Morehart talks with Joanna Burkhardt, fake news expert, professor and director of the University of Rhode Island branch libraries, and author of Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners, about the history of fake news and its pernicious presence in today’s media landscape. Next, Dewey Decibel … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Fighting Fake News