Illustration: Drew Bardana

Special Report: Democracy in Action

November 1, 2019

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


Graphic: Libraries use tech tools to fight fake news (Illustration: Drew Bardana)

Check Your Facts

November 1, 2019

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


Media literacy books

Media Literacy in an Age of Fake News

November 1, 2019

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


2017 Year in Review

January 2, 2018

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


Dewey Decibel Episode 16

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Fighting Fake News

August 1, 2017

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


The Day USA, a daily news resource for students, used in the classroom

Sources and Searches

May 1, 2017

The Day USA In 2011, British journalist Richard Addis founded a daily online newspaper called The Day to provide news to classrooms across the UK. The objective was to focus on unbiased reporting and curriculum integration. A parallel North American service, called The Day USA, was launched this past February. It is available to US, US … Continue reading Sources and Searches


Fake news (illustration by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

Fighting Fake News

December 27, 2016

Given the care that librarians bring to this task, the recent explosion in unverified, unsourced, and sometimes completely untrue news has been discouraging, to say the least. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of US adults are getting their news in real time from their social media feeds. These are often uncurated spaces … Continue reading Fighting Fake News


newsliteracy4web.jpg

Navigating the News

December 10, 2013

To help high school students differentiate between fact and fiction in today’s increasingly chaotic news—in which opinion-based cable news programs, blogs, and social media sites have proliferated—the American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with local library branches and a nonprofit media literacy organization, created News Know-How, a program that helps young adults become better, more … Continue reading Navigating the News