Critical Literacy and Representation
It's long been accepted that we must ensure that we are looking at information and considering evidence from various sources (i.e, "both sides," by which we usually mean both the pros and cons of a topic, or, these days, both conservative and liberal opinions). But critical literacy (which is related to, but not the same as, critical thinking) is a useful theory that calls us to do more than this. When we look at information (and disinformation) from a critical literacy perspective, we consider issues related to power and privilege. We ask questions like: Whose views are prioritized? What and who is left out? What cultures and/or identities does this message center? How might different people interpret this message differently? Who is the target audience? Who benefits from this message? What values and ideologies does the creator imply?
A corollary to this is that we need to actively seek out diverse creators of information (which is related to, but not the same as, seeking different perspectives). We need to ensure that we listen to the voices of people who identify in various ways, especially those whose voices have often been silenced and/or underrepresented: BIPOC, gay, trans, differently abled, old, young, incarcerated, and on and on. Intersectionality is part of this conversation as well.
As a white, female, middle-aged, middle-class, able, cis-gendered, straight woman who likes to be vocal and share my opinions, I know I, for one, really have to do better in not only considering the perspectives of people who identify differently than me, but, even more importantly, in centering them. Many libraries and librarians make concentrated efforts to offer and promote diverse books to patrons. We need to focus just as intently on offering truly diverse research and information sources.