High-Profile, National IL Campaign that Leverages Public Trust in Librarians
Problem: The growth in the dissemination of disinformation online coupled with inadequate information literacy (IL) skills among the general population of Internet users, creating a threat to democracy.
Suggested Solution: The seriousness and magnitude of this problem call for bold, large-scale action that is in the public interest, such as the following: a national information literacy program, targeted to all members of the public, DESIGNED BY LIBRARIANS, and supported by a high-profile, multi-media marketing effort to raise public awareness. Ideally a consortium of public and private organizations would come together to facilitate the program, led by the ALA and the Library of Congress.
I believe librarians are in a highly unique position to take on a VISIBLE LEADERSHIP ROLE and have a significant influence on the urgent problem of disinformation and misinformation. Librarians are trusted by the public and are recognized as information experts. Working together to produce a national IL program for the public, librarians can solve this pressing problem.
The suggested solution envisions a coordinated, high-profile information literacy campaign at a national level that is visibly led by librarians who would be the public face of the campaign. (What would this look like? For example, librarians giving interviews in the news media, social media engagement, traditional advertising vehicles such as billboards, etc.) This program would leverage the high level of trust that the public already places in librarians and libraries, encouraging the public's participation and engagement, and thereby resulting in collectively stronger information literacy skills among the general population.