In a world of disinformation, social media, and “alternative facts,” how do you identify and vet credible information sources? How do you share those credible sources with students and public library users? What is a librarian’s role in helping the greater community find common ground in shared facts?
Since I work with K-12 patrons I try to focus on getting students to do the following: 1. Take a "breath" before reacting to news 2. Don't share news stories until you have determined the story is legitimate 3. Be proactive when you share and post news, make sure it is from a valid source. The vetting process can take several avenues, I tell students to practice "lateral searching" to track down the source of news and media outlets. I also encourage investigating media sources on Wikipedia and tell them to pay special attention to the links in the bib section. Sharing credible sources with K-12 students should be done as a "journey", meaning allow students to determine who are good sources for information. This can be done by giving them several options to investigate and then share out their findings. This way the students "own" the choices they make and can justify their use. Finally librarians must work continually to help our communities find common grounds for all patrons. This is part of encouraging and supporting a collaborative, accepting environment.