February 7th, 2021

Martina Kranz

1. In a world of disinformation, social media, and "alternative facts," a librarian identifies and vets credible information sources through examination and study. A librarian must determine who published the information and if the individual or organization possesses professional credentials or possesses some knowledge about the subject through personal or work experience. Even if the individual or organization possess professional or personal credentials, this does not necessarily mean their facts or opinions are the best. After all, sometimes people seek second opinions for a medical diagnosis, so why not seek other opinions on information or facts. Well-researched facts and data take time to collect and prove, so they should not be rushed into publication. For example, when a professor publishes a paper in a professional magazine, the paper must go through a vetting process before its published in the magazine.

2. Librarians should share credible sources with students and public library users through its website, newsletter, social media, employees (reference librarians), etc., and other means that the library uses to disseminate information to the community.

3. The librarian's role in helping the greater community find common ground in shared facts is to circulate these shared facts to the greater community through the library. Libraries are institutions that cultivate our similarities and celebrate our differences as citizens of the United States. The librarian needs to present these shared facts, whatever they may be, to the greater community. The community can keep and cultivate a good fact, or strength, or pinpoint a negative fact, or weakness, of the community. For example, if a local university offers the community's citizens the opportunity to obtain a library card at the university's library, other librarians at a public or private library should disseminate this information to the greater community. This action lets all the citizens know that they have access to all the information available within the community.

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Comments (1)

Comments (1)

Hi Martina;

Thanks for joining our conversation. I love this analogy: "people seek second opinions for a medical diagnosis, so why not seek other opinions on information or facts." That seems like a great way to present the idea of fact checking to people who otherwise might be skeptical of the need.

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