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Forum Question

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?

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January 28th, 2021

Evaluating information

To locate and vet credible resources I use a variety of strategies including reflecting on prior knowledge, analyzing the source (author, sponsor or publication, mission or purpose, date), see what others have to say about it, reverse image search or use wikipedia to dig into the source, lateral read to find other coverage and cross reference, and then refer to sources I trust and know to see how they report on it.

I share credible sources on my library website, through direct instruction with students, or through the teacher. At times I share via social media.…

Tags: Accuracy, Disinformation, Social media, Verification

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January 28th, 2021

Check your sources

When we go into schools to do database training, one of the first thing that we emphasize is to check your sources. A good example is to Google "Taylor Swift" and then to search in one of our biography databases. On Google, you will get her Instagram content, find out where she was last night, but not necessarily get the information that you would need for a report. A database has citations from reliable resources and has usable information. Hopefully by starting young, we are educating a future generation. A librarian's job includes media literacy, especially when working with kids…

Tags: Accuracy, Knowledge, Media, Sources, Verification

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January 28th, 2021

Credible Sources

Deductive reasoning plays a large role in choosing sources that are credible.
Does the article reflect more than one side of the story? Does the article come from a .org or .edu website? How is the source (news, social media) used by the contributor of information? I Is it a journal article? What is the source, as in who owns or funds the journal or article? Are the writers or providers of the information sharing credentials within or at the end of the article. If an article has an emotionally charged headline and appears to incite fear or feed…

Tags: Disinformation, Knowledge, Media, Social media, Sources

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January 28th, 2021

Disinformation

Use trusted sources such as reliable newspaper websites and magazine websites

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January 28th, 2021

Vetting through inquiry

I often tell my students that an inquiring mind can lead to answers. From this standpoint, learners can begin to focus on the questions and curiosities that arise from information sources and refrain from viewing these sources as tasks requiring a vetting process. Through the course of inquiry and discovery, they begin to unearth the various voices and opinions that constitute a topic or conversation, and from there, they begin to see gaps, discord and misinformation. This process can be time-consuming, of course, but it is also prevents consumers of information from viewing a topic through a singular lens. Again,…

Tags: Accuracy, Alternative facts, Disinformation, Knowledge, Verification

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