February 8th, 2021

Reliable Sources

In the best of times with information availability, social media's worst of times can become misleading. What is a rumor mill? Rumors, like fire, need oxygen to quickly spread. How do you prevent a rumor, a fire out of control? A controlled burn. Similarly, disinformation needs fact-checking.
Begin with the source- is it reliable? Are there multiple resources citing credible findings?
In my library world, as one resource, I use Common Sense Media to help support the families I work with in my community (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/). Secondly, to fact-check, I rely on National Geographic, Britannica, and trusted colleagues. The publication date of source, currency, relevancy of topic from books- for example, published in 2017, "Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers" by Mike Caulfield is still relevant today providing other credible references such as NPR (https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/ ).
Finally, trusted professional networks, other trusted librarians, colleagues and professors that I reach out to communicate questions builds a relationship I feel confident providing me a base for sharing true information.
I agree as a librarian of any level be it academic, public, or school, it is our responsibility to model, advocate and invite others to responsibly create, search and disseminate true information.

Tags: critical thinking, Democracy, Disinformation, Fake news, information literacy

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Comments (1)

Comments (1)

Hi Lucia:

Thanks for joining our conversation. How do you broach the subject of credible sources with library patrons? Have you ever had anyone push back? What happened?

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