Teen Empowerment and Engagement is Key
I feel that it is a great set of questions: thinking about how libraries help disseminate credible information and what role do we play in helping the community find common ground.
As we all know, libraries should be neutral and share history, facts, literature, knowledge and in contemporary times, tools so that the public can have all the information they need to make informed decisions. In this day and age, the reason that people often believe in misinformation and disinformation is due to a lack of researching the facts on their own. Even though some think that everyone has access to the World Wide Web, computers and Wi-Fi, there are some populations that do not have this access for many reasons.
Our libraries can bridge this gap, providing access to remote locations with innovative, mobile programs as well as finding ways to communicate with these audiences and provide access to information resources.
As far as teenagers, I feel that it is incredibly important to provide as many forums as possible to let them talk, vent and then, listen to them so that we can learn about the information they need and steer them in the right direction to find out the truth about their questions. This will allow us to build young adults who have better information-seeking behaviors, who will most likely be less prone to believing in misinformation.
Now, more than ever, libraries play an important role in our society.