Fake News & Media Literacy Syllabus

I have been collecting links related to fake news and media literacy for several weeks. The topic seems to have exploded since Stanford released its “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning” report in November.  Also in November, the California State Auditor’s office released its report “School Library Services: Vague State Laws and a Lack of Monitoring Allow School Districts to Provide a Minimal Level of Library Services,” in which I learned that “California has by far the poorest ratio of students to teacher librarians in the nation.” Somewhere along the road, it seems that librarians were equated to finding information, and in the “age of the Internet” where anyone can find things, I have often heard the obsolete speech. At my previous job, there was a committee set up to discuss whether the college’s AA and AS degrees (not for transfer) needed to fulfill an information and computer literacy requirement. One of the administrators thought that in the age of Google Chromebooks, there was “no need.” I left that job before a decision was made, and I discovered that the requirement was removed. Given the present state of information literacy, this is a mistake.

Interestingly, our library’s Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay  wrote a piece called “The Challenge Facing Libraries in an Era of Fake News” in The Conversation a few days ago, and it has made the rounds in so many places! In the piece, he provides an overview of how librarians have helped progress information literacy historically, as well as the challenges facing students in today’s more ambiguous information landscape. My lament about our work is that as long as it’s taught on the periphery–no matter how worthy the Framework and lesson plans we develop may be–Donald is right, “Real progress in information literacy will require librarians, faculty and administrators working together…Indeed, it will require higher education, as well as secondary and primary education, to make information literacy a priority across the curriculum.”

Since before the holidays, the instruction team and I at UC Merced have been developing a digital campaign for our social media accounts and digital signage related to becoming an informed news consumer. (The idea was sparked by this graphic you may have seen before.) Unrelated to this initiative, we’re also pitching a more robust instruction menu, and one of the options is about media literacy. My colleague developed a lesson plan, but I will need to get her permission to share it. Recently, there was a call from Linda Miles at Yeshiva University in the collib listserv for lesson plans related to media literacy. She’ll be sharing those findings soon.

If you’re interested, Programming Librarian will be offering a free 45-minute webinar “Post-Truth: Fake News and a New Era of Information Literacy” on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 2 pm EST. Register by clicking on this link.

My goal for this post is to share the links related to fake news and media literacy that I have been collecting for the last few weeks. I’m sure this sort of project is already in the works (indeed, I even signed up for Twitter again specifically for this topic…), but this is my attempt at a Fake News and Media Literacy Syllabus that can help academic librarians who teach information literacy. The link takes you to a Google Doc that can be edited. Feel free to add articles, tools, lesson plans, LibGuides, etc. to the Syllabus or to this post. I would love for folks to add their names and affiliations as well. I plan to do official citations later, as well as some kind of organization that makes sense. There is tons of stuff I haven’t added, but we’ll get there.

Last updated on Jan. 17, 2017

Committee Work: Blogs and Bibliographies

Faculty members do a lot of committee work for their colleges.  Over the summer, I served on a hiring committee for three positions. This year, I will be once again serving on the Student Success and Support Program Advisory Committee, Institutional Review Board, Student of the Month, and faculty union as a representative for my campus.  My newest committee is serving as the Learning Resource Center’s Academic Senate representative. I also serve on various short-term assignments throughout the year. The faculty lead usually asks me about short-term committees rather than long-term ones because she knows that when I am at a meeting it means I am away from the research help desk, and I don’t have back-up.

However, it is also important for me to serve on committees for professional library associations. I am once again serving of the Association for College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL’s) Community and Junior College Libraries Section’s (CJCLS’) Membership and Communications committee. This year, I will be contributing to the new CJCLS blog! I will be responsible for maintaining a bibliography of scholarship written in the last five years by community and junior college librarians. A call just went out on the CJCLS listserv and on the Community and Junior College Librarians Facebook group. I can’t wait to start receiving citations!

I am also serving as secretary of ACRL’s Instruction Section’s (IS’) Instruction for Diverse Populations committee. We’re responsible for the Library Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography.  I will be revising, maintaining, and adding scholarship to the Native American Students and Nontraditional Students sections. I am very excited about this work since I am one of the only community college librarians on this committee. It has also been a long time since I have done this kind of literature review work, so I am thankful to get my feet wet again with an established project.

I am continuing my involvement with ACRL’s Library Marketing and Outreach interest group. I tried to get something going here in the Central Valley last year, but for one reason or another, it didn’t take. I need to give it some more thought as far as trying to establish something here, but it may just be that I join the Northern California team. I get so much inspiration from LMO’s Facebook group. The support and energy there has been great. They even inspired me to submit my DIY work to LibrarianDesignShare.org, and I have always been shy about these kinds of things. (I’ll have more news on this front in another post…)

I promise I am not overdoing it, but I also will be contributing to the Two Year Talk blog.

This is going to be an eventful year! I’m excited to stretch my wings a little more.