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Look Back, Move Forward: librarians combating misinformation

Librarians across the field have always been dedicated to combating misinformation. TBT to 1987, when the ALA Council passed the “Resolution on Misinformation to Citizens” on July 1 in San Francisco, California. (The resolution is also accessible via the American Library Association Institutional Repository here.)

Resolution on Misinformation to Citizens, passed on July 1, 1987, in San Francisco, California.
Resolution on Misinformation to Citizens, passed on July 1, 1987, in San Francisco, California.

In response to the recent dialogue on fake news and news literacy, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee crafted the “Resolution on Access to Accurate Information,” adopted by Council on January 24.

Librarians have always helped people sort reliable sources from unreliable ones. Here are a few resources to explore:

  • IFLA’s post on “Alternative Facts and Fake News – Verifiability in the Information Society”
  • Indiana University East Campus Library’s LibGuide, “Fake News: Resources”
  • Drexel University Libraries’ LibGuide, “Fake News: Source Evaluation”
  • Harvard Library’s LibGuide, “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda”
  • ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s “Intellectual Freedom News,” a free biweekly compilation of news related to (among other things!) privacy, internet filtering and censorship.
  • This Texas Standard article on the “CRAAP” (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy & Purpose) test.

If you are working on or have encountered notable “fake news” LibGuides, please post links in the comments below!

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Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner is the assistant director of knowledge management and communications at the American Library Association's Washington Office. She holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master's in library and information science from Catholic University.

3 Comments

  1. […] access. But this is not new territory for libraries. The American Library Association made a similar statement in 1987 against government restrictions, misinformation, and […]

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