by Tyler Manolovitz
There is “fake news” and then there is fake news. “Fake News” isn’t really (or necessarily) fake at all, but instead something that disagrees with a person’s ideology, thoughts, or beliefs. I must admit, I’m having a hard time with this recent trend of changing the meaning of words in order to fit a particular narrative (alternative facts? I can’t even…). Actual fake news, however, means exactly that (news that is not real), but also lends itself to a larger point of inaccurate, misleading, or incorrect information in any format. Libraries and librarians deal in actual, factual, legitimate information and research, and therefore are perfectly suited to taking on actual fake news head-on.
I’ve been stating for years in this column that libraries are not about books, but about information. Specifically, we are about locating, accessing, and determining the best resources for a particular use. Libraries have spent centuries tackling fake news before such a term existed. Because of the unbelievably easy proliferation of actual fake news on the Internet, libraries and librarians are arguably even more important now than ever before.
I came across this excellent blog post from the American Library Association Public Programs Office with a list of resources and articles related to libraries and the fight against fake news. Some truly great resources are available here, but most importantly for me is the evidence that librarians are fighting for the idea that truth, facts, and evidence do actually matter.
Click through to the actual blog post for links to webinars, libguides, news stories, and other excellent information: http://www.programminglibrarian.org/articles/fake-news-library-round.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to click through, these are a few of my favorites:
Highlighting the continuing relevance of libraries in a changing technological landscape, and the defenders who support them, Tyler Manolovitz tells us why libraries are "...not dead yet."