We have an obligation to understand the inherent weaknesses of social media environments and actively educate about them. It might serve us to remember that at one point the implantation of OPACs’, or the migration of journals into databases, or the growth of digital archives as dynamic new platforms of publishing and dissemination also seemed foreign to our mission. Our profession is constantly evolving and social media has become a maelstrom.
A recent Pew poll indicates that a majority of Americans not only realize that they are often surrounded by misinformation, but also that the library can help them wade through it all.
Free speech on a college campus is a form of public engagement. And public engagement is always a challenge. Ask any of the professors named above. A good response is to sharpen your game and be ready.
The attacks on the press are about lockouts, manipulation and threats. Lockouts are bad for the free flow of information. Manipulation is (and always has been) a two-way street … but threats? Threats now shape our public discourse, and again, to belabor the point over and over, this is not normal.
The role of libraries in preserving intellectual freedom, as well as the integrity of our collections and interactions we have with patrons, is based on critical thinking and clear-eyed reasoning, not the convenience of a hyperlink.
Librarians are simple creatures, for the most part. We want to uphold the First Amendment, provide access to information, find the right answer to an asked question, and maybe recommend someone a good book. We are committed to education, accessibility, intellectual freedom, innovation, and maybe cardigans.
Although fake news has always existed, it has recently been thrust into the limelight for its role in the contemporary political conversation as it plays out on social media. This in turn has led for some to call for a crackdown on purveyors of fake news.
ALA Town Hall Meeting at Midwinter, Operation 451, Mein Kampf, literary protests and the controversy around Milo Yiannopoulos’ book.
New Library Bill of Rights poster, challenge support resources and free webinar.
With the Oxford Dictionaries announcing its 2016 Word of the Year “post-truth,” facts are now irrelevant and only personal response matters.