Yohuru Williams’ foreword opens Media Literacy for Justice: Lessons for Changing the World by calling for a global village where youth may engage in informed dialogues addressing “equity, justice in health outcomes, environmental justice, and a host of other issues with roots in our shared humanity” (De Abreu, x). This global village is a digital one, shaped by our students’ lives as digital natives who must take on “the monumental task of discriminating fact from fiction while discerning credible sources” (ix) with educators, both librarians and teachers, who they may never meet face-to-face thanks to Zoom University. As it takes a village, global media literacy educator and the author of Media Literacy for Justice Belinha S. De Abreu sought out an ensemble of contributing authors whose writing bookends all ten chapters with a reflection and lesson concept. These reflections and lesson concepts are the core of this text, providing a needed resource for media literacy focused teachers and librarians in both K-12 and higher education classrooms as well as community centers throughout North America.
Readers seeking to understand current theories of information literacy should look no further than Taylor and Jaeger’s Foundations of Information Literacy. This engagingly written text provides a robust introduction to information literacy since its emergence in the “information society” of the 1970s and its continued evolution to address the information disorder of the participatory Web. However, concepts of intellectual freedom and censorship as they relate to information literacy, information disorder, and information illiteracy are underdeveloped.
Rhonda Evans rose from ALA Emerging Leader to Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in just one year – and shows no signs of slowing down. She brings expertise, energy, and encouragement to her new IFRT leadership role, and invites all library workers to get involved in intellectual freedom issues. Keep reading to learn about Evans’s journey, perspectives on intellectual freedom, and priorities as IFRT Chair for 2021-22.
We often think of open-mindedness as a personality trait, but Mark Lenker’s research reveals that open-mindedness is more an activity of mind than a state of mind. In a conversation following his LOEX 2020 presentation, “Open-mindedness is an achievement: Prototyping a new threshold concert for information literacy,” Lenker describes the habits – and limits – of open-mindedness, the relationship between open-mindedness and intellectual freedom, and how open-mindedness can be integrated into information literacy instruction and other areas of librarianship.
Twitter’s format of quick-bite information does more harm than good to one’s information literacy development. But the company’s recent partnership with UNESCO to promulgate this modern-day imperative is a step in the right direction.
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 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.
The Columbia Journalism Review recently discussed how the news media could learn a lot from librarians and the framework, and set of principles, we’ve developed for dealing with the onslaught of digital information. But the truth is that in a culture devoted to the free flow of information and free expression, we learn best when we learn from each other.
Freedom of the Press is an important part of our First Amendment Rights. Americans deserve to be well informed about their country, and journalists deserve the right to espouse their opinions about the government. As Thomas Jefferson himself once wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”