The article I read was ‘How Libraries Are Reinventing Themselves to Fight Fake News’ by Ryan Holmes. I chose this article because I feel it is an extremely relevant topic in this day and age. It seems every time I turn on the new I hear about the current president of the United State talking about the ‘fake news’ and this term has made its way into popular culture. It is not uncommon to hear this phrase tossed around as somewhat of a joke, but the issue at hand is serious and ‘fake news’ doesn’t just affect the United States anymore. More often I hear the term mentioned in regards to news regarding Australian politics too, particularly when someone doesn’t like what a member of a party they disagree with or with someone in the media.

The public libraries in my state are a part of Libraries Tasmania. The is a potential for Libraries Tasmania to run classes on information literacy in order to education people of all ages how to vet information presented to them online via social media. 2019 will be an election year in Australia and classes that teach the public how to spot false or misleading news would be extremely useful as the public prepares themselves to vote for their political leaders.  Libraries Tasmania offering classes like this show they are in touch and recognise issues currently faced by the public and offer a lifelong education to a 21st century problem.

‘Fake news’ and fighting against it one of the most important things information professionals can do. As guardians of information, information professionals have a duty to make sure the public who are accessing information can recognise when they are being lied, mislead or manipulated (Holmes, 2018). Information professionals are tasked not only educating adults but the younger generation, who are still now in school so they will be able to enter adulthood knowing how to find, evaluate and use information accordingly (Holmes, 2018).

Information professionals need to know themselves how to have a critical eye and recognise the need to educate the public. As the article states, while it is useful having pamphlets, guidelines and websites that help users detect fake new, information professionals must be teaching and encouraging the next generation of adults how to vie information with a critical eye. Information professionals can help the public see that libraries and information professionals remain as vital to the community as they have always been, protecting information and the truth.

References:

Holmes, Ryan. (2018, April 10) How libraries are reinventing themselves to fight fake news. Forbes . Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanholmes/2018/04/10/how-libraries-are-reinventing-themselves-to-fight-fake-news/#41f05dbfd161