On Facebook, there are countless number of news articles being posted daily by news sites and blogs. Not only is it hard to keep track and scroll these articles, but half the battle is determining which news source is credible or not.
What librarians have to tackle is to guide or help their users differentiate what is a valid news source. It can be very easy to fall for a fake news article–the title is usually catchy and draws you in. But, these sources are feeding patrons something false and hindering what is real and what they should be reading of events happening in the world.
Below are some ideas librarians can use to fight fake news in their libraries. Some of these ideas were based off a article by Paula Wilson of Public Libraries Online
- Teach Information Literacy-One idea I thought of was have librarians conduct classes/workshops/lectures about fake news on social media. These classes can bring the patron aware of fake news, determine how to spot it on social media, but most importantly, how to find and research news sites and articles to receive the best information they need or seek.
- Have Patron Board/Group Meetings-Have a group a that is conducted by the patrons where they meet and discuss plans and ideas to conquer fake news and offer insights and share great and reliable news sources
- “Roaming” Reference Librarian-This idea is from Wilson’s article, she states that a reference librarian should check on a patron who’s working on a computer and assist them with researching on their topic. The reference librarian lets the patron know that they are promoting their reference collection and materials, and to let them that they can come to the desk with any questions.
- Databases-Another valuable thing is databases that libraries have to offer to their patrons. Let patrons know that there are databases that have full-text journal and scholarly articles that they can access for research. Classes and workshops on how to navigate these databases can be useful, too.
It’s easy now to find anything on any subject through social media, like Facebook, or even through search engines, such as Google. The hard part is separating what’s legit and what’s fake. Librarians have the power to help patrons find the truth that they deserve!