What is it about?

This research explores media literacy initiatives of public libraries across the United States from 2016-2018, including programs, partnerships, digital and print tools. A survey of 65 library systems across the U.S. that are diverse in size, region, and population density served revealed the variety of initiatives developed and which initiatives were deemed most successful by staff, as well as reasons for not pursuing such initiatives.

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Why is it important?

International leadership organizations have recognized the spread of massive digital misinformation as a primary global concern. While media literacy has long been integral to the central mission of libraries, the critical need for a more media-literate society came under a brighter national spotlight after intelligence agencies revealed extensive political misinformation spread internationally via the internet during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Competence in discerning the accuracy of news information is vital to a well-informed populace, which is a cornerstone of democracy.

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This page is a summary of: “Lots of Questions about ‘Fake News’”: How Public Libraries Have Addressed Media Literacy, 2016–2018, Public Library Quarterly, April 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2019.1600391.
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