Reflections on Fake News, Librarians, and Undergraduate Research

Lisa Rose-Wiles

Abstract


The recent explosion of “fake news” highlights the need for academic libraries to provide access to reliable information resources and for librarians to instruct students in using them effectively. Providing reliable resources with minimal barriers to access involves cooperation among librarians, publishers, and vendors; however, I suggest that there is tension between our mutual desires to satisfy student demands for instant and perfect results and to encourage them to become persistent and critical information seekers. Many tools exist to assist students in gaining background information and limiting search results, but ultimately none replace the need to develop and explore questions and to evaluate information sources. In this paper, I reflect on the difficulties of persuading students to persist in using library resources and the use of Bernard Lonergan’s generalized empirical method as a framework for critical thinking and information literacy.


Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Recent examples include Rick Anderson, “Fake News and Alternative Facts: Five Challenges for Academic Libraries,” Insights: The UKSG Journal 30, no. 2 (2017): 6.

Marcus Banks, “Fighting Fake News,” American Libraries 48, no. 3/4, (2017): 18–21.

Bernd W. Becker, “The Librarian’s Information War,” Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian 35, no. 4 (2016): 188–91.

Linda Frederiksen, “Fake News,” Public Services Quarterly 13, no. 2 (2017): 103–7.

Peter V. Paul, “Fake News, Alternative Facts, Post-Truths, Misinformation, Misinterpretation, and Other Challenges Associated with Knowledge Generation,” American Annals of the Deaf 162, no. 1 (spring 2017): 3–7.

Nick Rochlin, “Fake News: Belief in Post-truth,” Library Hi Tech 35, no. 3 (2017): 386–92.

“Post-truth: Fake News and a New Era of Information Literacy,” American Library Association (webinar), November 1, 2017, http://www.ala.org/tools/programming/post-truth-fake-news-and-new-era-information-literacy.

Elisa Shearer and Jeffrey Gottfried, “News Use across Social Media Platforms, 2017,” Pew Research Center, Journalism and Media, September 7, 2017, http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/.

Ralph Keyes, The Post-truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2004).

Nicole A. Cooke, “Posttruth, Truthiness, and Alternative Facts: Information Behavior and Critical Information Consumption for a New Age,” Library Quarterly 87, no. 3 (2017): 211–21.

Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think (London: Penguin Books, 2012)

Teodora D. Chi, “The Filter Bubble—a Constructivist Approach,” Perspectives in Politics / Perspective Politice 9, no. 2 (2016): 5–11.

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson, “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy,” College and Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011): 62–78.

Richard Grallo, “Thinking Carefully about Critical Thinking,” Lonergan Review 4, no. 1 (2013): 154–80.

For a recent list of fake-news research guides and tools, see Oliver Batchelor, “Getting Out the Truth: The Role of Libraries in the Fight against Fake News,” Reference Services Review 45, no. 2 (2017): 143–48.

Jennifer A. Dixon, “First Impressions: LJ’s First Year Experience Survey,” Library Journal, April 13, 2017, http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/04/academic-libraries/first-impressions-ljs-first-year-experience-survey/#_.

Beth Bloom and Marta M. Deyrup, “The SHU Research Logs: Student Online Search Behaviors Trans-scripted,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 5 (2015): 593–601.

Lisa M. Rose-Wiles and Melissa A. Hofmann, “Still Desperately Seeking Citations: Undergraduate Research in the Age of Web-Scale Discovery,” Journal of Library Administration 53, no. 2–3 (2013): 147–66.

Claire Warwick, Jon Rimmer, Ann Blandford, Jeremy Gow, and George Buchanan, “Cognitive Economy and Satisficing in Information Seeking: A Longitudinal Study of Undergraduate Information Behavior,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60, no. 12 (December 2009): 2402–15.

Lynn S. Connaway, Timothy J. Dickey, and Marie L. Radford, “‘If It Is Too Inconvenient, I’m Not Going After It’: Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-Seeking Behaviors,” Library and Information Science Research 33 (2011): 179–90.

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, Association of College and Research Libraries, filed by the ACRL board February 2, 2015, adopted by the ACRL board January 11, 2016, http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

Nerissa Nelson and Jennifer Huffman, “Predatory Journals in Library Databases: How Much Should We Worry?” Serials Librarian 69, no. 2 (2015): 169–92.

Marta Somoza-Fernández, Josep-Manuel Rodríguez-Gairín, and Cristóbal Urbano, “Presence of Alleged Predatory Journals in Bibliographic Databases: Analysis of Beall’s List,” El profesional de la información 25, no. 5 (2016): 730–37.

Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Method in Theology (1971; repr., Toronto: Lonergan Research Institute of Regis College, 1990).

“Praxis Program of Advanced Seminar on Mission,” Seton Hall University, accessed November 28, 2017, http://www.shu.edu/vocation-servant-leadership/praxis-program-of-advanced-seminar-on-mission.cfm.

Lisa M. Rose-Wiles, Marian Glenn, and Doreen Stiskal, “Enhancing Information Literacy Using Bernard Lonergan’s Generalized Empirical Method: A Three-Year Case Study in a First-Year Biology Course,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 43, no. 6 (2017): 495–508.

Conor M. Kelly, “Depth in an Age of Digital Distraction: The Value of a Catholic College in Today’s World,” Journal of Catholic Higher Education 34, no. 2 (2015): 113–33.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.57.3.6606

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


ALA Privacy Policy

© 2018 RUSA