Library combats ‘fake news’

July 25, 2017

While journalists have long battled the spread of “fake news,” another group dedicated to facts and reliable information — librarians — is also taking aim at this growing disinformation trend.

Worthington Libraries (Worthington, Ohio) recently hosted two events aimed at helping the public identify reliable news sources. The library system also created a useful infographic to help people evaluate sources of information and learn which sources might not be trustworthy.

Coleman Mahler, an adult services librarian with Worthington Libraries, said one reason the library is focusing on fake news is because of the digital divide in the country and the rising popularity of “echo chambers,” places online or on social media where people go to have their views validated or listened to. Mahler said trying to help people find trusted news sources and learn how to evaluate those sources isn’t a partisan issue because everyone benefits from accurate information.

Editor’s Note: Newspapers should consider talking with local libraries about hosting similar programs. In addition, a PDF of the “Don’t Fall for Fake News” infographic can be downloaded here.

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