Monday, March 29, 2021

Lizards and information literacy

An article published last month which is well worth careful reading and discussion is the first in Project Information Literacy's Provocation series. Written by Barbara Fister, it is very good at reflecting on the complexities of engaging with information, and how you can't educate people simply by insisting that yours is the way of truth. Fister notes that "we are experiencing a moment that exposes a schism between two groups: those who have faith there is a way to arrive at truth using practices based on epistemology that originated in the Enlightenment, and those who believe events and experiences are portents to be interpreted in ways that align with their personal values." It is not that the latter group are lacking in information skills - they are using different information practices that are meaningful to them. Fister's examples are primarly from the USA, but her insights are definitely more generally applicable.

There are two versions: the article for the Atlantic is a litte shorter and gives more explanation about terms that would be unfamiliar to non-library people.
- Fister, B. (2021, February 3). Lizard People in the Library: As “research it yourself” becomes a rallying cry for promoters of outlandish conspiracy theories with real-world consequences, educators need to think hard about what’s missing from their information literacy efforts.
- Fister, B. (2021, February 18). The Librarian War Against QAnon: As “Do the research” becomes a rallying cry for conspiracy theorists, classical information literacy is not enough. The Atlantic.
Photo by Sheila Webber, created in Second Life, March 2021

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