Tuesday, August 17, 2021

#WLIC2021 Combatting Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation and Fake News

Continuing some liveblogging from the online IFLA World Library and Information Congress today (my first post, where I originally used the wrong hashtag, is here). This session was on Librarians on the Front Lines: Combatting Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation and Fake News, organised by the IFLA Reference and Information Services Section.

Liz Jack (Executive Director, Libraries Tasmania, Australia) talked about Media literacy in an island state. They have been working on media literacy for about a year. They started with raising awareness amongst their 400 staff members, with a core team producing some workshop material that got people talking about roles and issues, and challenging ideas. They created a portal that people could use for independent learning, or learning in teams, including informal, semi-formal and formal learning. Some staff realised that they didn't know as much as they thought they did (e.g. a quote "I realise I have been living in a bubble with blinkers on"). As well as realising the importance for their own roles as librarians, staff also saw the importance for the public. They are working with the University of Tasmania, the Australian library association (ALIA) and other national networks, to share resources, training etc. They are going to organise events for Global Media and Information Literacy week. They are pushing for a national media and information literacy strategy in Australia. Jack emphasised the importance of having leadership at the top, finding champions and keep learning! 

Next Augusta Giovannoli (Digital development manager, Biblioteca Civica Multimediale Archimede, Italy) presented on a digital literacy project - Digital knowledge: Digital culture in public library. This has the goal of raising awareness of citizens, developing libraries capabilities in digital, media and information literacy, and "getting librarians out of their bubbles". The focus has been on training courses, which are free, and libraries (which can be any type e.g. public, education) offer to host them. There have been about 40 courses (with about 1000 participants) initially physically-based but virtual since COVID19, and the teaching teams include people who are expert in social media etc. The project website (in Italian) is here http://www.saperedigitale.org Giovannoli also described collaborative work with 10 libraries on Open the Box training and resources to do with misinformation.

Leonardo Ripoll (Researcher Librarian at Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Coordinator of CIDAD) talked about Libraries combatting misinformation: The Commission for Informational Reliability and Misinformation combat in the digital Environment (CIDAD). CIDAD is an outreach project covering topics such as information literacy, misinformation, critical thinking. Outreach is achieved though such activities as creating materials and providing training. These include "how to spot fake news" bookmark, critical reading workshop and ebook. 

Finally Lesley S Farmer (Professor of Library Media - California State University Long Beach, USA) talked about creating a fake news webquest, which was embedded in the Calfornia School LIbrary Association website - it is here https://csulblis.libguides.com/FakeNewsLibGuide

There was a discussion session afterwards where questions included: (1) how can you tell whether training has been successful (this included finding out whether learners/participants were able to act in a more information literate way, more aware of fake news etc., whether they made better decisions; also whether people were returning for more training or recommending it; whether they were asking questions that showed their engagement in training). (2) How do you get people to engage with the resources you created. Responses included: connecting the issue with something in people's everyday lives; gamification; showing that you need practice and then it is simple; getting schoolchildren to discuss news stories. As part of the discussion I mentioned this book that I have seen recommended How algorithms create and prevent fake news. Also someone from the US National Library of Medicine mentioned this resource Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media: Principles and Attributes

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