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Title: Genuine Librarians as a Shield between Fake Information and Library Patrons (Promotion of Critical Information Literacy)
Authors: Rajić, Jelena
Keywords: Subject::Fake news
Subject::Public libraries
Subject::Information literacy
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2022
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) / 2022 in Dublin, Ireland;
Abstract: In this paper, the author explains the role of the librarians in the Jagodina Public Library, Serbia in promoting critical information literacy among the patrons in response to the so-called post-truth era, in which fake news proliferates on the Internet causing people to rely on their emotions and believe in such news. More than a decade ago, the challenge for the librarians was how to introduce computer literacy to their patrons and provide space with free Internet access. As time went on, the librarians realized how important it was for their patrons to develop information and media literacy skills because it was not enough to simply surf the web; they needed to learn how to use it more wisely and recognize if something could be trusted or not. The librarians had a range of professional development training and seminars, in order to raise the patrons’ awareness of the importance of critical thinking. They conducted a survey on the patrons’ routines in the use of the Internet and social networks. After the analysis of the survey data, the librarians held informal conversation sessions with the Internet users and introduced information and media literacy, the dangers of fake news, and deceptions on the Internet. In addition, the librarians presented their unofficial quick guide to spotting fake news. They had to be very careful because fake news on the web, as a sensitive topic, could make the users upset or disagree with the librarians. Since a librarian was always available to the users at any time during the working hours in the Internet centre of the Library, the patrons were free to ask them for help. The library patrons gained confidence in using the Internet and filtering information. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and library closures, the users started communicating with the librarians through the “Ask a Librarian” form on the Library’s official website, Facebook messenger, or e-mail. The majority of them had queries about measures and restrictions in times of a pandemic, recommendations on health and books online, etc. The librarians advised them to visit government official websites or international institutions’ websites regarding COVID-19 as the most reliable information sources.
Appears in Collections:World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) Materials

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