In this session, librarians and a Journalism professor reflect upon bringing a news-evaluation workshop from the college campus to the wider community in public libraries. Learn the value of the venture, and prepare yourself for the pitfalls, as they share assessment data and the way it shaped and re-shaped the program.
Type of Library
"fake news", outreach, public libraries
Fake News: Taking News Evaluation Out of the Classroom and Into the Fire
As cries of “fake news” weave into popular discourse, university reference and instruction librarians have teamed up with a Journalism professor to lead a workshop tackling a two-pronged issue: defining what fake news is (and isn’t), and evaluating news from several commonly-encountered source types (from videos and memes to more traditional-looking articles online). The goal of this workshop was to spread information and news literacies in a time when they are sorely needed. While this venture began as a campus event, all presenters involved agreed that the tools and resources provided would be especially valuable to communities beyond the classroom. The workshop went on the road, to public libraries throughout the state. Sessions were well attended and participants were engaged, but the shift in venue and audience presented unforeseen challenges. Incompatibilities with the presentation’s needs and goals (technological, attitudinal, and beyond) abounded; addressing these kept the workshop fluid, growing and changing with lessons learned from each new iteration. Despite the hardships, it is important that everyone – not just college students – is engaged with resources that encourage critical thought. The presenters will discuss the pitfalls they encountered, and reflect upon their possible causes. Presenters will also share survey data from workshop participants, and discuss the findings. Attendees of this presentation will leave knowing what to expect as they plan academic programming for a public audience. They will get some sense of the hurdles involved in shifting from programming for academia to programming for the community. They will also be armed with strategies to minimize or completely avoid losing programming quality in translation.