Shira Atkinson is the Scholarly Communications and Distance Learning Librarian at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus where she facilitates open access initiatives, especially through Fordham’s digital repository. She is also involved in the Libraries’ initiatives to improve digital and information literacy among students through teaching classes, assembling a Fake News Research Guide, and planning a video. She has worked previously as the Database Architect and Metadata Manager for a New York City non-profit organization.
Digital Publics: Transformation and Translation
Fake news presents real problems. While misinformation has always existed, the internet and social media have allowed it to proliferate and wield unprecedented influence on public opinion and discourse. In the United States, fake news helped to determine the 2016 presidential election and it continues to inform national and state policies in harmful, counterproductive ways. Information professionals, and particularly librarians, are seizing this moment to demonstrate the power of their expertise by formulating new tools that can help the public navigate the so-called ‘post-truth world’. These tools capitalize on librarians’ command of information literacy and promote a skills-based approach that is not only essential to the foundations of research but vital for the very well-being of democracy. The presenters will contemplate the international implications of the post-truth world; discuss the different tools that librarians and other information professionals are creating such as research guides, videos, infographics, apps, and other types of media; evaluate the challenges and limitations of existing tools and approaches; and consider future implications and actions for librarians.