Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Library Friday: NOPL’s Pop-up Library | February 24, 2017

Library outreach | Mobile libraries | Library services

by Kayla Del Biondo

In the Library and Information Science program here at SU, we spend a lot of time discussing the importance of outreach. We brainstorm strategies we can employ to attract patrons to the library, and we ask ourselves questions like, how can a librarian organize and market innovative programs, services, and collections that are bound to draw in community members?

Excitingly, here in Syracuse, the conversation around outreach at public libraries seems to be switching gears … literally. For this month’s Library Friday, I visited the Northern Onondaga Public Library (NOPL) at Brewerton to learn about their “Pop-Up Library” on wheels, and their mission to take outreach outside the library. I had the pleasure of interviewing branch manager, Nancy Boisseau, as well as outreach librarian (and recent iSchool alum), Jennifer Tolley, to learn more about this project, from inception to completion.

Whose idea was it to create the Pop-Up library, and how did the idea evolve into action? Read more...

Monday, February 27, 2017

We Need Librarians More Than Ever Before Need Librarians More Than Ever Before | Feb. 11, 2017

Librarians | Library Services | Information Literacy

 by John Spencer


Why Librarians Are Vital to our Students

I often hear people ask, “If we have the internet, why do we still need librarians?”

This is something I’ve heard since the days of dial-up and continue to hear right now. It misses the vital role that librarians play in our students’ lives. It’s true that the information landscape has changed. It is easier than ever to create a work and publish it to the world and with a tap of a button, we access information from anywhere at any time.

But actually, that’s why librarians are more vital than ever. Here are some of the things librarians do:
  1. Guide Students through Media Literacy: In an age of instant information, librarians help students learn to ask better questions, find valid sources, and deconstruct the information. Take a quick glance at Facebook and you’ll see people falling for fake news and failing to understand media bias. We are in desperate need of media literacy and librarians are the ones best poised to make this a reality. Read more...

Libraries Respond: Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers | #ALA

Advocacy | Bill of Rights | Immigrants | Library services

ALA Resolution in Support of Immigrant Rights 2006-2007 CD#20.2 (ALA Midwinter Meeting)

WHEREAS, America's immigrants are strong and valuable part of the social fabric of this nation; and

WHEREAS, The ALA Library Bill of Rights states that a person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views; and

WHEREAS, The library community opposes all attempts at the local, state and federal level to restrict access to information by immigrants; and

WHEREAS,  Restriction of access is a direct violation of the ALA Library Bill of Rights and Policy #60, Diversity, which states that "The American Library Association (ALA) promotes equal access to information for all persons and recognizes the ongoing need to increase awareness of and

responsiveness to the diversity of the communities we serve"; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That ALA strongly supports the protection of each person's civil liberties, regardless of that individual's nationality, residency, or status; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That ALA opposes any legislation that infringes on the rights of anyone in the USA or its territories, citizens or otherwise, to use library resources, programs, and services on national, state, and local levels."

Adopted by the American Library Association Council
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Seattle, Washington

Meet Alan Emtage, the Black Technologist Who Invented ARCHIE, the First Internet Search Engine | February 21, 2017

Internet | Technology | Black History Month

Courtesy Alan Emtage  
At a time when “googling” has become the generic term for conducting an internet search, it can be hard to remember that search had a long history before Google came along. But it’s worth revisiting that past during Black History Month, because the pre-Google era saw one of the most momentous black contributions to the development of the internet: the invention of internet search itself, by Alan Emtage. Read more...

U.S. Public Schools Are Not Failing. They’re Among The Best In The World | Febraury 3-13, 2017

Public schools | Education | Children in the US

BY Steven Singer
Everyone knows U.S. public schools are failing.
Just like everyone knows you should never wake sleepwalkers, bulls hate red and Napoleon was short.
Wrong on all counts. Waking sleepwalkers will cause them no harm – in fact, they’re more likely to harm themselves while sleepwalking. Bulls are colorblind; they’re attracted to movement. And Napoleon was 5’7”, which was above average height for Frenchman during his lifetime.
So why do we believe that American public schools are doing such a terrible job?
Because far-right policymakers have convinced us all that it’s true.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yellow Journalism: The “Fake News” of the 19th Century

Fake news | Journalism | Alternate facts |Tabloids

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, an illustration featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine. Amid the flurry of eager paper-clutching public, one holds a publication brandished with the words “Fake News”. See full image below — Source.  
It is perhaps not so surprising to hear that the problem of “fake news” — media outlets adopting sensationalism to the point of fantasy — is nothing new. Although, as Robert Darnton explained in the NYRB recently, the peddling of public lies for political gain (or simply financial profit) can be found in most periods of history dating back to antiquity, it is in the late 19th-century phenomenon of “Yellow Journalism” that it first seems to reach the widespread outcry and fever pitch of scandal familiar today. Why yellow? The reasons are not totally clear. Some sources point to the yellow ink the publications would sometimes use, though it more likely stems from the popular Yellow Kid cartoon that first ran in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, and later William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal, the two newspapers engaged in the circulation war at the heart of the furore.

Although these days his name is somewhat synonymous with journalism of the highest standards, through association with the Pulitzer Prize established by provisions in his will, Joseph Pulitzer had a very different reputation while alive. After purchasing The New York World in 1884 and rapidly increasing circulation through the publication of sensationalist stories he earned the dubious honour of being the pioneer of tabloid journalism. He soon had a competitor in the field when his rival William Randolph Hearst acquired the The New York Journal in 1885 (originally begun by Joseph’s brother Albert). The rivalry was fierce, each trying to out do each other with ever more sensational and salacious stories. At a meeting of prominent journalists in 1889 Florida Daily Citizen editor Lorettus Metcalf claimed that due to their competition “the evil grew until publishers all over the country began to think that perhaps at heart the public might really prefer vulgarity”.  Read more...

Women Are Taking to the Streets to Save London's Beloved Feminist Library | by Mari Shibata

Women's Studies | Archives | Feminism

February 26, 2017


Around a hundred women gathered in London on Wednesday to protest the possible eviction of the Feminist Library, one of the most beloved and culturally significant archives of women's history in the UK. Armed with books written by women and banners to save the library and 'herstory,' the protesters took the solitary activity of reading to the streets.

According to historians, the Library is essentially irreplaceable.Opened in 1975 in Southwark, south London, the historic archive focuses its efforts on preserving rare materials of the second-wave movement from the late 1960s to the 1990s, with an aim to bridge the gap from the Suffragettes to contemporary feminism.

"I used the Feminist Library for research my PhD, which has resulted in my recently published book, Race, Ethnicity and the Women's Movement in England," said Dr. Natalie Thompson, a historian at the University of Wolverhampton. "Without a doubt, I would not have been able to write my book without using the unique archival resources of the Feminist Library. Its loss would represent an unimaginable blow to future generations of historians." Read more...

'Not Sitting Quietly Anymore': How Librarians Are Fighting Trump | by Arianna Rebolini

Librarians | Activism | Social justice

February 20, 2017

Photo by B. Harvey via Stocksy  

Though some people may think the job involves more shushing than rallying, many librarians consider "making America read again" to be a radical political proposition. 

When Audrey Lorberfeld woke up in her Brooklyn apartment on Saturday, January 28, she was, like much of the country, angry. In the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump had already signed executive orders reinstating an expanded global gag rule, calling for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, reopening the possibility of the Dakota Access pipeline, and, on Friday, January 27, barring any travelers into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Within hours of the order's signing, two Iraqis who'd flown into JFK—53-year-old Hameed Khalid Darweesh, arriving from Iraq, and 33-year-old Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, arriving from Sweden—were detained. Overnight, while lawyers representing the two refugees worked to file a suit for their release, news of their detention spread, and by 11 AM on Saturday, organizations like the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) had put out a call for protesters outside JFK's Terminal 4.


During the internment, Japanese American teens created this heartbreaking scrapbook about camp life: Hope and hardship in the desert

Japanese internment | Racism | Immigrants 

February 17, 2017

Stephanie Busk | timeline

The cover of “Out of the Desert.” (San Francisco State University)      
Masako was curled in a cozy ball listening to the radio when the news bulletin aired. The U.S. government would be forcing Japanese Americans from their homes.

Soon, her friends in Los Angeles began to disappear. First No-bu, then Aiko, then Chiyeko. They were each sent to different camps. Masako wondered, Will I be next?

Then the announcement came. Her family had mere weeks to sell or store their belongings. As Masako walked through her beloved neighborhood, she was close to tears. When she visited her best friend Irene, an Irish girl, she burst with sorrow.

The day finally came. Masako boarded the train that would carry her family away. She reached out the window and clasped Irene’s hand one last time. As they departed, Masako watched her friend become a tiny dot in the distance.

Masako was an autobiographical character invented in 1942 by Nancy Karakane, a high school junior interned at the Poston Concentration Camp. Karakane’s short story appears in Out of the Desert, a scrapbook made by teenagers that depicted life behind barbed wire. Read more...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Libraries are fighting back hard against Trump's America | by Colin Daileda

Advocacy | Library services | Library activism

February 21, 2017
via Mashable
Perhaps libraries and President Donald Trump were destined to be enemies.

The president has made it known that he's not a man of books. Libraries, meanwhile, are filled with many more books than people. The president has made it known he's not a fan of immigration. Libraries are often an integral part of the life of immigrants in the United States. These things are not like each other.

Protest has taken many forms in the few weeks since Trump became president, but one of the most distinct forms of demonstration has taken place at libraries around the United States.

Much of the action has centred around @LibrariesResist, an account created by Columbia University rare book cataloger Matt Haugen. The account, which has over 2,500 followers as of this writing, tweets and retweets in support of truth and archived sources in the face of an administration that has promoted "alternative facts."


Décodex : nos conseils pour vérifier les informations qui circulent en ligne | 1 February 2017

Fake news | Fact checker | Journalism

Preserving U.S. Government Websites and Data as the Obama Term Ends | December 15, 2016

Internet archive | Government Websites | Data preservation

 Posted by Jefferson

Long before the 2016 Presidential election cycle librarians have understood this often-overlooked fact: vast amounts of government data and digital information are at risk of vanishing when a presidential term ends and administrations change.  For example, 83% of .gov pdf’s disappeared between 2008 and 2012. 

That is why the Internet Archive, along with partners from the Library of Congress, University of North Texas, George Washington University, Stanford University, California Digital Library, and other public and private libraries, are hard at work on the End of Term Web Archive, a wide-ranging effort to preserve the entirety of the federal government web presence, especially the .gov and .mil domains, along with federal websites on other domains and official government social media accounts.

While not the only project the Internet Archive is doing to preserve government websites, ftp sites, and databases at this time, the End of Term Web Archive is a far reaching one.

Read more....

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

40 Tiny Tasks for a richer reading life | BookRiot | January 30, 2015

Reading | Books 

by Brenna Clarke Gray

Being a reader is a life-long project, and we all want to do it well. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the parts of a reader’s life that feel insurmountable — the TBR list you’ll never complete; the library hold list you’ll never catch up on; all the amazing books you’ll never hear about, let alone find and own!

But there are little ways we can enrich our reading lives every day: small changes we can make or ideas we can try to change up our reading patterns and find new books to love. Here are forty places to start. Add your own in the comments below, or try a couple first and then come tell me how they go. Read more...


The Wonderful World of Non-Traditional Library Collections: Spotlight on Seeds! | January 25, 20017

Library collections | Library services | Library of Things

By Chezlani

You probably know by now that libraries worldwide are lending out so much more than books and media. To highlight just a few:
  • The Sacramento Public “Library of Things” loans out sewing machines, musical instruments, and video games, items which were chosen by patron vote.
  • Ann Arbor District Library offers everything from art prints (redecorate every couple months!) to telescopes (you know you want to look at the moon!) to die-cutting kits (indulge your scrapbook fantasy…)
  • Specialty cake pans have also become a popular collection for many public libraries. Because let’s be honest, how many times will you make a Dora the Explorer cake in your life? Personally, I’m drawing a line at ONCE.
  • And of course, who could forget the venerated Berkeley Tool Library, part of the city’s public library system since 1979? Their experience proves that yes, patrons WILL return the tools, and WILL take good care of them.
Read more... 

Trump ally Roger Stone: Americans can now choose 'alternative' truths | February 20, 2017

Fake news | Alternate media | Book review | Author interview

Ed Pilkington
Roger Stone, pictured at his office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida: ‘Politics is a contact sport.’ Photograph: Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images     
As Donald Trump was hitting his stride at his White House press conference this week, doing what he does best – denigrating journalists, spreading falsehoods about his electoral victory, offering science lessons on the uses of uranium – text messages started pinging on the cellphones of news anchors sitting in the front row.

“He should do this with a therapist, not on live TV,” one text reportedly said. It came from an interesting source: a Republican US senator.

It is one month into the Trump administration and all of Washington, most of the United States, and sizable chunks of the globe are transfixed by the new White House incumbent. While his supporters remain ecstatic about his entirely unorthodox approach to the most powerful job on Earth, millions of others – among them, it seems, Republican senators – are scratching their own heads and wondering how to understand what is going on inside his. Read more...

The Trump administration’s other war on the media | February 14, 2017

Opinion | Net Neutrality | Digital Divide | Journalism

By  Katrina vanden Heuvel

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in Washington in 2013. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

The Trump administration’s unrelenting attacks on the media and assault on reality have been well covered by journalists and media outlets that find themselves in the new administration’s crosshairs. Yet while the White House’s insistence on “alternative facts” may be more visibly ominous, there is another growing threat to the independent media that also demands our attention. 

Despite his crusade against the press, Trump’s contempt does not seem to apply to the massive conglomerates — such as Comcast and Verizon — with so much influence over what the American people watch on television and read on the Internet. And at a time when extreme commercialization has helped drive the decline of accountability journalism, Trump and his recently appointed Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, have signaled their intention to exacerbate the problem. Read more...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fake news is real

Fake news | Information literacy |Panel discussion


Fake news is real: Fake news. You’ve heard about it, consumed it, probably even believed it — at least on occasion. But what is it? Why does it exist? How do we combat it and why can’t it just go away? USC Times invited two faculty members and an alumnus who serves as the attorney for the South Carolina Press Association to discuss one of the most vexing of 21st century media problems — the rampant spread of fake news, clickbait profiteering and outright propaganda.


Program Idea: Homeschool Libratory

Homeschooling | School libraries  

Dawn Jardine, Library Director, Red Hook Public Library, NY /

Program Idea: Homeschool Libratory: A program for homeschooling families is something your library can do that is of great value to the community. It costs little. And it drives a lot of traffic and circulation. But best of all, we really look forward to this happy group of young patrons filling the children's room with enthusiasm and chatter each week. We enjoy watching them grow and develop over years. Red Hook Public Library is chartered for a village of 1,961 people; however we have about 4,500 cardholders and serve several surrounding communities. We have had a homeschoolers' program for about six years now and it has been consistently well attended. Read more...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Real News/Fake News: About Fake News: Finding Real News/Detecting Fake News | LibGuide

Fake news | Information literacy | Journalism | Social media

What is fake news?

Wikipedia defines fake news as:  “Fake news is a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation in social media or traditional news media with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically.”  

Fake news websites ... deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation — using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect.”
Fake news takes all forms - print, online, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, images - any format that can convey information can convey disinformation. Read more...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why these librarians are protesting Trump’s executive orders | Elizabeth Flock

Activism | Access | Fake news | Immigration Ban

February 13, 2017

A “Libraries Are For Everyone” poster in Arabic. Credit: Rebecca McCorkindale

“Libraries Are For Everyone.” That’s the message of a series of images created by Rebecca McCorkindale in the days after President Donald Trump announced the temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. She never expected her signs of inclusion to go further than a handful of libraries. 

But by the time she’d woken up the following day, she had received messages from librarians across the world wanting their languages represented. And libraries across the country — in Illinois, Minnesota, California, Virginia — had begun putting up the images as posters, along with displays about books on Islam, empathy and being a good neighbor. 

McCorkindale, who is assistant library director and creative director at the Gretna, Nebraska, public library, said she created the images because she believes librarians can and should be activists.
“Libraries are the heart of a community, for anyone and everyone that lives there, regardless of their background,” she said. “And so we strongly believe that libraries are not neutral. We stand up for human rights.”

She is not the only one. Since Mr. Trump took office a little more than three weeks ago, a vocal and growing number of librarians across the country have begun to take a more politically active stance.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 375,000 digital works for remix and re-use online via CC0

Open Access |  Digital Humanities | Art

Jennie Rose Halperin | Feburary 7, 2017

Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announces that all public domain images in its collection will be shared under CC0, expanding their digital collection by over 375,000 images as well as providing data on over 420,000 museum objects spanning more than 5,000 years. CC0 allows anyone to use, re-use, and remix a work without restriction. This announcement will shape the future of public domain images online and underscores the Met’s leadership role as one of the most important open museum collections in the world.

Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley joined the Met to announce the release. The Met collection of CC0 images can be browsed on the new CC Search beta, also announced this morning.

“Sharing is fundamental to how we promote discovery, innovation, and collaboration in the digital age,” said Merkley. “Today, The Met has given the world a profound gift in service of its mission: the largest museum in the United States has eliminated the barriers that would otherwise prohibit access to its content, and invited the world to use, remix, and share their public domain collections widely and without restriction.” Read more...

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Neuroscience Says Read to Them Like This (but Most Parents Don't)

Reading | Literacy | Parenting | Children's Literature

Read to young children in this way, and they'll develop greater intellectual empathy -- and become more successful.

By Bill Murphy Jr.

CREDIT: Getty Images  
If you're like most parents, you'll do just about anything you can to increase the odds that your kids will be successful.

So, what if I were to tell you there's a simple thing you can to do to make it more likely that they'll be successful in life -- specifically by increasing the likelihood that they'll learn to read other people, and even predict how they'll react?

What's more, while this parenting practice might be a bit more time-consuming than some alternatives, it can also be a lot of fun and increase your bond with your children.

We're talking about the way that parents read to their young kids. Neuroscientists say there's a trick that can make the daily bedtime ritual (one my wife and I enjoy with our daughter, and that you might well enjoy with your kids, too) far more effective and beneficial.
Here's the background -- plus how it works and why:

First off, of course, read to your kids. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Long Overdue: Why public libraries are finally eliminating the late-return fine

Public libraries | Access | Community outreach

by Ruth Graham

A thing of the past? 
Photo illustration by Slate. Images via jmbatt, simo988/iStock.

In 1906, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press described a scene that had become all too common at the city’s public libraries. A child hands an overdue book to a stern librarian perched behind a desk, and with a “sinister expression,” the librarian demands payment of a late fine. In some cases, the child grumbles and pays the penny or two. But in others—often at the city’s smaller, poorer library branches—the offender cannot pay, and his borrowing privileges are revoked. “Scarcely a day passes but it does not leave its record of tears and sighs and vain regrets in little hearts,” the reporter lamented.

More than a century later, similar dramas are still enacted in libraries across the country every day. In some districts, up to 35 percent of patrons have had their borrowing privileges revoked because of unpaid fines. Only these days, it’s librarians themselves who often lament what the Detroit reporter called “a tragedy enacted in this little court of equity.” Now some libraries are deciding that the money isn’t worth the hassle—not only that, but that fining patrons works against everything that public libraries ought to stand for. Read more...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Librarians take up arms against fake news | Jerry Large February 6, 2017

Fact checking | Literacy | Critical reading | Journalism

Tips for spotting fake news in the Upper School library at Lakeside School in north Seattle. (Jerry Large/The Seattle Times)  

Librarians are stepping into the breach to help students become smarter evaluators of the information that floods into their lives. That’s increasingly necessary in an era in which fake news is a constant.


Janelle Hagen is a school librarian whose job goes far beyond checking out books. She and many other librarians are equipping students to fight through lies, distortion and trickery to find their way to truth.

Helping students become smarter evaluators of the information that floods into their lives has become increasingly necessary in an era in which fake news is a constant.

Two University of Washington professors recently announced a new class that will focus on the ways data are misused to mislead the public. Younger students may need guidance even more.

Hagen, the middle-school librarian at Lakeside School in Seattle, said the students she serves are online every day, and they need to be able to figure out what’s trustworthy and what isn’t. Read more...

The History the Slaveholders Wanted Us to Forget | By Henry Louis Gates, J. FEB. 4, 2017

Black History Month

Writing in 1965, the distinguished British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper argued against the idea that black people in Africa had their own history: “There is only the history of the Europeans in Africa,” he declared. “The rest is largely darkness.” History, he continued, “is essentially a form of movement, and purposive movement too,” which in his view Africans lacked.

Trevor-Roper was echoing an idea that goes back at least to the early 19th century. But it wasn’t always this way. When the young Prince Cosimo de Medici (1590-1621) was being tutored to become the Duke of Tuscany — about the time that Shakespeare was writing “Hamlet” — he was asked to memorize a “summary of world leaders” that included Álvaro II, the King of Kongo, along with the Mutapa Empire and the mythical “Prester John” of Ethiopia. Soon, however, even that level of knowledge about African history would be rare.

Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that ideas about Africans and their supposed lack of history and culture were used to justify the enslavement of millions of Africans throughout the New World, especially during the 19th century when sugar production was reaching a zenith in Cuba and cotton was making growers and manufacturers rich. What is surprising is that these ideas persisted well into the 20th century, among white and black Americans alike.

A generation of African leaders who inspired an American schoolboy: from left, Patrice Lumumba and Moïse Tshombe of the Congo; Léopold Senghor of Senegal; and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Credit From left, photographs by Terence Spencer/The Life Images Collection, via Getty Images (both), Agency France-Presse/Getty Images, and Bettmann Archive


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Father-child reading leads to improvements in learning and behavior | Reuters Jan 30, 2017

Reading | Literacy | Parenting | Children's Literature

A reading program designed to help men become better fathers is associated with better parenting skills as well as behavior and learning improvements in kids, a small study has found.
Researchers focused on Head Start centers in New York City, where programs are designed to improve school readiness for children younger than 5.

Researchers randomly assigned 126 families to either participate in a reading-based parenting program with eight weekly sessions or join a control group of people on a waiting list for the program.

Fathers in the parenting program watched videos showing dads reading with children and making exaggerated errors. The men discussed better approaches and were encouraged to practice these strategies when reading at home with their own sons and daughters. Read more...

How Video Games Can Save The World | Jordan Shapiro | Jan 31, 2017

Video games | Diversity | Tolerance | Book Review

The new book, Power Play: How Video Games Can Save The World, by Asi Burak and Laura Parker, was just released. Asi is well known in the game world as the creator of PeaceMaker and the former executive director of Games For Change. For quite a while now, he has been the go-to source for understanding the social impact gaming movement.

In this important book, along with coauthor Laura Parker, Asi maps out the landscape of games with a purpose. But what really struck me is how clearly the book expresses the possibilities that still lie ahead for digital play. When I finished reading it, I was clearly reminded that the video game industry is still in it’s infancy. And I felt a kind of enthusiastic anticipation to see what direction it will go.

I also wanted to talk to Asi about it. So I reached out to him to ask about PeaceMaker, Games For Change, the future of the industry, and how games can make a difference in politically tumultuous times.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IFLA-L] How to Spot Fake News - IFLA in the post-truth society

 Information Literacy | Fact-checking |Critical Thinking | Media literacy

IFLA-L] How to Spot Fake News - IFLA in the post-truth society

How To Spot Fake News

With Wikipedia’s #1lib1ref (One Librarian, One Reference) campaign going on – the theme of last week being fake news – IFLA posted an How to Spot Fake News infographic on facebook and twitter. We also published a blog about the topic, exploring some of the ways libraries help battle alternative facts and fake news.

Discussions about fake news has led to a new focus on media literacy more broadly, and the role of libraries and other education institutions in providing this. When Oxford Dictionaries announce post-truth is Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realise action is needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking – a crucial skill when navigating the information society.

The fake news infographic shows eight simple steps (based on’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News) to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you. Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and in social media networks. The more we crowdsource or wisdom, the wiser the world becomes.
If you want to make a translation of the infographic to your language,  please contact Karolina Andersdotter or Evgeni Hristov at IFLA Headquarters for an editable version of the infographic. We currently have translations in these languages pending, soon to be published on the IFLA website: Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish – do feel free to add to this list! :-)


Karolina Andersdotter
Policy and Advocacy Assistant, IFLA
IFLA Headquarters
P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague

Tel. 00 31 (0)70 314 0756

How to Build an Autocracy | David Frum "The Atlantic" March 2017

Democracy | Activism | Advocacy

The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism.


It’s 2021, and President Donald Trump will shortly be sworn in for his second term. The 45th president has visibly aged over the past four years. He rests heavily on his daughter Ivanka’s arm during his infrequent public appearances.

Fortunately for him, he did not need to campaign hard for reelection. His has been a popular presidency: Big tax cuts, big spending, and big deficits have worked their familiar expansive magic. Wages have grown strongly in the Trump years, especially for men without a college degree, even if rising inflation is beginning to bite into the gains. The president’s supporters credit his restrictive immigration policies and his TrumpWorks infrastructure program. Read article

Listen to the audio version of this article:

It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance | Erica Chenoweth

Civil disobedience | Democracy | Human rights

The United States has a rich history with effective uses of nonviolent resistance. It’s time to become familiar with it

Nonviolent resistance works not by melting the heart of the opponent but by constraining their options.’

Many people across the United States are despondent about the new president – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance.

Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find training manuals, strategy-building tools, facilitation guides and documentation about successes and mistakes of past nonviolent campaigns.

Material is available in many formats, including graphic novels, e-classes, films and documentaries, scholarly books, novels, websites, research monographs, research inventories, and children’s books. And of course, the world is full of experienced activists with wisdom to share. Read more...

[IFLA-L] Open Societies are Healthy Societies: IFLA rejects unjustified barriers to the free movement of persons | 1st February 2017

Open Societies are Healthy Societies

Libraries are at the heart of healthy societies. By bringing people together – students, researchers, creators, citizens – they support learning, sharing, and the creation of new ideas.

They also support the delivery of key human rights, as set out both in national constitutions and international conventions, most importantly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: freedom of expression and access to information, as well as the right to participate in cultural life and enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.

Libraries have long supported the flow of ideas and information across borders. IFLA has called for reforms to laws that hold this back. Evidence shows that such flows promote innovation and creativity, which in turn drives growth, jobs and equality everywhere.

However, arbitrary and unjustified barriers to the movement of people jeopardise this situation. Such policies run contrary to states’ obligations under international law, which prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, as set out in the UN’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The International Migration Convention also provides the right to temporary absence from the country of residence, a right which can be undermined by barriers to re-entry.

IFLA condemns such policies, wherever they take place in the world.  The recent Executive Order issued by US President Trump temporarily barring entry into the United States by individuals from seven countries is one such policy.

This policy will affect students, workers and academics, families and children. All use libraries to generate new ideas and perspectives which will benefit social, economic and cultural life.  

The policy also adversely affects refugees fleeing extreme poverty, persecution and conflict. Libraries’ doors are open to help them find support and encouragement to learn the language and develop the skills needed to find their place. Focusing on successful integration, rather than rejection, will produce the scholars, artists, workers and engaged citizens of tomorrow.

History has demonstrated that openness and exchange make countries great. We call on governments, for the sake of the future, to protect these principles.