This review, by Credo’s Henrietta Verma, appeared in the August 20, 2018 edition of Booklist Online. For more on fighting disinformation, see Verma’s review of Michelle Luhtala and Jacquelyn Whiting’s News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News and the Know News report mentioned below.
This primer by Cooke (Information Services to Diverse Populations, 2016) prepares librarians to take advantage of what the author notes is a prime opportunity. The ubiquity of fabricated news and the public’s new awareness of it can be used, she notes, to promote the importance of media literacy and librarians’ related expertise. The report provides clear overviews of related topics such as the public overconfidence in internet use, emotional aspects of news consumption, and critical evaluation of information with regard to the producer’s power; it also offers a clear lesson plan for a media-literacy class and links to further such resources. Cooke helpfully emphasizes the uncertainty of what anyone knows about how disinformation works and discusses not only deceptive acts but also how the business practices of legitimate sources have led to our current, muddled environment. Both public and academic librarians can benefit from this work. Cooke’s lengthy bibliography will assist those who wish to delve deeper; these users will also appreciate Simmons College’s recent white paper “Know News: Understanding and Engaging with Mis- and Disinformation.”
Do you teach about disinformation? Please let us know in the comments about any tips you have for other librarians, as well as any resources you recommend. And be sure to join us in the InfoLit Learning Community, where you can find our latest free webinars, discussion area, and IL resources Already a member? Log in here!