Information Literacy and Libraries in the Age of Fake News

Oct. 2018. 184p. ed. by Agosto, Denise E., ed. index. notes. pap. $65. ISBN 9781440864186.
Agosto (director, Master of Library & Information Science program, Drexel University; Urban Teens in the Library) presents a collection of 13 essays on information literacy in an age in which unreliable or false data circulates quickly. The contributors, mostly academic, school, and public librarians, tackle a range of topics, including history, critical thinking, economic inequality, intellectual freedom, media literacy, and more. Reflecting the complexity of the subject, the writers define “fake news” in different ways and have divergent opinions on how to combat it—readers may feel as though they’re attending an animated conference panel. For instance, a chapter on the importance of not censoring fake news emphasizes how honing information literacy skills can prepare patrons to evaluate texts for themselves, while the following section argues that these sources shouldn’t be afforded the same protections as other forms of speech.
VERDICT This engaging and intellectually stimulating read is highly recommended for all librarians as well as those interested in exploring the issue of fake news.–Melissa Engleman, University of Tennessee at Martin

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