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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Library Technology Reports, November/December 2017 (53:8)

The issue of fake news has become very prominent in recent months. Its power to mislead and misinform has been made evident around the world. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 8), “Combating Fake News in the Digital Age,” explores fake news—its history, how it is shared, the technology that has enhanced its reach, the technology that can help combat it, and the practical steps we can take to help our patrons discern fact from fiction. While fake news is not a new phenomenon, the means by which it is spread has changed in both speed and magnitude. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fertile ground for the spread of fake news. Algorithms known as bots are increasingly being deployed to manipulate information, to disrupt social media communication, and to gain user attention.

While technological assistance to identify fake news are beginning to appear, they are in their infancy. It will take time for programmers to create software that can recognize and tag fake news without human intervention. Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves from fake news. It is essential to teach ourselves and our students and patrons to be critical consumers of news. This issue of Library Technology Reports is for librarians who serve all age levels and who can help by teaching users both that they need to be aware and how to be aware of fake news. Library instruction in how to avoid fake news, how to identify fake news, and how to stop fake news will be essential.

Chapter 1: A History of Fake News

Chapter 2: How Fake News Spreads

Chapter 3: Can Technology Save Us?

Chapter 4: Can We Save Ourselves?

Chapter 5: How Can We Help Our Students?

Joanna M. Burkhardt

Joanna M. Burkhardt is Full Professor/Librarian at the University of Rhode Island Libraries. She is Director of the branch libraries in Providence and Narragansett and the URI Libraries Collection Development Manager. She earned an MA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and an MLS from the University of Rhode Island. She has taught information literacy to both students and teachers since 1999. She has given workshops, presentations, podcasts, keynote addresses, and panel discussions about information literacy. She is coauthor or author of four books about information literacy. She addressed the topic of fake news at the ALA Annual Conference in 2017 and designed a poster and bookmark on that topic for ALA Graphics.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication here.