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Fake news: has it changed UK academic librarians’ ideas about teaching Information Literacy?

Thorpe, C. & Webber, S. (2020). Fake news: has it changed UK academic librarians’ ideas about teaching Information Literacy?. Paper presented at the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) 2021, 20 -23 Sep 2021, Online.


This paper presents findings from a qualitative research study investigating librarians’ views about the impact that fake news had on their conceptions of Information Literacy (IL) and on their pedagogic practice. Writers such as Cooke (2018) assert that librarians are best placed to tackle the problem of fake news, with librarians positioned as having a civic duty to respond to the fake news discourse (Batchelor, 2017: p.143). However, Fontanin’s (2019) analysis of official policy documents identified that libraries and librarians were not seen by others as having a significant role. Library literature is also primarily focused on librarians’ role in educating users to avoid fake news, rather than on wider policy issues (Fontanin, 2019: 232). Rochlin (2017) comments on the need for the library profession to engage in dialogue about fake news, and this research responded to this, by surfacing librarians’ perceptions. Semi-structured interviews with seven librarians at a university in the United Kingdom were undertaken in 2018. The interviews, which averaged 43 minutes, were audio recorded, transcribed, and analysed thematically.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources
Departments: Professional Services > Library Services
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