Librarians, intellectual freedom and the age of misinformation

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Traditionally one of the main tenets of librarianship is a commitment to neutrality and intellectual freedom. Librarians help source resources but it's up to users themselves to interpret, weigh and make their own conclusions. laptop, phone, and clipboardIn the internet age, with so much information available at the click of a few buttons, one of the roles modern librarians play in the research cycle is teaching students and researchers information literacy so they become proficient in navigating today's complex information ecosystem. 

However, with the recent rise of fake news and misinformation, expertise in navigating information has become even more complicated. University of Waterloo librarians Kate Mercer (PhD) and Kari Weaver (EdD), and Pharmacy alum Khrystine Waked (PharmD) considered this changing information landscape and how it could impact the responsibilities of a librarian in the recently published article, "Navigating complex authorities: Intellectual freedom, information literacy and truth in pandemic STEM information." Using the context of the pandemic and information about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, they present an illustrative case study to "demonstrate how modern scientific information sharing is shaped by the ways in which misinformation and fake news spread." Read the full article in the IFLA Journal

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