Anna Gooding-Call is a reference librarian at the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen, Massachusetts, where she focuses on digital literacy. She’s interested in closing the gap between those who have easy access to information and those who don’t. It’s important work because today, to be an involved citizen and an informed voter, you need access to information. Lots of information. Lots of different kinds of information from different sources.
That’s because librarians like Anna know that if you depend only on the circular information bubble, or feedback loop, of conventional wisdom—or your Facebook or Twitter feed—what you’re getting is “belief,” which is another word for what you choose to accept as fact and what you do not.
This is very important because it gets at the unique role libraries are playing, or should play, in our arguments these days over what is true and what is belief. Anna recently wrote a piece for Foreword Reviews that captures this dilemma among librarians. She came to the conclusion that, Yes, Libraries Can Fight ‘Alternative Facts’ While Still Welcoming All Points of View.
In this except from our IndieVoices podcast, Anna and I talk about how librarians are dealing with the plague of “alternative facts.”
Howard Lovy is executive editor at Foreword Reviews. You can follow him on Twitter @Howard_Lovy