ALA Annual Conference 2023

Learning Session on Fighting Misinformation at #alaac23

After a full day in the Library Marketplace on Saturday, I started Sunday with a session, “Birds Aren’t Real: How Students Can Work Against Misinformation” by Robbie Barber, an electrical engineer turned teacher librarian from Georgia. She shared how this satirical conspiracy theory came to be, and how we can use it to teach our students to be wiser consumers of information. (Dr. Barber shared her slides here:

Slide from Robbie Barber's ALAAC23 "Learning Session on Fighting Misinformation at #alaac23"

This fits in so well with the work of all types of librarians, whether at a K-12 school, college, or public library. I think I’m pretty savvy about this sort of thing, so I’m embarrassed that I fell for some photographic misinformation (shared on slides 16-17). Especially since a few years ago, I completed a MOOC on the topic called The Camera Never Lies – maybe I need to take it again as a refresher course!

It’s so easy to be tricked or manipulated, so I appreciate the resources Dr. Barber put together on the topic. I look forward to sharing them with my school’s ELA and social studies teachers, and even upper-elementary students in a digital citizenship unit of my own.

Today’s guest post was written by Dr. Christine Sturgeon (she/her/hers). Christine has been working in school libraries for 42 years, getting her start as a volunteer in her elementary school library (or, if you want to be pedantic, 12 years as a licensed educator – BA, 2009, MLS, 2011, PhD, 2020). You can read about Christine’s libraries in articles she co-wrote in the Winter 2021 YALS special issue on student voice and the March/April 2023 School Library Connections. She’s the district teacher librarian for Fort Dodge (Iowa) Community School District, where her best days are spent doing preschool storytime.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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