As we continue to stay at home, continue to provide remote programming, and continue to miss large family gatherings, this month’s post from the Intellectual Freedom Committee provides some picture books to help us take a step back and breathe a little.
Educating children to be knowledgeable and excited about taking part in elections and governing is an important first step toward an informed electorate. The information literacy required to make crucial decisions is an essential element of intellectual freedom, and libraries have an important role to play.
Incorporating information literacy in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming in a fun and engaging manner is an essential part of encouraging responsible digital citizenship and inspiring children to think about thinking.
Since switching over to working as an academic librarian at a community college, there’s a lot of focus on information literacy. It got me thinking, as a parent who has struggled to navigate parenting information, about ways that we can make that accessible to parents. For instance, while I was a children’s librarian, I felt it was important to address the vaccine issue by hosting a panel of health experts and discussing it with parents from an information/health literacy perspective. I made these two comics that cover some basic information literacy concepts. Hopefully, they are useful to your patrons, especially as people are navigating COVID-19 information. To read Michael Caufield’s ebook, click here. Lisa Nowlain is an artist and librarian. After working as a youth librarian at Darien Library and Nevada County Community Library, she now works at Sierra College as part-time faculty in the library.
Incorporating intellectual freedom into outreach in a fun and engaging manner is an essential component of bringing our core values into the community, and bringing the library beyond its physical borders. Some of the tips listed below can be applied broadly to all types of outreach and communication/collaboration with outside agencies and organizations.
Information literacy can add new dimension to outreach programs.
Banned Books Week, our annual celebration of our right to read, think and speak as we wish, has been around since 1982. Every September, we put up displays of books that have been banned or challenged, and remind our patrons that they have the Constitutionally guaranteed right to read them. It’s a great idea, and a noble effort. But is it enough? Let’s take a moment to think about what access to ideas and information means in the age of advanced technology, social media and rampant misinformation.
Does anyone remember the Spaghetti Harvest? Or the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus? These were early (and wacky) examples of media hoaxes. They became staples of information literacy instruction for many educators, because they illustrated how convincing even the most bizarre information can seem when it’s presented as fact. Today these scams seem benign and quaint.