Information Literacy

Outbreak Support: Student & Faculty Services Pages

As classes have moved from face-to-face to online, our librarians have been working to put together resources for students and faculty. Please visit this pages:

Library online services remain open! 

  • Librarians are answering questions via chat, email and text during hours of operation
  • Librarians are ready to work with students in online courses! 
  • The online library is open 24/7 with 1000s of ebooks, articles, and online video. 
  • The Library’s social media accounts will be sharing resources. Follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube

National News Literacy Week

With so much talk about “fake news”, how do you know what’s real and what’s fake? The best way is to polish up your critical thinking muscles and learn some news literacy skills!

January 27th – 31st is National News Literacy Week, a joint effort from the News Literacy Project (NLP) and the E.W. Scripps Company. The goal is to increase awareness of news literacy as a life skill and to promote the importance of a free press in a democratic society.

How can you tell if you’re news-literate? Take the quiz or Get Smart About the News with some of NLP’s other resources.

Want to get better at spotting fake news and bad information? Learn a new media skill: lateral reading. Watch the video to learn more:

Librarians are always ready to help you figure out fact from fiction. Stop in at the library, call, text, or chat with us to get help!

I’m GLAD I Can Evaluate Science News

Despite my love of all things science, I’m often frustrated by how scientific discoveries get reported to the public. Studies are often oversimplified, misrepresented, blown out of proportion, or taken out of context to encourage readers to click on a headline. And since science influences so much of our lives, misinformation can be dangerous.

Okay, so you want to be well informed about new scientific discoveries and how they might impact you, but you don’t want to read a bunch of sciencey research papers every day. How can you know the news stories you’re reading are accurate? Well, the best way is to be like a scientist and discover the truth for yourself!

Above the Noise developed the GLAD criteria to help determine if a science news article is trustworthy or not:

  • Get past the clickbait
  • Look out for crazy claims
  • Analyze sources
  • Determine outside expert opinions

Check out the video to learn more:

Want to go further down the rabbit hole of science news reporting?

This bunny knows the importance of accurate and trustworthy science reporting.

If you’d like help identifying good sources of science news, you should ask a librarian!

The Future of News in Chicagoland

Are we watching the final death knell of news in Chicago? We have already witnessed the collapse of suburban papers, and, now, we may be witnessing the end of the Chicago Tribune. The Trib has been a regional leader but in recent decades, it has been fighting to stay alive.

Now two veteran reporters from the Tribune, David Jackson and Gary Marx, are sounding an alarm with an op-ed they wrote in the New York Time. You can read it here, “Will The Chicago Tribune Be the Next Newspaper Picked to the Bone?”

They note that the hedge fund Alden Global Capital is now the Tribune‘s largest shareholder. Alden is famous for buying news groups and stripping them down for profit. Jackson and Marx note,

“Alden’s strategy of acquiring struggling local newsrooms and stripping them of assets has built the personal wealth of the hedge fund’s investors. But Alden has imposed draconian staff cuts that decimated The Denver Post and other once-proud newspapers that have been vital to their communities and to American democracy. Those newsrooms, which put a spotlight on local political corruption, have served as forums for community voices and have driven the coverage of regional television, radio and online outlets…”

They continue,

“The alternative is a ghost version of The Chicago Tribune — a newspaper that can no longer carry out its essential watchdog mission. Illinois’s most vulnerable people would lose a powerful guardian, its corrupt politicians would be freer to exploit and plunder, and this prairie metropolis would lose the common forum that binds together and lifts its citizens.”

You can read the entire editorial in the MVCC Library’s New York Times database.

Climate Change and the Mechanics of Skepticism: How Can we KNOW Better? (video)

To some, climate change is a simple scientific question to be answered with data while to others climate change is a misguided hoax that could cost our country jobs and hurt out economy. The question is why do some people end up on one side of this debate and others end up on the other? This talk by Librarian Troy Swanson will focus on climate change but also ask participants to think about how they make decisions about other charged topics. What processes are at work and how can we step in and make better decisions? This event is part of MVCC’s Earth Month Celebration. ?

Climate Change and the Mechanics of Skepticism: How Can we KNOW Better?

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Happy #FactCheckingDay !

April 1st is April Fools Day but April 2nd is Fact Checking Day!

This article by Poynter discusses the importance of recognizing fact checking, “Don’t be fooled: Third annual International Fact-Checking Day empowers citizens around the world to sort fact from fiction.”

You may want to check out EduCheck Map that lists all kinds of resources related to fact checking.

If you want to brush up on your digital information, watch this series on Navigating Digital Information:

 

“Knowing Keeps us Free:” Washington Post Super Bowl spot

There have been many complaints about the boring commercials during last night’s Super Bowl, but for many of us, one commercial stood out among the rest. This was the spot from the Washington Post (narrated by Tom Hanks) that highlights the importance of journalism in a free democracy. It included images of reporters who have been killed over the last few years including Jamal Khashoggi, who is alleged to have been killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last year.

Here’s an article about the images and people highlighted in the spot, “The Washington Post airs its first Super Bown spot.”

Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness
Because knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free. For more than 140 years The Washington Post has been a key part of democracy, holding government accountable and safeguarding the interests of readers.

The Bottomless Pinocchio, Misinformation, and the Fight for Truth

Since yesterday’s post about the War on Truth, a few more items have come our way.

First, the Washington Post’s fact-checkers have introduced a new category called “the Bottomless Pinocchio” for constantly repeated false claims. Take a look a the video below or visit this article,
“Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again”.

Second, the first episode of the (Mis)Informed Podcast has been released. This focuses on fact-checking political sources. You can listen at the player below or read more here, “(Mis)informed podcast: Who is fact-checking actually for?”

The Botomless Pinocchio:

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(Mis)Informed Podcast:

The War on Truth! Defending Free & Open Journalism

Librarians and journalists share many values. Namely, the belief that free and open information is vital to democracy and an open society. This week a few, year-end announcements from our colleagues in the world of journalism were made that should be highlighted.

First, Time magazine announced that their person (people) of the year is “the Guardians and the War on Truth.”
The video pasted below outlines those involved.

Second, PolitiFact announced their “Lie of the Year” which is the online smear machine trying to take down Parkland students.
Finally, PolitiFact also released “Trump’s 10 top falsehood of 2018” which offers an interesting perspective into our current political landscape.

Here’s the video from Time:

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night…and They are Selling It

You are being watched!!

The New York Times has a great interactive piece online today that details ways that your apps are tracking you and then selling your location data to advertisers. The level of detail is frightening. You can find the story here:  Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

You can learn more about the background to this story on the podcast “The Daily” here:

The Business of Selling Your Location
Smartphone apps track a staggering amount of data about our whereabouts every day. That data has become a hot commodity.
“A New York Times investigation has found that the information being collected about us through apps on our smartphones is far more extensive than most of us imagine — or are aware we have consented to.”

If you want to better control what your apps know about you check out: How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location. 

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