Library Instruction West 2020
Seattle, Washington
July 22-24
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Friday, July 24 • 9:30am - 10:45am
Con-structions of Reality: Combating the Alienating Effects of Misinformation & “Fake News”

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As educators of information literacy we are in a unique position to empower library patrons to resist the exploitative effects of misinformation campaigns and “fake news”. Considerable research in LIS, media studies, and psychology has been done on the phenomena of misinformation and its obfuscating effects on our population’s grip on what’s “real”.  Collectively, the research has revealed that consumers of “fake news” or misinformation are constructing belief systems that (sometimes intentionally) ignore factual information. Their distorted perceptions of reality make them increasingly – and alarmingly – reliant on their “beliefs” in determining what information is true or false.

This session analyses the interrelations between the disciplinary perspectives listed above through a Marxian lens in an effort to identify key areas where librarians can intervene in the increasingly problematic phenomena of “fake news” and misinformation. Additionally, this session exposes the exploitative mechanisms of “fake news” and misinformation so that librarians are better equipped to impart this knowledge in their teaching practices.

Marxist philosophy is a useful tool to analyze this issue because it is preoccupied with how systems of beliefs (ideologies) are utilized by dominant cultures to exploit subaltern groups (i.e. marginalized groups). Additionally, it helps explain how informational institutions support the complacency of exploited individuals, by distorting their perception of the conditions of their real material existence (or what actually is).This aids our identification of the forces of obfuscation embedded in “fake news” so that we may expose and resist them.

avatar for Michael Carrigan

Michael Carrigan

Reference & Instructional Librarian, Web Projects, Vancouver Island University
Michael is a reference and instructional librarian at Vancouver Island University, located on traditional Coast Salish territory. He relocated to Costa Rica immediately after graduating library school in 2016, where he taught corporate ESL, and 6th grade English literature and math... Read More →

Friday July 24, 2020 9:30am - 10:45am AST
HUB 332 (Seats 120)

Attendees (1)