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The Fake News Phenomenon--An Opportunity for the Library Community to Make a Splash?

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When media coverage of the fake news phenomenon blew up in the waning months of 2016, many were taken by surprise. I suspect, however, that most librarians had thoughts similar to mine: “Wait a minute! This is about information literacy. I’ve been rolling that rock up the hill my entire career.” While the idea of individuals forming opinions and making decisions on the basis of misinformation is discouraging, the furor over fake news represents an opportunity for the library community to show some leadership and, as difficult as the challenge may be, take meaningful action to help people become more savvy users of information. Before considering what actions the library community might take, though, it is important to understand the nuances of the problem.

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