Information is everywhere, bombarding us from all angles. With that influx of information comes great responsibility to weed out the good from the bad, to consume and share information responsibly and ethically. But it’s not always easy! This week is the United States Media Literacy Week (https://medialiteracyweek.us/about/theme/evaluate/) and the focus of today is Evaluation. Evaluation of information is a key component in both media and information literacy, and one that grows in importance as misinformation finds its way to our screens. The Elihu Burritt Library is doing a lot to help students learn how to evaluate the barrage of information that greets them each day. Libraries are wonderful places to go for access to reliable, credible information through sources that have already been vetted by professionals in the field, as well as librarians who work hard to help patrons navigate a tricky information landscape to find what they need. Libraries provide access to information; librarians provide the knowledge needed to critique and use that information.
In addition to reference help, our one-shot, and our embedded information literacy sessions with classes, where we teach students how to be critical of information they find, we are also running our second annual “Research on the Run” workshops throughout the fall semester, with an emphasis on finding and evaluating credible material. Our “Database Dashes” provide quick, 15-minute overviews of some popular databases that provide vetted material and get students off Google and into the databases. Our Evaluation Events focus on different aspects of evaluation through short video tutorials, including one on Lateral Reading, a newer technique used to evaluate websites. Lateral reading gets the user to verify a source by getting them off the website in question, evaluating its credibility by looking at what other sources say about the website itself. Through these different offerings, we hope to continue providing tools to students to help them escape the trap of misinformation and give them confidence to find sources that are trustworthy and appropriate for research. To learn more about our Research on the Run events, visit our guide at https://libguides.ccsu.edu/ResearchOnTheRun.