CHICAGO — Five public libraries have been selected to participate in Media Literacy @ Your Library, a pilot program that will train library workers to help their adult patrons become better news consumers, The American Library Association (ALA) and the Center for News Literacy @ Stony Brook University announced.
The Media Literacy @ Your Library cohort members are:
- Skokie Public Library (Illinois)
- Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (Huntsville, Alabama)
- Estes Valley Library (Estes Park, Colorado)
- Auburn Public Library (Maine)
- San Diego Public Library (California)
In this six-month learning and prototyping project, ALA and the Center for News Literacy will work with library teams to adapt existing media literacy training materials to serve the needs of public librarians and the communities they serve.
The cohort teams will attend an in-person training and use their skills to conduct related adult public programs in their communities. Team members will also provide feedback on the training and serve as advisers to, and beta testers for, the development of a corresponding web-based curriculum for the library field.
In addition to six months of training and support, the libraries — selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process — will receive $1,500 for program-related expenses and lodging and meals for the workshop in Chicago.
Media Literacy @ Your Library is supported by the Knight Prototype Fund on accurate information, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation, which aimed to address concerns about the spread of misinformation and build trust in news.
“As trusted information hubs, libraries have a major role to play in helping to curb the spread of false news. These five libraries will help give rise to more informed media consumers, while creating lessons for others who are working to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our day,” said Chris Barr, Knight Foundation, director for technology innovation.
The project is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
About the Center for News Literacy
Housed within the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, the Center for News Literacy is the only university-level Center in the United States researching and creating the curriculum and concepts for teaching students how to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television, radio, the internet, or social media. Over 15,000 students have benefited from the Center’s work nationally and abroad. The Center’s animating principle is that the ability of a nation’s citizens to judge the reliability and credibility of information will be a leading indicator of the public health of civil societies.
About Democracy Fund
The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.
About the Rita Allen Foundation
The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. Throughout its work, the Foundation embraces collaboration, creativity, learning and leadership. For more information, visit ritaallen.org.