Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences

Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences: A project of the American Library Association

Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences, a 16-month project of the American Library Association (ALA), helps libraries respond to the need for adult media literacy training in their communities through the creation and distribution of a suite of free library resources.

See the project advisors.

Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant LG-13-19-0089-19.

    Resources for library workers

    The ALA Public Programs Office has compiled the following resources to help library workers address media literacy through their programming and other interactions with library questions. Questions? Email

    Media Literacy in the Library Series (Adults)

    Media Literacy in the Library: A Guide for Library PractitionersPractitioners' Guide (free download with strategies for library staff >>>>)

    Practitioner Webinars

    Strategic Report

    Additional Resources for Adults

    Additional Resources for Teens/Children


    With advising from 30 thought leaders from libraries and related sectors, Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences seeks to:

    • Consider the scope of current media literacy efforts and research;
    • Identify areas for collaboration between librarians, journalists, researchers and adult educators; and
    • Develop strategies to address gaps in current adult services and staff training in libraries

    The American Library Association (ALA) is grateful to the following individuals for their guidance and participation as National Advisors to the Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences project.

    Jimmeka AndersonJimmeka Anderson is a doctoral student in the Curriculum Instruction Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a research focus on critical digital media literacy education. She received her master's degree in Educational Media with a focus on New Media Literacies and Global Perspectives at Appalachian State University. While serving as the founder and executive director of I AM not the Media, Inc. for eight years, she has developed curriculum and award-winning community programs that empower youth through media literacy and media creation.

    Additionally, Jimmeka is the Chapter Lead for North Carolina for Media Literacy Now, the creator of the Teen Media Literacy Conference in Charlotte, NC and serves on the Leadership Council for the National Association of Media Literacy Education. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Jimmeka worked as a library outreach coordinator for ten years at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and for the past three years has served as a course instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting where she teaches adult students courses in Media Literacy, Media Ethics and New Media. .

    Spencer BraytonSpencer Brayton is library manager at Waubonsee Community College (Sugar Grove, IL and Aurora, IL) where he works to support library services, operations, strategic planning and growth of the college libraries. Spencer holds an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MS in Management from the University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL). Spencer’s research interests focus on the convergence of media literacy and information literacy. Together with Natasha Casey, he has co-authored several articles in this area. He has presented at and/or served in various capacities for the following organizations: National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Canadian Association of Academic Librarians (CAPAL), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Critical Media Literacy Conference, International Media Literacy Research Symposium and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). He maintains a website and blog, “Converging Spaces”.
    Joel Breakstone
    Joel Breakstone directs the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG), a research and development group in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. He leads SHEG’s efforts to research, develop and disseminate free curriculum and assessments. Over the course of the last decade, SHEG’s Reading Like a Historian curriculum and Beyond the Bubble assessments have logged more than seven million downloads. More recently, SHEG has conducted research on how young people evaluate online information. This work has been featured in outlets ranging from TIME to The Wall Street Journal. SHEG’s assessments of Civic Online Reasoning are freely available for educators to use with students. A new Civic Online Reasoning website with dozens of new lessons and assessments will launch later this fall. Before completing his PhD at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, Joel taught high school history in Vermont.

    Len BryanLen Bryan currently serves as the library technical systems manager for Denver Public Schools, where he leads the District technical services team in providing access to library resources, including books, eBooks, databases and the OPAC. He is the former district media specialist in Hillsboro School District in Oregon, where he was responsible for innovation in the district and campus media center programs for 35 campuses and 20,000 students. He is also the former school program coordinator for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In Texas, he was primarily responsible for the successful development and implementation of the TexQuest K-12 digital resources program, and was also responsible for the Agency’s involvement in school library standards and school librarian certification.

    Len has served as a middle school and high school librarian for just over five years. Before becoming a librarian, he taught English and coached girls’ athletics at the middle school and high school levels in several districts in Texas and Louisiana for over a decade.

    Monica BulgerMonica Bulger is a senior fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum. Her work includes studying privacy trade-offs regarding student data use; curating and developing student privacy training resources for K-12 schools; weighing in on student privacy news and developments; and surveying the priorities and needs of parents, teachers, FPF Advisory Board members, and other stakeholders. Monica’s recent publications include The Promises, Challenges, and Futures of Media Literacy (2018), The Legacy of inBloom (2017), Where Policy and Practice Collide: Comparing United States, South Africa, and European Union Approaches to Protecting Children Online (2017) and Personalized Learning: The Conversations We’re Not Having (2016).

    Monica recently developed a twelve-part media literacy series aimed at teens for Crash Course on YouTube. She co-authors the Student Data Privacy, Equity and Digital Literacy newsletter with the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She regularly convenes discussions among policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists and educators about issues affecting youth rights, such as privacy, online safety and media literacy.

    Kristen CalvertKristen Calvert manages the Literature, Language and Religion division for Dallas Public Library, in Dallas, TX. She works as a public services manager, specifically with urban adult populations at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. Kristen just finished opening the Story Center, a makerspace that is designed to help people share their stories and disseminate information digitally.

    She holds an MSLIS from Florida State University and a BS in advertising and business administration from the University of Florida. Kristen moved from Florida to Texas a little over a year ago with her cat, Bailey. Both Kristen and Bailey are loving their life as Texans.

    Natasha CaseyNatasha Casey is associate professor of communications at Blackburn College (Carlinville, Illinois) where she teaches media and information literacy, communication theory, and other courses in the English and Communications department. She holds a PhD in communication studies from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec). Her research interests include critical race theory and critical media and information literacy. Her most recent publications with co-author Spencer Brayton include, Reflections on Adopting a Critical Media and Information Literacy Pedagogy (Credit-bearing Information Literacy Courses: Critical Approaches, ACRL Press, 2019) and Not Tolerating Intolerance: Unpacking Critical Pedagogy in Classrooms and Conferences, (Libraries Promoting Reflective Dialogue in a Time of Political Polarization, ACRL Press, 2019). Her most recent conference presentations include the National Communication Association, National Association for Media Literacy Education, International Critical Media Literacy Conference, International Media Literacy Research Symposium, Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians, Media Education Summit, and the American Conference for Irish Studies. She currently serves on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Media Literacy Education and is on the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s leadership council. Her media and information literacy blog, "No Silos".

    Min ChouMin Chou is an associate professor/web coordinator at New Jersey City University (NJCU) Library. Prior to that, she worked at the Brooklyn Public Library and the law library of White and Case in New York. Her research interests include library value and impact in a technological age, digital humanities, information and media literacy, copyright and licensing as applied to libraries and higher education. Min has published papers and presented at local, national and international conferences. Currently, she is the chair of the IFLA Information Literacy Standing Committee.

    Min received her EdD in educational technology leadership from NJCU, MLS in library and information science from Pratt Institute, MA in music education from NJCU, and BA in English from Fudan University. In addition, she was selected to the 2010 class of Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.


    Leah ClapmanLeah Clapman is the managing editor and founder of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL), a video journalism program in high schools across the country. SRL is in over 150 schools in 46 states and partners with social platforms and media organizations like Snapchat, Instagram and Teen Vogue to build audience and visibility for student video journalism. Leah oversees the NewsHour’s Education product development including NewsHour Extra resources for teachers. She graduated from Princeton University and lives in Washington, DC with her husband, a high school history teacher, two teenagers, two cats, two fish and a puppy.

    Amber CongerAmber Conger has served as the director of Kershaw County Library in Camden, SC since 2015. Amber was named the 2018 Outstanding Librarian by the South Carolina Library Association and received the 2018 University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences Alumni Innovator's Award. Amber was elected as the 2017 President of the SC Library Association after leading on the Board of Directors since 2011. She was selected as an Emerging Leader of the American Library Association (ALA) in 2014, and currently serves in various capacities with organizations including ALA, the SC LENDS Consortium Executive Board, the SC Association of Public Library Administrators and Rotary Club. Amber's professional interests include supporting the professional growth and leadership development of library colleagues and strengthening rural libraries and communities. . 

    Nicole CookeNicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an associate professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, fake news consumption and resistance, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship. Nicole was awarded the 2016 ALA Equality Award, and she was presented with the 2017 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, presented by the Office for Diversity and Literacy Outreach Services. She has also been honored as the Illinois Library Association’s 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award winner in recognition of her work in combating online hate and bullying in LIS, and she was selected as the Association for Library and Information Science Education's 2019 Excellence in Teaching award winner. Nicole has published numerous articles and book chapters. Her latest books are “Information Services to Diverse Populations” (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and “Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era" (ALA Editions. 2018).


    Belinha De AbreuBelinha S. De Abreu, Ph.D., is an International media literacy educator in the United States working both in K-12 education and at the collegiate level. She previously served as an International Expert to the Forum on Media & Information Literacy for UNESCO’s Communication & Information Section. Her research interests include media and information literacy education, educational technology, global perspectives, critical thinking, privacy & big data, digital citizenship and teacher training. Belinha serves as the vice president for the National Telemedia Council (NTC). She is also a board member of the Leadership Council for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and was the 2019 Conference Chair. She is the author of Teaching Media Literacy (ALA: Neal-Schumann, 2019), Mobile Learning through Digital Media Literacy (Peter Lang, 2017) and Media Literacy, Social Networking and the Web 2.0 World for the K–12 Educator (Peter Lang, 2011). She has also authored/co-edited The International Handbook for Media Literacy Education (Routledge, 2017) among other works. She is the founder of the International Media Literacy Research Symposium (IMLRS) that has been held both in the United States and Portugal.


    Dawn EmsellemDawn Emsellem is director of Library Services at Salve Regina University’s McKillop Library in Newport, RI. She serves as chair of the board of directors of the HELIN academic library consortium, secretary of the Consortium of Rhode Island Academic and Research Libraries and has also co-chaired the Rhode Island Library Association’s Annual Conference Committee and ACRL, New England Chapter’s Information Technology Interest Group. Work with all these groups has increased her interest in cross-library collaboration in state and regional library networks, especially related to professional development and information literacy. As a practicing research and instruction librarian, she also has developed activities around news literacy, including Fact Check Boot Camp, co-facilitated with the editorial board of Salve Regina’s student newspaper with the participation of more than 40 students, and a class to front-line addiction treatment professionals on evaluating information online. She earned her MSLIS from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Co-authored publications include chapters on evaluating social media sources and using the library as a case in project-based learning about sustainability. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband, three sons, two cats, two lizards, and 20 fish.


    Miguel FigueroaMiguel Figueroa works at the Center for the Future of Libraries, an initiative from the American Library Association (ALA). He has previously held positions at the American Theological Library Association; ALA’s Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services; NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library; and Neal-Schuman Publishers. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, an initiative that examines library issues from Hispanic and Native American perspectives.


    Amber HayesAmber Hayes is a former ESOL teacher and has experience working with adult learners and international audiences. She is the outreach and communications program officer within ODLOS (Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services) of the American Library Association. She coordinates communications for ODLOS and works with members to develop and promote outreach materials. She is also the staff liaison to the Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK); Serving Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons Sub-Committee (SRIDP); the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS); and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).


    Shawn HealyShawn Healy, PhD, leads the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Democracy Program which seeks to strengthen democracy in Illinois through informed and engaged citizens and communities, vigorous and independent journalism and responsive systems of government.

    Shawn chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education in 2014 and later led the separate legislative campaigns for a required civics course in Illinois in middle and high school, respectively. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2015.

    Shawn also serves as an adjunct professor in Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, commissioner on the Serve Illinois Commission, on the Steering Committee of the CivXNow Coalition, and on the Standing Committee for Law-Related Education for the American Bar Association.


    Kieran HixonKieran Hixon is passionate about rural libraries. His focus has been on low cost tech solutions for small and rural libraries. He is excited to be an errant librarian and technology consultant on the edges of the digital divide for the Colorado State Library. As a passionate, and compassionate, rural dweller Kieran understands rural library situations. He was on the Board of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries for 6 years and served as President of the organization in 2018. To this point in his life he has: built his own house, walked from Los Angeles to New York, worked with the elderly and dying, worked in public libraries, and learned blacksmithing.

    He is known for his high energy and humor, and isn't sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. He lives on forty acres with 6 adults, 1 child, 7 dogs, 9 chickens, 2 turkeys, 1 horse, and a special cat named Min. His life is often in “beta”, and that is okay with him.


    Renee HobbsRenee Hobbs is professor and director of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, she is the author of The Library Screen Scene (Oxford University Press, 2019), Create to Learn: Introduction to Digital Literacy (Wiley, 2017), Copyright Clarity (Corwin/Sage, 2011) as well as many other books, publications, and award-winning multimedia. She co-edited The International Encyclopedia on Media Literacy (Wiley, 2019), with over 250 entries from global contributors. Renee also created Mind Over Media, a crowdsourced digital learning platform for analyzing contemporary propaganda, working with European educators to examine the potential of media literacy pedagogies as a means to promote intellectual curiosity. Renee is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Media Literacy Education and she co-directs the University of Rhode Island's Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Literacy, a leadership development program. More than 20 years ago, she helped found the organization that became the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Renee earned an EdD in Human Development from Harvard University, an MA in Communication and BA in English Literature from the University of Michigan.

    Kurtis KellyKurtis Kelly is the Communications Specialist for the Estes Valley Library, where he has enjoyed a 30-year career that has included planning programs and resources for a busy mid-sized rural library. From 2015 to 2017, he was the project lead for Common Cents for Colorado, a statewide financial-literacy consortium created through ALA’s Smart Investing @your library® program. That initiative earned Colorado’s Library Project of the Year Award. In 2017, he became part of the original team of librarians launching ALA’s Media Literacy @ Your Library project. In addition to being an enthusiastic promoter of libraries, he works as a costumed storyteller portraying historic characters.


    Abby KiesaAbby Kiesa is the director of impact at CIRCLE, an applied research center focused on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized in political life. CIRCLE’s research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a more inclusive democracy. CIRCLE is part of the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. In this work, Abby uses research to catalyze conversations and systemic change to increase the stakeholders in communities working to create ecosystems that promote and support civic engagement. In particular, CIRCLE has and continues to focus on youth who are disconnected from work or school, especially those over 18. This work has brought Abby to many conversations not only about libraries and cultural institutions, but also about the role of news and media in promoting media literacy in ways that facilitate and encourage engagement.


    Diana LaughlinDiana Laughlin is the program & outreach supervisor at the Estes Valley Library in Estes Park, CO. This mid-sized, rural library provides a robust offering of adult programs to a well-educated, well-traveled, curious community. Diana implements programs which enable a greater sense of community by engaging community members in current affairs and decision making, including media literacy, civic dialog and conflict resolution. She oversees the team which offers tech literacy, maker workshops, author visits, book discussions, English Language Learning and citizenship programs for adults. The Estes Valley Library was one of five libraries across the country chosen to participate in Media Literacy @ Your Library with the American Library Association.


    Amita LonialAmita Lonial (she/her/hers) is the assistant library director for Tacoma Public Library. She has worked in public libraries for nearly a decade focusing on programming and marketing. Prior to becoming a librarian she spent 8 years in the non-profit sector organizing for racial and economic justice. She is deeply committed to exploring how libraries can create racially just and equitable community through public programs and services. She currently serves on the PLA Board of Director’s and PLA’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) Taskforce.


    Pattie MayfieldPattie Mayfrield began her career in libraries late in life – after retirement from a 26 year career in I.T. Her love of libraries began as a small child and continued throughout her life. Pattie had served on the board of a large metropolitan library for eight years before following a dream to live in a small, rural community and finding her heart’s work in Honey Grove. Pattie is a board member of Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide, volunteer for the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) and has served on PLA’s Promoting Healthy Libraries committee. She is also a founding member of NETLIBS (Northeast Texas Librarians) a support group for area librarians.

    Her and her husband, Mike, have one child, three dogs and six cats. They live on an 88-acre farm in a house that they built themselves. They love their “country” life, traveling and reading. 


    Ryan O'GradyRyan O’Grady serves as the deputy director at the Enoch Pratt Free Central Library, Maryland State Library Resource Center in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Ryan is passionate about leveraging libraries to support individuals’ entrepreneurial and career goals as well as teaching information literacy. He provides training to librarians across Maryland as well as the U.S. to facilitate library-based professional development and serves on a regional project for the national Urban Library Council (ULC) that seeks to elevate libraries as transformative institutions in workforce development. Ryan is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Maryland’s iSchool, and appreciates the opportunity to give back to his alma mater while helping to educate the next generation of information professionals and fostering their career development. He also holds a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Towson University.


    Cecelia ParksCecelia Parks is an undergraduate student success librarian at the University of Virginia, where she coordinates general education information literacy instruction. She is a member of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee.

    Cecelia received her MLS degree from the University of Maryland and is currently working on her master's degree in history at the University of Mississippi. Her research interests include information and media literacy instruction, privacy, and queer studies, and her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, and the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.


    Lynnanne PearsonLynnanne Pearson is the patron engagement manager at the Skokie Public Library. She has presented at several library conferences on readers advisory, genres, and eBooks, among other topics. She has served on statewide committees. She currently writes book reviews for Library Journal and Booklist. Skokie was one of the five libraries chosen for ALA Media Literacy @ Your Library Grant. Lynnanne was project leader for this grant.


    Fatima PerkinsFatima Perkins is a respected purposeful leader with over 20 years of experience in outreach, service planning, capacity building, strategic planning, resource development and proposal writing/reviewing and grants management. An esteemed reputation for providing optimal leadership, service, and support for small and large organizations. As the director of Community Outreach & Advocacy for the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, Fatima develops the Agency’s internal and external approaches to brand strategy. She has engaged with the senior services network for more than 20 years. Sharing her skills and talents with Greater Cleveland Volunteers, Alzheimer’s Association, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Public Library. As a librarian she developed more than 5,000 programs including health and wellness initiatives and received 2014 Community Leadership Award from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Fitness. Fatima is an ALA Spectrum Scholar and Carnegie- Whitney Grant-2015 recipient to create a compendium - Passport to Aging: Celebrating Global Perspectives. Fatima is the current Chairperson for Library Services to an Aging Population, Committee of Reference and User Services Assn. (RUSA). In addition, Fatima has earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University and MSLIS from Syracuse University.


    Laura SaundersLaura Saunders is an associate professor at Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of reference and instruction, information literacy, and has a strong interest in the connections between information literacy and the spread of misinformation or “fake news,” and social justice issues related to libraries. In April of 2018 she ran the Know News symposium, which brought together 80 librarians, journalists and allied professionals to discuss collaborative responses to the challenges of misinformation.

    Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals including College & Research Libraries, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, and Reference & User Services Quarterly. She has written two books: Information Literacy as a Student Learning Outcome: The Perspective of Institutional Accreditation and Repositioning Reference: New Methods and New Services for a New Age co-authored with Lily Rozaklis and Eileen Abels. Laura has a PhD and a Master of Library and Information Science, both from Simmons College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Boston University. She serves as a Trustee for the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, MA.


    Michael SpikesMichael Spikes has been teaching, writing about, and developing curriculum on the subject of News Media Literacy and its production for more than 15 years. Currently, he is a PhD student at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy studying theories of the Learning Sciences for application to news media literacy education. Michael’s previous positions include project director for the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, Media Studies & Production instructor in both public and public charter schools in Washington DC, educational advisory team member at the Newseum. He has also held roles as a producer of media, primarily in radio as a producer and youth trainer for NPR. He currently is a producer for the Kellogg Insight podcast at Northwestern University. Michael continues to work as a speaker and practitioner in the field as an independent consultant on news media literacy education through MAS Media Consulting LLC.


    Troy SwansonTroy Swanson is library department chair at Moraine Valley Community College where he teaches information literacy and coordinates the library's online presence. He has published on social media, website usability and information literacy. Troy co-edited the book Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information which received the Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award from ARCL’s Instruction Section. Troy is a contributor to the “Tame the Web” blog as well as a semi-regular guest host for the Circulating Ideas podcast. His PhD dissertation focused on the management of Web 2.0 in higher education. He served on ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force, which drafted the Framework for Information Literacy.


    Tamar WilnerTamar Wilner is a PhD student in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Tamar received her BA with honors in philosophy from Wesleyan University before spending 15 years as a professional journalist, covering topics ranging from business and urban planning to environment and the media. She received her MA in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2018.

    Tamar’s research interests focus on misinformation, media credibility, news literacy and health. She developed expertise in these areas while writing for outlets including the Columbia Journalism Review and, and consulting for organizations including the American Press Institute, Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy, and international development non-profit IREX. Tamar is also co-creator of an online news literacy game, Post Facto.