Media Literacy for Adults Guide and Webinars

Cover image of Media Literacy in the Library documentFrom the American Library Association

Imagine that you are working at the reference desk when a patron comes to you with a question. They cite a “fact” that has been widely debunked, mentioning an article from a publication that you know to be untrustworthy. What can you, as a library worker, do to educate and inform them?

In response to the need for media literacy education, the American Library Association (ALA) has released a free digital guide and related webinar series to help library workers plan for moments like these.

The guide

Media Literacy in the Library: A Guide for Library Practitioners” contains information, program ideas and conversation starters on topics like misinformation and disinformation; architecture of the internet; civics; media landscape and economics; and media creation and engagement. The 30-page guide also explores ways to “meet patrons where they are” by integrating media literacy into reference interactions and existing programs.

In the guide, library workers may explore:

  • Concepts such as filter bubbles, confirmation bias, and news deserts
  • How to answer questions about false or misleading news items in reference interactions
  • Virtual and in-person program ideas covering topics like fact checking, cookies, internet privacy, the Freedom of Information Act and local media
  • Ideas for discussing the corporate media landscape through a reading of “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Tips and resources for measuring program outcomes

Training webinars

A series of one-hour webinars will explore these concepts from the guide. The webinars are free for all library workers, though space is limited. Register for the live sessions at the links below; all sessions will be recorded and available within 24 hours on ALA’s Programming Librarian website.

The materials were created for out-of-school adult audiences, who library workers will generally meet in a public library context. However, many of the approaches and best practices explored are appropriate for a classroom or other library setting.

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