Alternative Facts, Fake News, and Digital Literacy

By Traci Cothran

There was a time when we didn’t need to define what a fact was – or rather, we all understood that it meant the same thing. It was a fact – it was the truth; the rest was fiction or opinion. There were clear, credible sources, and there were those that weren’t. Now students, teachers, and librarians (as well as the rest of the American populous) must grapple with distinguishing fact, fake news, and “alternative facts” on a near-constant basis. While the Internet gives us a plethora of easy-to-access information, it’s up to us to discern what is factual and what is not.

To do that, we need to start asking hard questions of everything we read and hear – such as:

  • Where did that Facebook “news” post originate?
  • Is this news or a “newsvertisement?”
  • Are these statistics or this sound bite taken out of context to distort their meaning?
  • Who penned this article? Do they have a specific agenda that influences their writing?
  • Who created this website and how are they getting paid for their content?
  • When you reverse-search the image used in the article, do you find different source content?

Read more…

Robert Smalls: From Slave to Senator

During Black History Month, we honor African Americans who made significant contributions to American society and impacted the course of American history. One such figure is Robert Smalls, who was born a slave in South Carolina, made a dramatic escape from slavery, and was later elected to Congress. With primary sources, Smalls’ remarkable life, achievements, and impact can be considered and understood through contemporary accounts.

Read more…

Philosophy: Sources, Perspectives, and Methodologies: Highly Recommended in All Libraries

Looking for a way to stimulate philosophical discussions without lengthy excerpts? The search stops here with Philosophy: Sources, Perspectives, and MethodologiesBy using film, literature, art, case studies, and other disciplines to provide an innovative approach to introducing philosophy, this resource will be your one-stop source for all things philosophy.

See what a professor said in CHOICE, February, 2017:

Read more…

More Enhancements to Gale eBooks on GVRL

Last month, Gale eBooks on GVRL underwent quite a few improvements. From visual and accessibility enhancements to options for homepage customization (read the full blog), our goal is to continuously update the platform based on our users’ needs. Below are three, additional enhancements users can expect to find in product: Search within custom collections. Previously users … Read more…

Academic OneFile Expands Browse-By-Discipline Feature

Releasing mid-February, Gale is happy to announce that the browse-by-discipline feature within your Academic OneFile will automatically update to include coverage in three key areas of study –Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science. The expanded offering of curated content will provide users with greater access to full-text-scholarly journal content that supports the concepts and topics discussed within the STM disciplines.

And there’s more! In an effort to further improve the user experience, we’ve updated the appearance of the browse-by-discipline icons, resulting in a cleaner presentation and easier navigation. Take a look at what your users will experience when the enhancements roll-out this February.

Read more…

The Biking Librarian Promotes Resources Throughout the Community

By Sally Robertson, Librarian, Nashville State Community College

I am a bike commuting librarian at Nashville State Community College in Nashville, TN.  My passion job is what I do. I love helping people find the information they need. I am a member of the Tennessee Library Association and a part of the Sustain Round Table of ALA. A bike is sustainable transportation and also a great way to tell Tennessee citizens about TEL. I commute to my job by train and bike. Sometimes when I ride through neighborhoods I will stop and chat with people, always telling them about all the great free resources Tennesseans have access to in TEL, and handing out TEL and database bookmarks!

Some of the reasons I like to promote the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) resources so much are that they are:

  • Free to everyone on the state.
  • They are very easy to use.
  • There is a database for all ages and abilities.

    Read more…

Marching into History

By Debra Kirby

I have always admired the brave men and women who, throughout history, have taken a stand for their rights and the rights of others, often at significant inconvenience and sometimes risking their lives. Saturday, January 21, I had a chance to be part of history by participating in the Woman’s March on Washington. Fortunately, the inconvenience for me was not significant, nor was there any risk to my life. It was an exhilarating experience to be among so many people who took the time and traveled from sometimes great distances – including other countries – to stand up for the rights of women, minorities, and the environment. Here are a few of my observations on the experience:

Read more…

Dakota Access Pipeline: A Look Back at 100 Years of Conflict

Once again, the Dakota Access Pipeline—and the controversy that surrounds it—is in the news. At the heart of the controversy is the pipeline’s potential threat to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation’s clean water supply. However, clashes between Indigenous Americans and the federal government over water rights are nothing new.  These conflicts have been documented for … Read more…

The Job-Market Moment of Digital Humanities

By Leonard Cassuto Digital humanities have become integrated into the academic job market. In fact, digital humanities are one of the few growth areas in the academic job market today say’s Leonard Cassuto of “The Chronicle of Higher Education. That raised the question: Will expertise in digital humanities get graduate students the academic jobs that … Read more…

American Governance named to the RUSA 2017 Outstanding References Sources List

ALA’s RUSA (Reference & User Services Association) has named American Governance to the 2017 Outstanding Reference Sources List. You can see the full list of Outstanding Reference Sources here. This title is available in print or eBook format, on GVRL— the research-optimized, mobile accessible platform. Why GVRL? As a user-tested, award-winning platform, GVRL gives readers what they need. … Read more…