Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 7-8-2022

Document Type



Similar to how there is no structured definition of ‘neutrality’ in libraries, (Scott & Sanders, 2021), there is no universally agreed-upon definition for ‘Fake News’ (Dahri & Richard, 2018). The lack of definition clarity, especially in regard to its harmfulness, leads to difficulty implementing the term, importantly for the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA continues to support ‘Fake News’, by valuing intellectual freedom. (ALA, 2017). ‘Fake News’ censorship is an extreme, and is unconstitutional, but it is clear that clarification of the term by the ALA, especially as being part of information literacy, would be helpful for librarians (as the instructors for information literacy), and information seekers. Indeed, the current information environment is “confusing,” and librarians are in a “prime position” to develop the skills necessary to help users navigate and make educated decisions when accessing information (Goodsett and Schmillen, 2022). First, it is explored how ‘Fake News’ implementation into official information literacy methods and guidelines might look like. Then, the value of information literacy assessment is clarified, and particularly compelling assessments are adapted to include ‘Fake News’ as a means to demonstrate how the inclusion of it will help better the information literacy instruction quality and relevancy, and the comfortable of users in finding objective information. At the end, it is revealed an official ALA consideration may be closer than once thought (Cooke, 2018).