Facts Matter: Information Literacy for the Real World

March 28 & April 11, 2018

Live Interactive Sessions on Wednesdays from 2–4 PM ET: March 28 & April 11
Bridged with Homework, Online Workshops, Discussions, and Resources
Certificate of Completion Provided

Note that all sessions are recorded and available for on-demand viewing if you are unable to attend a session at its scheduled time or just want to rewatch it!

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Facts Matter

Libraries serve people of all backgrounds and beliefs and function as trusted, nonpartisan sources of accurate information for their communities. In these polarized times, helping your community understand news bias and identify reliable sources is more critical–and perhaps more difficult–than ever. Arm yourself with new approaches and new tools designed for the ‘new’ real World.

Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to use behavioral science strategies, conspiracy theories and anti-bias training to inspire and facilitate critical thinking in patrons who are immersed in misinformation, while keeping conversations nonpartisan and non-alienating.
  • How to curate an up-to-date repertoire of media and news literacy tools, including reliable fact-checking sites, that will help empower you and your patrons to objectively evaluate print and digital information.
  • How to readily identify data that can help you support your facts and messaging and then easily turn it into compelling visuals using free online tools.
  • How to  partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs, including developing a citizen journalism hub at your library.

Online Course Features

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help work through challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos, and other resources

Who should take this course?

Library professionals and educators in all settings serving patrons of all ages—and anyone else who cares about the truth!

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical ideas in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to plan ideas for increasing media literacy in your community.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SESSION 1: Powerful Partners: Libraries and News Outlets

2:00-2:45 PM ET

Libraries nationwide are collaborating with news organizations to create information literacy programs, train teen community journalists, and boost their status as invaluable providers of facts and information. Learn what’s possible and design a collaborative program at your own library.


Tom Huang Charlotte-Ann Lucas
Tom Huang, Assistant Managing Editor for Features and Community Engagement, Dallas Morning News (TX)
Charlotte-Ann Lucas, Managing Director, NOWCastSA, San Antonio (TX)


2:45-3:00 PM ET

SESSION 2: When Facts Don’t Matter: How to Engage the Unreceptive

3:00-3:45 PM ET

Part 1: Misinformation abounds, and people believe it. What’s a librarian to do?  In this session, you’ll learn tactics for dealing with others’ trust in misinformation using behavioral science strategies and anti-bias training.


Gleb Tsipursky
Gleb Tsipursky Assistant Professor, at the Decision Sciences Collaborative and History Department, Ohio State University (OH); President and Cofounder, at Intentional InsightsCofounder, Pro-Truth Pledge

Part 2: Can teaching conspiracy theories help advance media literacy? We’ll take a look at current conspiracy theories, discuss how to detect and dismantle them, and illustrate how they can, in fact, be used to persuasively impart media literacy.


Renee Hobbs, Professor of Communication Studies and Director, Media Education Lab, Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island (RI)

WEEK 2: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

SESSION 1: Helping Students and Patrons Navigate Data in a Chaotic World

2:00-2:20 PM ET

Data is everywhere: in the news, on social media, in the grocery store, on our devices, and at school. Kids and adults alike often believe that if it’s a number, it has to be true! But there is often more to data and statistics than the numbers themselves. ​In this session, we’ll explore high-impact data literacy strategies ​that you can share ​with your students and patrons so they can effectively make sense of the data in their world.


Kristin Fontichiaro
Kristin Fontichiaro, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan’s School of Information (MI)

SESSION 2: Show & Tell – Data Sells

2:20-3:00 PM ET

It’s easy to access data on just about everything these days, from topics making news headlines to the most popular dog names in your state.  Data literacy – the ability to read, create and communicate data as information – is a vital skill for anyone in the business of supporting facts.  In this hands-on session, you’ll learn ways to source useful, real-world data and easily turn it into compelling visuals, using free online tools, that support your literacy efforts and communication programs.  Come away armed with resources and knowledge that you can use and share with your patrons.


Frank Bi
Frank Bi
, Editorial Engineer, SB Nation; Adjunct Professor, Fordham University (NY)


3:00-3:15 PM ET

SESSION 3: New Threats, New Strategies, New Tools

3:00-3:45 PM ET

Part 1: Fake news, deceptive journalism, and social media practices have been propelled into a new stratosphere during the past year. We’ll review what’s changed, identify online resources, and help you build curricula, programs, and tools to detect falsehoods.

Part 2: Acquire communication strategies for keeping news literacy discussions with people of all ages nonpartisan and non-alienating.


Damaso Reyes
Damaso Reyes, Director of Community Partnerships and Engagement, The News Literacy Project


To be announced soon.