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Library News

What's Wrong with Research Assignments - a chat with Barbara Fister and Brian Jackson

by Justin Anders on 2021-04-12T08:30:00-06:00 | Comments

Join us for a virtual conversation moderated by Brian Jackson (Associate Professor, MRU Library) and featuring information literacy scholar Barbara Fister who will discuss her recent work, “Lizard People in the Library,” the inaugural essay for the Project Information Literacy (PIL) Provocation Series. Participants are encouraged to read this article prior to the event to understand themes that will come up in the conversation.

In this timely essay, Barbara claims that educators have been too focused on training students for information consumerism; instead, they must invite students to engage in inquiry as a civic practice in a world where weaponized digital media systems pose a serious threat to democracy. An adapted version of this article was published by The Atlantic as “The Librarian War against QAnon” on February 18, 2021.

When QAnon burst into public consciousness, many observers wondered why students aren't taught how to think critically about information in school. In fact, information literacy (sometimes framed as media, news, or digital literacy) has been a standard part of education for decades.

During this talk, Fister will probe the challenges with assigning inquiry and explore how educators can develop and support student engagement with the idea of information systems while moving past the conventional academic focus on “legitimate” information sources and the assumption of rational information seeking and consumption.

There will be time for an open Q&A at the end so be sure to bring questions that come up as you read the article.

Register for the talk from the Library event calendar >>


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