As a librarian, I am a big proponent of information literacy, and inherently, media literacy skills. As our society gets ever more complex, media and information creation/dissemination becomes increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives. Information overload is common-place, and it is easy to value the convenience in getting information over its reliability. It is important, in my opinion, to understand that information on the Internet can be highly subjective in nature and therefore not necessarily reliable. Social networking sites, while fun to use, are membership driven, and as such require the use and storage of your personal information. How is that information being kept and utilized?
Another facet to all of this, especially with regard to media literacy, is the impact this has on your life and the lives of others. What you put out there on the Internet will have good and bad consequences to you and the life you’re living. The messages you get in the media will also impact you in some way or another– and what does this mean for you, for your family, your friends, your community and the world we live in?
Next week (November 7-11) is Media Literacy Week. This year’s theme is ”Digital Citizenship”, where young people are encouraged to think about their online lives, and their rights and responsibilities as digital citizens. Teachers play an important role in teaching students about media and information literacy, but don’t forget, librarians can play a valuable role too. Information is our business and we are always ready and willing to answer questions, or better yet, to guide you in finding the anwers you need. Please visit your local public library and chat with a friendly librarian. They are there for you!
To find out more about this initiative, visit the Media Literacy Week website, which is stocked with information, articles and ideas for activities.
Please also see my post from September 17, 2011 entitled Teaching Online Privacy Has Just Gotten a Bit Easier…