Defeat Fake News –“Friend” a Librarian!

Where are the “facts?”  It appears that in a “postfact” epoch, there may be cause to question the need for

Queue at the Reference Desk.

Queue at the Reference Desk.

assistance for stalwarts who seek “real facts.”  Perhaps it is time to add Reference Librarians to the shrinking list of neutral purveyors of truth and make our way to our local library.  Boldly walk where too few walk today, face the Reference Desk and ask directions to the facts on a wide range of topics–from multinational trade deals to climate change, from robot-assisted manufacturing to four decades of declining wages suffered by the 99%.  At the Reference Desk, it may be appropriate to use a line from television’s Dragnet character, Sergeant Joe Friday, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

The original search engine.

The original search engine.

“Friend” and support your local library by donating through the library’s Friends organization, or by volunteering, or do both.  Here are examples of Friends in action at two libraries in Georgia and North Carolina.  Find a “Friends of the Library” group where you live.

Charlotte, North Carolina:  The Friends Council began in 1982 as the Friends of

Charlotte's Main Library

Charlotte’s Main Library

the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Library through grassroots advocacy and fundraising.  In 2013, the Friends of the Library joined the newly-formed Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and became the Friends Council. With the new name came an expanded role: To engage broad community support for the Library through community awareness and fundraising events as part of the Foundation’s overall strategic plan.

Decatur Library

Decatur Library

Decatur, Georgia:  The purposes of the Friends of the Decatur Public Library are charitable, literary and educational. These purposes are:

  • to develop activities that focus public attention on library service, programs and collections
  • to encourage financial support of libraries
  • to be actively interested in all cultural and educational aspects of the community
  • and to give support to the Friends of the Library at national, state and local levels.
Patron and a Reference Librarian at Penn State.

Patron and a Reference Librarian at Penn State.

Know more from the American Library Association…  Competencies for Reference Librarians

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