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ASIS&T2018: Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology: “Building and Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology"

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This research examines the concept of 'fake news' in the context of information literacy (IL) in a post-secondary educational setting. Educators' perceptions shape both IL curricula and classroom discussions with students. We conducted 18 interviews with members of 3 integral groups implementing IL education (8 professors, 6 librarians, 4 department chairs). Interviews explored participants' perceptions of: IL education, perceived skills associated with IL, skills required to spot 'fake news', and gaged our participants' willingness to incorporate segments dedicated to detecting 'fake news' in IL curriculum. Our qualitative findings identify a substantial overlap that exists between skills associated with IL and 'fake news' detection (e.g., close-reading, critical disposition, bias awareness). Professors and academic administrators also appeared to underappreciate the role of librarians as IL educators. We advocate improving communication among integral facilitators of IL education. More research is needed to assess effectiveness of IL education as an 'inoculation' against 'fake news.'