Earlier this week I wrote to the Deliberate discussion list and asked where the librarians were in the work being done by the Knight Commission on the information needs of communities in a democracy. I was happily proven wrong. Libraries are represented by TWO outstanding individuals. YEAH!
The commission met at Google earlier this week and a couple of people I know or follow on Twitter attended. Chris O’Brien, technology writer for the San Jose Mercury News attended and posted a blog about the meeting. He writes about how the constant onslaught of information makes it difficult to determine the accuracy of information. How do communities decide what information and what sources to trust? (hmm, sounds like an information literacy issue.) He poses two possible solutions.
One is to tap into the power of crowds to evaluate and rate the sources. He cites NewsTrust.net where news stories are evaluate by people who, over time build up a reputation and become trusted sources. In other words individuals rate news articles and other individuals rate the rating. Stories are rated based on: Recommendations, accuracy, balance, context, evidence, fairness, importance, information, sources, style, and trust.
The other possible solution he cites is to form intermediaries or editors that can establish themselves as “trust advisers” to people online. Hey, that sounds like a job for an information professional (i.e., librarian!) I told Chris that I was posting his story to the students in my UIUC Library and Info Sciences class, Community Engagement.
I’d love to see some librarians comment on his blog. See link to article below.