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Fake news often feels like a weapon in a never ending war. In that analogy, libraries are the first line of defense. But, maybe we need less focus on fighting and more on diplomacy. After all, the harder we battle someone over their beliefs, the more resistant they become.

So how do we get around the Backfire Effect? First, we have to look at ourselves. Are our personal beliefs affecting our communication style? We must create safe, nonjudgmental opportunities to teach our patrons how to assess information for accuracy and bias. That means we need to meet each patron at his/her own level. We need to educate our communities without alienating them or losing their trust. We must use diplomacy without sacrificing what we represent.

In this interactive and informative program, attendees will learn how to:
· Better understand their own biases and how those biases influence their interactions
· Understand and empathize with the patrons they disagree with
· Use facts (and avoid opinions) during these interactions
· Acknowledge when an interaction can no longer benefit the patron

Handout

Handout

Original broadcast March 15, 2018


Sonnet Ireland ~ Biography

Sonnet Ireland is currently a reference librarian for the St. Tammany Parish Library, where she has created classes for the public on information literacy, as well as news literacy, financial literacy, and computer literacy. She has presented at numerous state, regional, national, and international conferences, including the Federal Depository Library Conference and the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. As a founding member of the NOLA Information Literacy Collective, Sonnet has been on the Executive Board since 2012 and has served as Chair of the Board twice (2014, 2017). She is also the current Second Vice President of the Louisiana Library Association. She is also active in the American Library Association and the Southeastern Library Association. Her research interests include government information, social media, Google, and news/media literacy.