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The Self and Others: Revisiting Information Needs and Libraries as Public, Social Institutions in a Post-truth World

Authors
  • Oliphant, Tami1
  • 1 School of Library and Information Studies, Canada , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Open Information Science
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 05, 2019
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
261–273
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/opis-2019-0018
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The post-truth era and the increasing ease with which fake news is disseminated and consumed is a wicked problem that invites re-examination of the media environment, algorithmic authority, library and information science (LIS) professional practice, and what people bring to information interactions in terms of cognitive biases and worldviews. Fake news has social consequences such as undermining civic discourse and democracy, and inciting hatred. Consequently, the role of libraries as public, social institutions embedded in democratic societies and the relational aspects of information needs are important to consider. An alternative framework, the decent society, a society in which its attendant social institutions do not humiliate, is explored. An example from the Toronto Public Library (TPL) is used to illustrate the ways in which a social institution can uphold the principle of non-humiliation in an increasingly politicized world.

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