“A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection . . . not an invitation for hypnosis.” Umberto Eco
Teaching media and visual literacy is central to my work as a librarian. Lack of access to information is being overshadowed by those who exploit language and imagery to pass blatantly inaccurate information as factual. I hope to be a part of a solution that builds critical thinking skills in our constituents, so they may recognize misinformation and propaganda. My goal is not to sway anyone to my way of thinking, but rather to impart to those in my community the tools to analyze visual and linguistic information, empowering them to make informed decisions for themselves.
Historically librarians have been stewards to information, making it accessible to those without the means to access it privately. With the high cost of technology, we still bridge the access divide for many people, however, our position as stewards has evolved. Librarians have become teachers, as well servants, to our constituents. We teach how to use the technology we provide access to and how to critically analyze the information under our care.
"Teach Media Literacy" is a personal, professional campaign aimed at empowering the members of our communities with the skills to recognize fact in rhetoric overwhelmed by fallacy.