We are living in a research librarian’s worst nightmare–where the tongue-tie between Wikipedia and WikiLeaks is made far too often in political discussions. It is illustrative of a disturbing trend in information literacy gaps among community leaders that begs the question, “Are we information literate?”
In this digital age, it’s easy to see how fast-paced information behavior can result in questionable news sources circulating like wildfire without any intellectual checks and balances. 66% Of Facebook users, for example, get their news on the social networking site (Gottfried & Shearer, 2016). Just because information is published doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because a source is popular doesn’t mean it’s credible.
Information literacy is taught in classrooms, but digital information literacy instruction is still finding its footing. Meanwhile, what we desperately need is a focus on lifelong learning–taking info literacy beyond the classroom and applying it in our everyday lives–so we all can view biased news as entertainment, appreciate native ads for what they are, spot sponsored content, identify reliable sources, respect the ethical and legal obligations that exist in the digital information world, and appreciate the impact our digital expressions can have on real people in the real world.
In an attempt to help brighten a tiny corner of the more frequently dark dumping grounds in the digital frontier, we decided to cultivate a collection of what makes us smile. Through TagHagz.com and @TagHagz, we have carved out a corner of color to give our two cents on the second-hand subculture; with a “What-isn’t-second-hand?” philosophy.
We developed the Creative Crier Classification to help us spread the love we have for second-hand finds, whether they be tangible toys, incredible ideas, moving museums, digital designs or anything else that inspires. The name stems from our tendency towards art attacks (aka Stendhal Syndrome) and the categories are as follows:
influence, impression, impact and interest. Under the “influence,” we laud a piece as informative (“Food for my brain!”), instructional (“Methods for makers!”) or instrumental (“Tools for a greater cause!”). Under “impression,” we tout a work as imaginative (“This is what could be!”), inspiring (“This is what should be!”) or innovative (“This is what will be!”). Under “impact,” we recognize art as important (“This has key social implications!”), ingenious (“Mind blown!”) or indescribable (“Woah! Transcendent!”). Finally, under “interest,” we advertise that a second-hand something is intriguing (“Cue my double-take!”), inviting (“Yes, please!”) or irresistible (“Must…consume…now!”).
For the sake of the citizens in their sphere of influence, it would be nice to see community leaders become town criers for digital information literacy. Just as good citizenship has been an all-American characteristic to strive for in our communities, let’s strive to be good citizens in our digital communities. To start, we’ll be double-checking sources of information, as well as showing appreciation for sources of inspiration.