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The proof is in the process : Fostering student trust in government information by examining its creation

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Purpose

This paper aims to apply the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education frame Information Creation as a Process to encourage student confidence in government information. This approach will also help librarians address the continued erosion of trust in government exacerbated by campaigns of mis- and disinformation waged by the 45th President.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examined recent literature on the public’s increased distrust of government under the 45th President, the impact of extreme skepticism on students, and the role instruction and government information librarians can play in addressing these issues. The authors used the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education frame Information Creation as a Process as a guide for teaching students about the complexities of government information creation processes and addressing student apprehension about utilizing government information in their academic research.

Findings

Research indicates that in the midst of a decline in public trust in government, librarians are fighting an uphill battle to encourage wary students to use government information for academic research. Librarians can combat this via targeted Framework-aligned instruction. An example of how the frame Information Creation as a Process can be applied to government information is presented.

Practical implications

For easy implementation of the ideas presented in this paper, learning outcomes and a sample lesson plan are provided.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the library literature on government information literacy and instruction as well as the Framework. It is the only paper that addresses the application of the frame Information Creation as a Process to government information.
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Keywords: ACRL Framework; Government information; Information creation as a process; Information literacy; Library instruction; Pedagogy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA 2: Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Publication date: February 10, 2020

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