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Episode 94: The Information-Literate Citizen


Today’s guest is Jenny L. Presnell, a Librarian of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Miami University of Ohio. She’s the author of The Information-Literate Historian: A Guide to Research for History Students, the third edition of which was published this year. This gives us both an excuse to talk about how wonderful Zotero is, and the joy of ferreting out primary sources. We also talk about why libraries in the future won’t look like Duke Humphrey’s Library in Oxford, pictured above.

But we actually spend a lot of time talking about how to be an information-literate citizen. We talk about the value of Wikipedia; how to evaluate websites; and how to identify fake news and misinformation. Historical thinking turns out to be a pre-requisite for a citizen in a republic. And we also talk about “snowballing”. But no spoiler alerts; you’ll have to listen to find out what that is.


For Further Investigation

Information-Literate Historian Author Page

Bodi, Sonia. “Scholarship or Propaganda: How Can Librarians Help Undergraduates Tell the Difference?” Journal of Academic Librarianship, 21(1)(Jan 1995): 21-25.

Wineburg, Sam and Sarah McGrew. “Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information.” Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1. Posted: 9 Oct 2017.