26 posts

Media Literacy Week Reflection and Action

Last week was Media Literacy Week. What we gathered from the survey we sent out, is that teachers and librarians strongly feel that Media Literacy Education is important for our students. So what can we do to further push Media Literacy Education in schools? Take legislative action.

There are currently proposed bills in the New York Assembly and Senate:

  • Assembly Bill 2219 – School districts would be provided with a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy.
  • Senate Bill 1104 – Required instruction in civics, civility and citizenship, including media literacy.
  • Assembly Bill 106 – Appointment of a media literacy advisory committee.
  • Assembly Bill 5981A – To study the teaching of digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.

Read more about these bills here.

Senate Resolution J01888, which was adopted in June, proclaimed October 2019 ‘Information Literacy Month’ in the state of New York.

So what can you do?

Check out Media Literacy Now to advocate for Media Literacy Education in our state. This website will help you with any materials you need and provide you with information about Media Literacy and Media Literacy Education advocacy.

LOC Digital Collection on Comic Art

The Library of Congress is highlighting 120 years of comic art.

From as far back as the 1890’s, when the Yellow Kid sparked the idea of sensationalized stories for the sake of selling papers, artists were pushing boundaries and commenting on the political and cultural atmosphere of the time.

The exhibit moves up through the years of Archie, Blondie and Dagwood, Batman, Peanuts and into webcomics of the 2010’s.

Explore the Exhibit

Media Literacy Week! (Day 5)

Friday, October 25th

This week is U.S. Media Literacy Week! The mission of the week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education all across the country.

This wraps up our week-long celebration of Media Literacy Education. We hope you’ve learned about Media Literacy, gained an understanding of how important it is for our students, and found some new activities or resources that are useful to you.

We encourage all of you to keep the momentum going. Media Literacy Education should be reinforced year round.

Use our Media Literacy LibGuide to help you find information for your teachers on a regular basis. This guide links out to information from:

This LibGuide will be updated periodically to add new resources as we find them.

Some excellent books to help you continue your learning are available in our Overdrive/SORA account:





(Ctrl-click the picture to open SORA. Select your school, and then log-in using your regular school credentials – as if you are logging into your school computer). Please take this Post-Assessment, and give it to your students to see if their thinking has changed over the course of this week. (Results will be sent out to our librarians next week. If you are not in our region, please contact Liesl.)

Lastly, if you feel strongly about this topic and its importance in schools, Media Literacy Now has put together this call to action. Click the image below to get to the website.




Please share this with those who are willing and able to support this federal legislation.


Thank you for participating in Media Literacy Week!

Media Literacy Week! (Day 4)

Thursday, October 24th

This week is U.S. Media Literacy Week! The mission of the week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education all across the country.

Remember PizzaGate: when headlines stated that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza shop in Washington, D.C.?

Fake news. But a lot of people believed it, at least for a little while. Then there’s the terminology, “Fake News”, being bandied about by politicians to denounce real news. Why?

There’s a major misunderstanding between fake news, truthful news, and biased news. It’s a lot to digest, especially for a young person who may have only recently begun reading the news.

Look at these four headlines. Can you tell which media outlet wrote them? Do you think your students could tell?

  • “More than half the House of Representatives support impeachment inquiry”
  • “Mike Pompeo Blasts House Democrats’ Impeachment Inquiry: ‘Silly Gotcha Game’”
  • “White House Unveils Lightly Edited Memorandum Of U.S. Constitution That Specifically Declares Trump’s Innocence”
  • “Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry of President Trump”

(Click here for answers)

There are luckily a lot of activities available for teaching students how to tell the difference between truth and bias.

This video from Common Sense Media gives five tips for spotting fake news.

(If YouTube is blocked in your school, you can find the video here:

These infographics were created by #1: EasyBib (a Chegg service), #2: The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and #3: eavi Media Literacy for Citizenship. (Right click each and open hyperlinks for full versions)

1.    2.    3. 

This online article from EasyBib tells us how to spot fake news:


But what about understanding biases in media?

ad fontes media posts an interactive chart showing the reliability and general biases of the most popular media outlets. They include information about their ranking methodology and they update it regularly as things change. Find it here:

Students can take this News Lit Quiz by the News Literacy Project:








This poster is designed to help students understand opinion writing:







And when you’re completely overwhelmed, and tired from trying to navigate it all, you can always choose to watch (which was created by a teacher), Teen Kids News: (just be careful of the ads), (news explained in 10 minutes),

or wind down watching this clip of 5-year-old Noah Ritter on his local news in 2014:


Media Literacy Week! (Day 3)

Wednesday, October 23rd

This week is U.S. Media Literacy Week! The mission of the week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education all across the country.

So far this week we have learned what Media Literacy is, examined our own media usage, and gained an understanding that all media messages are constructed. We also learned that the authors of those messages have a purpose for sending those messages and usually something to gain from them.

Today, we’ll discuss stereotypes in media messages and how to teach students to recognize them. We are all familiar with librarian stereotypes. Just type the word “librarian” into a Google Image search, and it returns a multitude of mostly white, mostly female, glasses-wearing, book-carrying, sometimes shushing images. Luckily librarians are trained to deal with this type of thing, and many of us have embraced this stereotype as a long-standing tradition. (See Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure, “With Amazing push-button Shushing Action!”). –>

Stereotypes are exaggerated beliefs about a person or group of people. By learning more about stereotyping and how to identify it in media messages, students will learn to understand their own exaggerated beliefs and perceptions.

Renee Hobbs, a professor and founder of the Media Education Lab, offered this activity idea in her twitter feed:

This activity can be adapted to have students re-design advertisements, reshoot commercials, or redevelop websites. Get creative! You can also use these resources compiled by Frank W. Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse:

See if your students can identify a stereotype in a form of media and bring it in to you tomorrow.

Media Literacy Week! (Day 2)

Tuesday, October 22nd

This week is U.S. Media Literacy Week! The mission of the week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education all across the country.

Yesterday we discussed Media Literacy: what it is, why it is important, and how we would use this week to jump-start our understanding. We asked our educators and students to answer some questions about the media they are consuming on a daily basis. This was to help them gain an awareness of the media that is all around them and what choices they are making in how they are accessing it.

Today we will focus on media messaging. The first lesson in becoming media literate is always this


Let’s get your students to think about the messages they hear in the media. Show them an ad.

Have them think about who is sending the message. Is it a company? Is it a political party or candidate? Have them consider why they might be sending the message. Is there a chance of monetary gain? Who might gain from the message? Once they understand this, you can have them think about who the intended audience is. Are there any unintended consequences of a message like this?

Show this presentation (from Jaclyn Siegel) and have them answer the questions from slides 2 and 7:

After looking at a few different ads, websites or articles, ask them if they have seen a difference in their thinking when viewing media messages.

Reflections on RRLC’s “We Need Diverse Libraries”

“Imagine a world where everyone could see themselves in the pages of a book.”

These were the first words of the presentation last Tuesday by We Need Diverse Books. They then asked us to close our eyes for a minute and think about what that would look like. What would you see or hear, and what would that mean for everyone?

The responses from the audience were, “More possibilities would be open to people”; “There would be more avid readers”; “People would know that their narratives are important as well, regardless of their abilities, of what they looked like, or who they were”; “There would be more diversity in careers, in life in general”; “We would see an increase in overall well-being”. It sounds Utopian, doesn’t it? This is within reach.

It can still be difficult to find great books that tell diverse stories, but it is not impossible. The folks at We Need Diverse Books have made it their mission to help us accomplish this goal. If you know where to look it will make your life easier. Some publishers offering diverse reads are:

On their website is a listing of sites that provide diverse book lists. Under the Resources tab on their site, they also include a book talking kit.

Most helpfully, they have also created an app, currently accessible through your browser, called OurStory, which highlights books with diverse content and by content creators from marginalized communities. It is basically a database designed for you to find books for your libraries.

Look at our Libguide for more resources on diversifying your collection. *The page is currently under construction, so please continue to check back frequently.* Which reminds me: Diversifying your collection is an ongoing process. We live in a constant state of growth and change. Informally audit your collection and add to it frequently.

Creative Commons Search Engine

Did you know? This past spring, Creative Commons launched a search engine that indexes over 300 million public domain images. These are images from 19 image collections and they include works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Flickr, and even some CC0 3D designs from Thingiverse.

All of these images are in the public domain or released under Creative Commons licenses, which means they are free to use in a non-commercial setting. It also means they have the licensing information readily available to quick copy and paste.

Click here to start searching.

“UnknownFlower”by ksoon71 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Reading without Walls: Free Comic Book!

Did you know that the first Saturday in May is always “Free Comic Book Day”? If you’re into comics, you probably already know this.

But if you’re not into comics, this is a great opportunity to check them out! Maybe you’ll find something you’ll truly love. When Gene Luen Yang was named the National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature in 2016, he issued a challenge to readers everywhere called The Reading Without Walls Challenge. Which calls for readers to pick up a book that they normally wouldn’t. Choose something that fits one of the three criteria for this challenge:

  1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
  2.  Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
  3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book. Or it could be a comic book!

Let’s keep this challenge going and pick up your free comic book tomorrow.

School Library Impact Studies and Support Articles

We all know that school librarians make a huge difference for student achievement and well-being, but sometimes this fact gets overlooked. So for those moments when you need to prove your worth (hopefully these moments are few and far between), we’ve collected articles and impact studies so that you have them at your fingertips whenever you may need them.

We have housed them at our MonroeOneSLS libguide on the Professional Resources page. If you have any that you would like to add, please send the info my way at

For additional lists of articles and studies, check out the Library Research Service and the Antioch University School Library Research LibGuide.