Four months ago, a group of Oak Park high school students committed to becoming smarter news consumers and “media watchdogs” of upcoming political campaign coverage. They joined the national “News Know-how” project and since July 2012 have worked with media experts from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and librarian talent from Oak Park Public Library. Their learning will culminate with a community presentation on Thursday, December 6 at 7 pm at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street. Join us as these teens share how they now know what to believe in the news. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Oak Park Public Library was one of only four sites chosen to kick off the national “News Know-how” project, designed to engage students, journalists, news ethicists, and librarians across the country in a news literacy education project.
With Oak Park Public Library as their “newsroom,” Oak Park teens analyzed news coverage in all of its formats, learned to distinguish facts from opinions, and practiced information literacy principles to help them develop critical thinking skills. Participants worked with professional journalists and librarians as mentors and created a final project that will be shared in the December 6 community presentation and on Oak Park Public Library’s website and the national “News Know-how” website.
“Oak Park Public Library is elated to participate in ‘News Know-how.’ We certainly understand the challenges of a rapidly changing media environment and welcome the opportunity to promote Oak Park as a civically-engaged community,” explains Deirdre Brennan, Executive Director of Oak Park Public Library. “Helping people get the facts is our business, here at the library. Every day we help people evaluate online sources for their credibility.”
Oak Park Public Library is sponsoring the project locally. National sponsors are the American Library Association and the Open Society Foundations. The lead training organization is the News Literacy Project Inc. The program will be assessed by a team at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The American Library Association (ALA) unveiled the “News Know-how” campaign in February 2012. The two-year, $750,000 national project seeks to create partnerships and collaborations for a nonpartisan, critical analysis of news and information. Libraries that kicked off the project were Oak Park Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, and several Iowa rural and urban libraries working with the State Library. “News Know-how” is supported by the Open Society Foundations.
Find more information, events, and resources for teens at http://opplteen.org.