I will say that librarians are in a much better position to "deal" with it at the point of need. We help the students find the information. We answer their questions from teaching how to find sources to what makes a good source. We have the requisite knowledge to analyze that information and point out any issues with it. Thus we can teach students how to be critical and skeptical information users and thinkers.
Maybe I am being a bit idealistic. After all, I happen to like that quote about democracy and educated citizens. It's the one from the Boston Public Library that says ""The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty."We are experts at finding information and answers; we are also experts at evaluating that information and deciding what sources are best and what sources are best left in the scrap pile. Yes, we do make such decisions. This is where we distinguish ourselves and where we bring value to our communities be they academic or public. It's what makes us professionals, even at a time when some of my own professional brethren keep insisting on belittling what we do or questioning said professionalism on some mere technicality. We should be able to tell a student, "if you use this source, keep in mind it has X or Y bias or issue with it." And if they ask how do we know, we show them exactly how we know so they learn. No, if they all learned, it would not put me out of work. Information and how it is organized as well as its nuances constantly changes, and I am the one who gets to keep up and teach others. I will always have work, and it will be meaningful work. Well, I think working to have a better educated citizenry is pretty meaningful.
Citation to the article that brought this about:
Emmons, Mark, Wanda Martin, et.al., "Engaging Sources: Information Literacy and the Freshman Research Paper (Part I)." LOEX Quarterly 36.4 (Winter 2010): 8-9.
This is subscription based, and my library happens to subscribe. Use ILL if you want it.
A sample passage from the article I highlighted:
- "While Joseph describes the program accurately and understood the study's evaluative purpose, he misrepresents its conclusion and fails to note that the article was written by two people who work for the California Dairy Council, the advocacy group for the California dairy industry that developed Nutrition Pathfinders in the first place" (8). This is an example of using studies sponsored by a specific industry with a financial stake on an issue.