ACRL Sponsors Project Information Literacy Student News Consumption Study

ACRL is a co-sponsor of a forthcoming Project Information Literacy (PIL) research study investigating how young adults consume news and gather information. The research, conducted in partnership with faculty at Northeastern University and Wellesley College, focuses on two of the most pressing issues of what has been called our “post-truth” era: currency and authority.

“In today’s political and social climate, media literacy and news evaluation are more essential skills than ever for our students,” said ACRL President Cheryl A. Middleton of Oregon State University. “The ACRL Board of Directors is proud to continue the association’s strong, ongoing commitment to information literacy issues by helping fund this important research.”

Researchers are looking to break new ground as an empirical and quantitative study of many issues, such as “fake news” and misinformation, to help better ground public discourse and potential policy solutions. A set of recommendations will be made for addressing relevant problems, offering insights to three groups in particular working with young adults on the front lines: librarians, journalists, and educators.

Led by Principal Investigator Alison J. Head of PIL, the project is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation along with a grant from the ACRL. The Northeastern University Libraries and College of Arts, Media, and Design have also contributed support to the project. The study, set to be concluded in fall 2018, will be one of the largest of its kind, with surveys and interviews on college campuses and other educational settings across the country.​

Additional information is available on the PIL website.

October 26 Update:

PIL has an opening for a part-time “PIL Research Fellow” in 2018 to work on the news consumption study. The application deadline is November 16 and complete details are available on the PIL website.