Curbing Fake News: A Qualitative Study of the Readiness of Academic Librarians in Ghana

Abstract

While fake news has been a common problem for well over a century, the emergence of social media and smartphones has escalated its spread. This study adopts a qualitative approach to explore the readiness of academic librarians in curbing fake news. Data was drawn from interviews with reference library staff and head librarians who were purposively selected from 12 academic libraries and evaluated through the lens of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions [IFLA] guide on ‘how to spot fake news’. The study revealed that although academic librarians were aware of fake news, they do not grasp the complexity and intricacies of the phenomenon. Therefore, the study recommends regular on-the-job training for academic librarians in identifying fake news. The Library and Information Science departments of universities in Ghana should review their curriculum to include training and education on problematic information. There should be collaboration between libraries and social media organization on curbing fake news. We support the call for information literacy, critical thinking and media literacy instructions to be embedded in all subjects with academic librarians as co-instructors.

Recommended Citation

Daniel Azerikatoa Ayoung, Frederic Naazi-Ale Baada & Charles Bugre (2022): Curbing Fake News: A Qualitative Study of the Readiness of Academic Librarians in Ghana, International Information & Library Review, DOI: 10.1080/10572317.2022.2046438

Keywords

Fake news, misinformation, disinformation, problematic information, academic libraries, Ghana