After all these years, I am still impressed by people who work in a library. This morning, I witnessed another example of how our staff practice what we preach when it comes to doing thorough research on a topic to come to a reasonable conclusion.

A coworker of mine came to me this morning to advise me of a document that has been circulating the internet. The document seemed to support her personal feelings on an issue, but something didn’t seem right. When she noticed that the “official government logo” appeared slightly distorted, she decided to dig deeper to make sure that the document was genuine. Rather than doing an internet search, she went straight to the source; the official website of the government entity. It turns out that the document is fake.

image of fake document

Doing research that may contradict our opinion requires deep appreciation for factual proof. That she did so was impressive enough. But, even more so was her dedication to doing actual research (not a Google search) to make sure that she wasn’t being influenced by fake news. It is a testament to the culture of the library that encourages people to access reputable information to make choices and decisions.

This experience reminds me to refrain from sharing information or documents that have been shared with me unless I properly vet them for validity. It is easy to share information or use it to “prove” our stance on an issue. But, if it turns out to be fake news, it could discredit us altogether.

If we have been raised on Google, or have simply forgotten how to conduct proper research, we can get help from librarians. They are literally masters at research (a professional librarian has earned a Masters of Library and Information Science degree). Whether it is to validate a simple document, write a research paper, or choose your next read-for-fun title, our librarians are here to help. Call us or stop by during our new open hours* to pick the brain of one of our master researchers.

Marcy Timblin, Public Relations and Marketing

Feature image from Pixaby
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