New Jersey Legislators Say Its Time to Invest In Information Literacy

New Jersey Legislators Say It's Time to Invest In Information Literacy!

New Jersey lawmakers and school librarians say it’s time for the state to get serious about teaching information literacy as tens of thousands of students have been learning remotely this year through an internet rampant with misinformation and conspiracy theories.

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“This is really the moment for school librarians right now,” Beth Thomas, president of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians told POLITICO. “If we can’t tell if the information we’re getting is coming from a reputable source, what good does that do?”

Thomas and her colleagues at the NJASL are advocating in favor of legislation, NJ A248 (20R)/ NJ S3464 (20R), that would require the state to develop and adopt school curriculum around “information literacy.” Districts would have to teach students how to research, find and evaluate information both in print and online.

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Librarians say they’d be best equipped to handle the task.

“We see this as the bedrock of democracy,” Mary Moyer Stubbs, legislative consultant at the NJASL, said.

As our schools are coming through the COVID-19 pandemic and a very disrupted social and political time in our communities, these information literacy skills are more important than ever. Please join the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) in support of S588 (2022) by contacting members of the NJ Senate Education Committee today. It’s important that they hear about how important this legislation is to you, their constituent.

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Thanks to the bipartisan sponsors Sen. Michael Testa [R], Sen. Shirley Turner [D], Sen. Vin Gopal [D], Sen. Anthony M. Bucco [R], Sen. Robert Singer [R], and Sen. Linda Greenstein [D], this is a powerful and important opportunity for all New Jersey students and families. The bill’s key goals are creating standards so students can learn to evaluate information critically and competently, to recognize relevant primary and secondary information, and to distinguish among facts, points of view, and opinions.