Information ACTism in “Trumping” the Contemporary Fake News Phenomenon in Rural Libraries

Bharat Mehra 1
  • 1 School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, AL 35487, Tuscaloosa

Abstract

Fabricated or fake news has become a phenomenon of unprecedented proportions in the 21st century. Donald J. Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States, has played a major role in its pervasive adoption and spread of misinformation and disinformation since his ascendency on November 8, 2016. In today’s complex political landscape, this article introduces the gerund and present participle “trumping” in mock homage to the fake news legacy of President Trump. “Trumping” simultaneously symbolizes a seemingly contradictory act of subversive and patriotic resistance for libraries to counter his fake news rhetoric to further his political ends. It calls for rural libraries (amongst others) to embrace a multi-pronged approach of information ACTism that draws upon intersections in information literacy-fluency-advocacy in their “trumping” actions to resist the President’s unhealthy behaviors since rural communities (and others) continue to be especially susceptible to his negativity and use of fake news. This think piece is based on analysis of selected news media coverage and provides libraries out-ofthe-box strategies to lead their communities towards critical and reflective analytical political decision-making in the face of fake news bombardment emerging from a person in the highest office of the land.

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