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Teaching faculty and librarians to discuss how students best learn to think critically about bias and sources

April 4, 2017

Critically appraising information is at the core of librarians' work and VCU's librarians see increasing needs for strengthening how they teach news and information literacy.  

As part of the ongoing #vetyoursources campaign, VCU Libraries will host "Teaching Students to Vet Their Sources," a conversation and networking opportunity for teaching faculty, Wednesday, April 26, 4 to 6 p.m., at the James Branch Cabell Lecture Hall.

Underlying questions for the discussion are: What strategies can we as educators employ to increase students’ facility in identifying false, misleading or inaccurate information? What are the greatest challenges students face in identifying high-quality information in day-to-day and academic contexts?

"We envision this as a purposeful conversation between librarians and other teaching faculty," says Laura W. Gariepy, head of teaching, learning and information at Cabell Library. Each academic year, her department teaches thousands of first- and second-year students basic information literacy. "Universities need to take a sure-footed leadership role in preparing our students for our complex information ecosystem, which is rife with misinformation, bias, unvetted data and more. So called “fake news” has become a buzzword, but the challenge of critical thinking about the reliability of sources in day-to-day life and in academic work is big and complex.”

"This conversation will help librarians and teaching faculty share with one another to develop stronger approaches to teaching students to vet their sources. We look forward to using what is learned here to improve our pedagogical practice in the curriculum and explore new ways to engage with students to increase their facility with evaluating information. We're open to all sorts of ideas."

Seating is limited and and registration is requested by April 23 for catering purposes but walk-ins are welcome. H’ors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be served and the discussions will be in small groups.

 Questions? Contact Laura Gariepy Head of Teaching, Learning, and Information, Cabell Library, at


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