Public Libraries 2030, in partnership with Google, has launched Super Searchers – a new information literacy programme. The programme will equip librarians and library staff with the skills to increase the search and information literacy skills of library patrons so they can more effectively and critically evaluate information online. Over the coming months, the programme aims to reach ~1,000 library professionals across Europe, and reaching tens of thousands of library patrons in 2022 and beyond.
Everyday, people use the internet to find information or answers to their questions. Some websites, however, unintentionally, or purposefully, contain inaccurate information – and navigating the web, and sorting through the wide array of websites online, can be very challenging. At the time of the publication of the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index, 46% of Europeans had encountered untrue or doubtful content or information online in the last 3 months and yet only 24% of EU individuals had checked the truthfulness of the information or content found on internet news sites or social media and 5% admitted they lacked the skills or knowledge to verify truthfulness.
Over the past two decades, search engines have become increasingly important tools for librarians and library patrons who come to libraries to seek trustworthy information and resources for their needs. Recognising this, Google has tried to make it easier for users to critically analyse their search results and sources of information (including by developing tools such as “About This Result”).
Public Libraries 2030 and Google recognise the critical role that libraries play in providing high quality information to the general public – and that library patrons often come to libraries to seek authoritative information and resources for their need. However, navigating the web may be a challenge, particularly when some websites contain inaccurate or misleading information. The Super Searchers programme aims to respond to this by further empowering library professionals on behalf of themselves and their patrons.
“For centuries, the mission of libraries has been to enable everyone to have access to information. That mission hasn’t changed but the world we live in has. The internet has opened up a new world of information, which requires a whole new set of skills and library staff have to upskill to meet the needs of their community and help them navigate our digital era. Partnering with Google on tackling misinformation is a great opportunity to make a step change.”
Ilona Kish, PL 2030 Director
Read the news announcement published by Google.