Digital Literacy Sessions at Jefferson Market Library

By Nancy Aravecz

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, one buzzy phrase has been seemingly everywhere: fake news. The proliferation of online news content, social media, and a relentless news cycle is making it more and more difficult for consumers to stay on top of what’s truth and what’s fiction. As the online media landscape becomes more creative, complex, and sophisticated, people of all ages and experience levels are falling prey to the fake news phenomenon.

But fake news isn’t the only thing tripping up consumers these days. New devices, mobile applications, web services, and social media innovations have brought new opportunities for companies and hackers to chip away at the privacy and security of users’ information, all for the sake of fun and convenience.

Regardless of how new or experienced you are with using the internet, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your digital literacy skills! This summer, the Jefferson Market Library will offer four, single-session classes to help Villagers do just that. The classes will be on two topics: “Your Media Diet” and “Your Privacy and Security.”

Your Media Diet” will be held on Thursday, July 6th at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 5th at 2:30 p.m. This interactive session will cover tips and tricks for: spotting fake news, popping your filter bubble, evaluating news sources—including infographic and photographic news—and some techniques for maintaining a healthy media diet in the age of information overload.

Your Privacy and Security” will be held on Thursday, July 13th at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 12th at 2:30 p.m. This session will include tips for: setting up a strong password, establishing anti-trackers and ad-blockers on your browser, activating two-step authentication, spotting a phishing scam, and conducting anonymous web browsing. Students will also learn about big data, the internet of things, and why privacy matters.

Students are encouraged to attend one of each class, though all are welcome to take as many or as few as they like. Registration opens at 10:00 a.m. one week before the session. Students can register online, by phone, or in person at the second floor information desk. All classes will be held in the Mae West Community Room on the third floor of the Jefferson Market Library.

Nancy Aravecz is a Librarian-in-Training at Jefferson Market Library. She holds a Masters in English Language and Letters from New York University, and is working toward a Masters of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Her studies focus on privacy and intellectual freedom, big data, the digital humanities, critical theory, and metafiction.

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