"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Truthiness" in schools

Can you believe this? The term "truthiness", coined by the comedian Stephen Colbert, has actually made it into dictionary.com. Here is the definition for truthiness:
truth·i·ness [troo-thee-nis]
1. the quality of seeming to be true according to one's intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like: the growing trend of truthiness as opposed to truth.
2. informal (of a belief) the quality of being considered true because of what the believer wishes or feels regardless of the facts.
I suppose that we operate, to some degree, with a bit of "truthiness"...believing something to be true just because it feels like it should be true. But it is starting to be quite alarming what some people believe and what they base their beliefs on these days.

Is there no one standing up for actual facts and reason? Enter the trusty librarian. Mark Ray, the 2011 Washington State Teacher of the Year is a Teacher-Librarian in Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington. He wrote an excellent editorial about the importance of librarians today with so much "truthiness" around to combat.  Here are a few of the highlights from the editorial but I urge you to pop over to the Seattle Times link and read the whole thing for yourself,
  • "As a teacher librarian, my job is to ensure that students are effective users and producers of information and ideas."
  • "In this 21st century, we consume information by turning to a screen instead of a newspaper or book. In the past, we could go to the library and find materials that were likely to be accurate or at least balanced. While I'm not advocating a return to a time when libraries or books were the only place to go for information, I'm also sure that "The Google" is not a library. Today, we must make decisions about bias, currency and accuracy ourselves. Many students struggle with that."
  • "Getting to the truth has never been harder than it is today. The loss of libraries, teacher librarians and the ascendance of truthiness fundamentally hurts our nation. We are losing the expertise, resources and skills necessary to be informed voters and citizens."
I'm with Mark Ray, I believe that we need more librarians to help students navigate the plethora of information out there so that less decisions are based on "truthiness" and more are based on facts!

If you are with me, thank a teacher-librarian you know today!

Ray, Mark. "Opinion | Save the Children by Fighting 'truthiness' | Seattle Times Newspaper." The Seattle Times | Seattle  Times Newspaper. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. .


  1. While I believe that one should base most of their opinions on fact, I do think that there are some things that can't be proven. For example, I employ a very truthiness attitude in regards to religion because beliefs, morals, doctrine, god for that matter can't be proven to be fact.

    So, yes, truth should always trump truthiness, but I think there is room in this world for truthiness too.

  2. Truthiness... I hadn't heard that one. I am just excited that a teacher librarian won State Teacher of the Year somewhere!

    I do think with databases and internet it is difficult for today's students to sort out all the information that is out there

  3. Oh, I'd freak if there were no more libraries. The internet isn't enough!

  4. LOL, Colbert must be milking this for all it's worth :) I completely agree that, for the most part, children are overreliant on the Internet and trust almost anything they read online as factual without judging the quality and authenticity of material. The Internet is an important resource (and impossible to ignore) but must be part of children's education, and not an all-encompassing whole.


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