Beyond the classroom

Library partnerships

Libraries are an important conduit for news literacy lessons, and the News Literacy Project works with libraries around the country to reach learners outside the classroom.

A librarian and a student work on a computer together
Librarians used the Checkology platform at a professional development session in New York City.

The News Literacy Project has growing partnerships with two of the largest public library systems in the United States. The New York Public Library (NYPL) has expressed considerable interest in using the Checkology® virtual classroom in its after-school programs around the city. During the spring of 2017, NYPL used the platform with about 50 students in three sites as part of a pilot program with its Middle School Innovation Labs.

Our staff members have also presented an in-depth demonstration of the platform to 10 NYPL staff members associated with the Out-of-School Time program. “We’re excited to continue using the Checkology virtual classroom at NYPL branches around the city,” said Siva Ramakrishnan, the program’s associate director. We’re continuing to work with NYPL staff to expand our partnership to more branch libraries in 2018.

The Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) offered instruction using the virtual classroom at six branches during the summer of 2017, taking a variety of approaches. Several branches offered it as an intensive camp, with five to 10 teenagers participating. Others offered it weekly, with four to eight students participating. At one branch MDPLS provided instruction on the platform to adults, and the participants discussed what they learned with each other and asked questions of the librarians. Overall, more than 60 students and adults took part in the pilot program.

MDPLS is taking a bottom-up approach, making staff aware of the virtual classroom and offering multiple professional development opportunities to their librarians. MDPLS is continuing its pilot program in the first half of 2018 by offering news literacy courses at four additional branches. We hope to see widespread adoption of the virtual classroom within MDPLS branches in the near future.

In both cities, NLP has found receptive partners and conducted successful pilot programs. Our experience has shown that libraries and librarians are natural conduits for news literacy education, since they are in a position to reach individuals and groups who otherwise may not be exposed to this vital tool for 21st-century citizenship.

Is your library interested in working with NLP?
Contact Damaso Reyes, director of partnerships, at dreyes@newslit.org.

Young African Leaders Initiative

NLP is working with the State Department to make its news literacy resources available to more than 500,000 young African leaders.

In the spring of 2018, the News Literacy Project made resources available to the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a leadership training program based at higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. The State Department shared infographics and lesson plans created by NLP to help YALI members and their communities understand the importance of taking three steps when engaging with social media:

  • Stop before sharing information.
  • Reflect on what you’re seeing before you share it.
  • Verify that what you are about to share is factual.

NLP also provided YALI members with access to the Checkology virtual classroom, along with lesson plans, so that participants across the continent could host events focused on teaching news literacyin their communities.

If you run a news literacy program in a country outside the United States and would like to partner with NLP, contact Damaso Reyes, director of partnerships, at dreyes@newslit.org.