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How to Spot Fake News

In this post-truth environment, being able to tell the real from the fake is more difficult yet more important than ever. (Post-truth was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2016).

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) have produced this infographic with eight simple steps for you to follow in order to verify what you are reading or watching is reliable.  This infographic can be downloaded and shared freely.

Academic libraries are coming up with some useful fake news spotting guides for students. One good one is that of the University of Toronto Libraries and another is by Fordham University Libraries.  These, and others, give good links to sites to help you verify what you are reading whether it’s an item of interest that’s just popped up in your Facebook or Twitter feed, or a friend or colleague sharing news on something shocking or improbable.


#geekread, the Read Watch Play theme for August 2016


“You know, “nerd culture” is mainstream now. So, when you use the word “nerd” derogatorily, it means you’re the one that’s out of the zeitgeist.” Ben Wyatt.

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.” Simon Pegg

“Nowadays, people own their nerd-dom.” Neil Gaiman

“Being a geek is cool.” – Me (In the vain hopes I’m cool now)

#geekread can be anything from the latest Brian Cox bestseller about the universe, to the world of Minecraft and everything in-between. It’s wanting to captain your own star ship but also wanting to travel Middle earth and fight a Balrog or becoming over excited when New Horizons flew past Pluto. Being a geek is difficult to define but what is universal across all geekdoms is passion.

Being a geek is so much more than the stereotyped kid with NHS glasses being socially inept. We geeks are inheriting the earth and showing the world that it’s ok to go crazy about that thing you love. Want to write fan fiction based in your favourite universe, or upload YouTube clips ofWorld of Warcraft or collect every issue of X-Men? In the words of the ‘great’ Shia LaBeouf‘DO it!’

Mrs. Bill Stagg with state quilt that she made, Pie Town, New Mexico. A community settled by about 200 migrant Texas and Oklahoma farmers who filed homestead claims ... Mrs. Stagg helps her husband in the field with plowing planting, weeding corn and harv

Mrs. Bill Stagg with state quilt that she made, Pie Town, New Mexico. Library of Congress on Flickr Commons

Being a geek is a state of mind. If you think you’re a geek, then you are one. You don’t need to be an expert in your fandom but you do need to have a devotion to it. (Don’t let anyone bully you because they tell you you’re not a real Star Wars nerd because you don’t know the name of the droid you saw for 5 seconds at the back of scene that one time).

‘Nerdy’ or ‘Geeky’ behaviour is way more common than most people like to think. You can be a gaming nerd, a book geek, a music fanatic, a keen quilter, knitter, maker of scalemail, garden geek,  and RPG (Role Playing Game) freak and much much more.

It’s not just reading Lord of the Rings, it’s absorbing the world Tolkien has built by reading the 12 volume history of middle earth. It’s not just about who was the best Doctor (Tennant of course) but its understanding the biology of a time lord and exploring countless time streams and worlds with them. It’s the kind of person that sits in all day with the next sci-fi blockbuster by Iain M Banks. It’s the girl who wants to level up their Warlock Drow in Dungeons and Dragonsso she can fight that last Boss Battle. And it’s the guy who likes to figure out if the science in Star Trek and Star Wars could actually work.

A geek is not interested in reality, we want an escape to a far off fascinating world. Being a Geek is cool. Have a look at some of the amazing #geekread stories at @iartlibraries

Twitter logo for RWPchat postsA date for your diary : There will be a twitter discussion on 30 August starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time.  6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST (UK).  Note this is a staggered discussion.

Please use the tags  #geekread and #rwpchat as you discuss your reading, watching, and playing that is your experience of  #geekread, so that others can join in the conversation too.

Free Computer Skills Workshops


Blue Mountains City Library is partnering with TAFE WSI (Outreach) to host Smart Participation, a free course tutoring basic computer skills designed to assist with upgrading technology skills, assisting return to work, resumé-building and more. Covers tablets, smartphones and computers.

Internet Strike!

Did you know that some internet sites will be on strike later this week? 

There is a bill before the US congress called SOPA [The Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).]  A large number of US based internet companies and clients are protesting against the bills.

How does this affect Australia? 

Some of the websites that will be participating in the strike are ones your clients use regularly including Wikipedia (going dark for 24 hours). Read this Reuters article for more information. On the Strike Against SOPA website there is a long list of other sites that have confirmed they are going on ‘strike’.  

The strike will be for 12-24 hours on 18 Januaryin the US which is Thursday 19 January for Australia.  It is not entirely clear to what extent that the strike may affect access to websites in countries outside the US, but we thought it is important enough to alert you to the potential for some disruption.

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