May 26, 2022

Hoax Alert: Australian Library Moving Lance Armstrong Books To Fiction Not Happening

Yesterday you might have seen reports that the Manly Library in Sydney was moving books about Lance Armstrong to their fiction collection.

We waited to share this item because it seemed odd, a bit suspicious, and thought it might be a hoax (albeit a very funny one, a piece of satire worthy of kudos) but a hoax nonetheless. There was even a smiley face at the bottom of the sign that signaled to some it might not be true.

Would we hear from the Manly Library one way or another?

We did hear from library’s community liaison today and and it turns out it WAS a hoax.

From The Sydney Morning News:

Wendy Ford, Manly Library’s community liaison librarian, said the sign was put up “as a bit of a joke” by a young university student who worked casual shifts at the library on weekends.

“This person just works a few hours on the weekend and he didn’t have any authority to make a statement on behalf of the library,” she said.

This hoax really didn’t hurt anyone (except perhaps Mr. Armstrong and he has many more issues to be concerned about, both legal and moral) but it’s yet another example of how incorrect facts can be transmitted around the world in a matter of seconds. In other words, another example for your digital literacy file.

A quick check by any of the news organizations reporting this item as fact BEFORE posting it might have caused the item not be reported as fact but a great piece of satire.

Again, in this case the end result is not a major deal but we do know that if/when a hoax is a serious problem and does shares incorrect info trying to correct the story is much more challenging.

This is why everyone needs to have high-quality digital literacy training with skills that are constantly updated.

By the way, as we prepared this post we heard a radio report about the Manly Library’s collection of books about Lance Armstrong being moved to fiction. It was being reported it as fact. )-:

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.