January 27, 2022

A New Essay in the Project Information Literacy Provocation Series: “Reading in the Age of Distrust” by Alison J. Head

Published online today. This is the second essay in the Project Information Literacy Provocation Series.

From the Essay by Alison J. Head:

As soon as they begin college, course reading awaits them. Often students will be required to read texts closely, not just to glean important facts and figures, but to arrive at understanding through context, inference, and making connections of their own.

For college students in America today, these reading competencies are not only essential for academic success, but for functioning in the workplace and participating in a society that is increasingly more divided than ever over the veracity of news and information.

But how many faculty spend time talking to students about becoming stronger readers of all kinds of texts, not just assigned content? There’s the little-discussed skimming and scanning that most students have been doing since third or fourth grade for scrolling through social media feeds, news digests, and textbook assignments. Then there’s the college-level immersive reading for making sense out of texts that many professors in a variety of disciplines expect of them.


As trust in the written word continues to fray, are educators doing enough to prepare students for this new world of reading?

Direct to Full Text Essay & Author’s Reflections on What Inspired the Essay.

See Also: Essay #1 in Series: Lizard People in the Library” by Barbara Fister

See Also: Learn More About the PIL Provocation Series

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.