Like many others, master's student Lizzy Boden was very focused on fake news during the 2016 election. For her research proposal in IS 501, Information Organization and Access, she examined how libraries are combating fake news. She followed up with the topic in IS 590IIA, International Information Associations and Policy, and her findings are available in the ALA-ACRL online publication, "Keeping Up With… Debiasing and Fake News." According to Boden, "The more I researched, the more clear it became that fake news is actually a symptom of cognitive bias rather than a stand-alone problem. As such, tips to consider the authority of sources and even specific misinformation corrections are minimally effective as a solution. That makes the problem much harder to solve—but I think librarians are well placed to be involved in debiasing work."
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
I'd been thinking about it for a long time. My first job was at the River Forest Public Library when I was 16, and I worked at the DePaul University Special Collections and Archives as an undergraduate. After graduating, I took a few years to work and travel, and the more I got to know my preferences, the more I realized that libraries are the right place for me. I love providing information to help people reach their goals.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
The iSchool at Illinois was the perfect option for me! I first looked at it because of its proximity to Chicago and #1 ranking, but the more I researched, the happier I was with the School. I liked that I could customize my degree and that I would have access to some of the brightest thinkers in the field, as well as one of the country's best library systems. I also appreciated that so many iSchool classes are technology focused.
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
I am most interested in community engagement, usability and access for libraries, and international librarianship.
What do you do outside of class?
I'm the curriculum collection GA at the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library on campus, and I also volunteer at The Urbana Free Library Teen Open Lab. Outside of library activities, my favorite hobby is scuba diving, and I hope I have the chance to go again soon. I also love to travel whenever possible and to do yoga.
What career plans or goals do you have?
The million dollar question! I've been trying to leave my options open, but I would really like to be a reference and instruction librarian at a public or academic library. I'm also currently learning more about UX librarianship, and I would love to pursue it further. Ideally, I'll have the chance to combine these interests and maybe even work internationally someday.