EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the character Ron—channeling his friend Hermione—says to Harry Potter: “When in doubt, go to the library.” In the United States today, there is plenty to doubt.
Complex arguments are being whittled down to 280 characters. And of course, the president has made more than 5,000 false or misleading statements in about 600 days. Just last week, he falsely claimed that 3,000 Puerto Ricans “did not die in the two hurricanes.
Lies have become too commonplace in the United States, so the American people need a place where they can go to get the truth. Ron is right. Go to your public library.
Public libraries provide information in an era of misinformation. They offer facts and nuance. They offer the opportunity for enlightenment. They offer every visitor the resources they need to find answers. The American Library Association reports that many public libraries are, for instance, “developing programs to help community members spot ‘fake news’ and evaluate information online.”
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.