This toolkit has been created through a collaborative effort between PLP member libraries, those greater Bay Area organizations which have invested time and energy in curating content regarding news literacy, and the consultants Common Knowledge.


Different demographic groups may engage with media in very different ways. A Millenial may consume media in an entirely different fashion and with a different set of assumptions than a Baby Boomer or any other generation. A recent immigrant may have a different relationship with trusting the media than someone who has grown up in the United States. Republicans may have entirely different news sources than Democrats (with both thinking the other is suspect). If English is not a person’s primary language, their media landscape may be very different than someone who only speaks English.


There are many ways to look at the populations we serve; each will have unique needs when it comes to media literacy. Librarians using this toolkit are encouraged to consider who they are attempting to reach, select the appropriate resources from within, and adjust them to best fit that demographic.


The challenge of creating a toolkit like this comes from understanding we are attempting to address an extremely complex subject with a set of recommendations that are very broad. This is purposefully done. We wanted to provide tools which could be used by most anyone to get some traction on the larger concepts that affect most everyone. But we recognize the limitations this also presents depending on the needs of your specific community.


Literacies play a large role in a person’s ability to navigate the media landscape. With a limited ability to read either in a primary or secondary language, a person’s direct connection to a wide variety of media becomes reduced. This doesn’t mean that a user is uninformed, but that their method of becoming informed may be considerably different from the assumptions of news gathering made to develop this toolkit.


In the focus groups leading up to the toolkit, we spoke with patrons for who English was not a primary language to gather some insight for this issue. However, the sample size was small and not representative of the wide diversity of people who might have English language literacy issues that affect their news consumption. Before using these tools, you may want to gather information about your community’s unique media consumption habits and tailor certain items to better reflect their needs.


Similarly, while newspapers, television, and radio are still active sources of news, much of the media landscape is shifting to digital dissemination. On account of this, digital literacy is a component which may affect a patron’s media literacy skills. Here again, your understanding of your community is important in how you choose and deploy the tools within.


The media environment is constantly in flux. While the tools in this kit are the best that we could find or devise at this particular moment, others will show up and some may become irrelevant over time. As with any tool, please evaluate it for your own purposes, update the content if required or disregard if no longer applicable.


Some of the resources included in the toolkit are taken from other content providers. Due to this, some links may become unavailable over time or the content may be adjusted in unforeseen ways. Where possible, we have recreated content in order to make sure it remains stable or have provided access in a way that should remain stable.


The materials in the News Literacy Toolkit are available for your non-commercial use.

Documents from this toolkit can be used without prior permission for non-commercial educational purposes, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the sources in all copies.

All permissions granted by PLP are granted insofar and only insofar as the rights of PLP are concerned. Some materials in this toolkit may be copyrighted by other entities. If you wish to use these materials, you must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. You must agree to indemnify and to hold harmless PLP, its officers, employees and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions and expenses arising out of the use of reproductions provided by PLP member libraries. When using materials from the News Literacy Toolkit website, please cite the following:

  • the name and URL of the website (News Literacy Toolkit;
  • the title of the web page or resource
  • the phrase “News Literacy Toolkit is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, and in partnership with the Pacific Library Partnership”


News Literacy Toolkit was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library should be inferred.