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Memes, or image macros, have become a standard method of digital information sharing. This is especially true during times when current events ignite a heightened desire for information seeking among students. Memes can be sources of misinformation, such as during events of the past decade, including recent presidential elections, social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Librarians need to address this format in their information literacy teachings. In this article, the author briefly outlines the rise of internet memes, discusses how higher education students are engaging with them, and highlights some problematic meme-sharing throughout some of the aforementioned events of the past decade. Within the modern information landscape, where misleading information and fake news abound, librarians can and should create and share their own educational memes designed to promote information literacy by example. These librarian-authored memes should also demonstrate source attribution and ethical information sharing practices. Resources for meme creation, tips on how to use them within information literacy instruction, and examples of how the author has included them in her own pedagogy are included.


This is the Accepted Manuscript version which was published in The Reference Librarian. Here is the citation:

Boyle, C. (2022). How do you meme?: Using memes for information literacy instruction. The Reference Librarian, 63(3), 82-101.



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