Spotting Fake News

Why do people fall for fake news?  How do you verify a piece of news as real?  How do you determine bias?  What is the place of personal responsibility in finding good news?

There have been a lot of solutions proposed to fight the fake news problem – human fact-checking services, crowd-sourcing, and artificial intelligence among them – but there are some systemic problems with these solutions.  Given the changing face of fake news, automating a system of checks or blocking known fake news accounts can be a game of whack-a-mole.  Even worse, flagging content as fake leads to greater trust in unflagged, and potentially false, content, according to 2017 study.

We will discuss these topics among others at an upcoming workshop series:

Finding Balanced News in a Biased World Part 1

Tuesday, September 11th at noon,

Fondren Library Red 323

Finding Balanced News in a Biased World Part 2

Tuesday, September 18th at noon,

Fondren Library Red 323

Interested but can’t come at this time? SMU Libraries offers the Request a Workshop service to meet the needs of your class, writing group, department, or student organization. Schedule a convenient time and location that works for you by choosing from a list of possible topics or requesting a custom session.

Welcome Holly Jeffcoat, Dean of SMU Libraries

Dean Holly JeffcoatHolly E. Jeffcoat is the first Dean of SMU Libraries. Formerly the Associate Dean of UConn Library at the University of Connecticut where she was responsible for leading information technology, patron services, planning and core library operations, Holly assumed the role of Dean in August of 2018. Her vision for the newly established SMU Libraries includes creating a customized and responsive scholarly information and research environment in support of SMU’s pursuit of becoming a premier research and teaching university with global impact.


She began her library career as the Library Director for the Charles Darwin Research Station in Galapagos, Ecuador. She has also held positions at the University Of New Mexico College Of University Libraries and Learning Sciences as well as the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.

Holly has published and presented on variety of scholarly communication topics, translational science support, use of virtual reality in education, and collection development in health sciences. Holly is a founding creator of BLC Leads, a leadership program for mid-career librarians in the Boston area and continues to serve as a program mentor. She is currently a member of the prestigious 2017-18 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Library Leadership Fellows Program.

Holly received her M.A. in Information Resource and Library Science from the University of Arizona, her M.S. in Sociology from Utah State University and her B.A. in Psychology from Greensboro College.

New Here? 3 Ways to Get Research Help from SMU Libraries

Whether you’re a first-year college student, starting graduate school, or you’ve been here for a while and want help navigating the library’s resources, SMU Libraries can help.

Ask Us

We are here to answer your questions –from booking a study room to academic publishing. There are a lot of ways you can contact us, online or in person:

• Chat

• Email

• Phone

• At the Desk

Look for the red Ask Us tab on the right side of our website. You can send us a message right away. If chat isn’t available, don’t give up.  Check out our FAQs or send us an email. We will get back to you as soon as we can!

Screen Shot of SMU Libraries Main Page with Ask Us button on the right
Click on the red button (hint: it’s on the right)

Research Guides

Use subject guides to find the top databases and resources for your field, recommended by your subject librarian. They are a great place to start your research, and have links to in-depth guides on a variety of research topics. If you need more help, you can make an appointment with your librarian directly from the page. Just click the red Schedule an Appointment button to get individualized research help, face-to-face or online.

Screen Shot of Subject Librarian with schedule an appointment button
Look for this box to easily make an appointment

Research Workshops

Did you recently transfer to SMU? We have Research Essentials for Transfer Students workshop just for you.

Need an intro to graduate level research? Try Library 6001: Graduate Research Essentials. 

Want to learn how to manage your citations? Our RefWorks workshop is offered multiple times a semester.

We have research workshops aimed at all skill and comfort levels. Check out our full lineup.

Looking Back: SMU’s “The Campus” – June 7th, 1944

SMU newspaper reports on D-Day

On June 7, 1944, SMU’s “The Campus” newspaper reports on the tide turning invasion in France with a mix of editorials, hard-nosed journalism, features stories and typical campus happenings. This newspaper offers an excellent snapshot of what campus was like, nearly 75 years ago, with a world war raging.

Excerpt from “The Campus” June 7, 1944

In this issue you’ll find:

  • Student’s reaction of the invasion
  • Article from Vivian Anderson Castleberry, Journalist and women’s rights activist
  • A first hand account of of Japanese Relocation Camps
  • The Prayer from SMU president Umphree Lee made on WRR
  • Special chapel “Invasion Prayer Service”
  • The Mortar Board makes a donation to the library
  • Campus Calendar
  • Greek News

…and more

Currently, SMU Archives has digitized SMU’s student newspaper from 1915 through 1989, which offers a high quality look at all the articles, photos and advertisements of the each publication.

New Library Search Features


The libraries have upgraded the library search tool to the Ex Libris’ Primo VE, after implementing the search tool in June 2017. Over the past year, library staff have listened to your feedback to improve the functionality of the library search tool. Some of the improvements include.

  • Search Timeout: The search will not timeout until there has been an hour of inactivity.
  • Library Help: Get easy access to help through the embedded Ask Us chat tab.
  • Refine My Results Improvements: Find more user-friendly search refinements with renamed and reordered facets.
  • Faster Updates: Library staff edits to item records will appear immediately and new records appear in the library search within 15 minutes, versus the prior 72-hour delay.

Personal account features, such as My Account and saved items in the eShelf, will not be disrupted. To learn more about the features, visit our page on how the Library Search tool works. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on how we can improve.


CUL Interim Dean Wins Outstanding Administrator Award

Congratulations are in order for our Interim CUL Dean Elizabeth Killingsworth, who received the Outstanding Administrator Award presented by the SMU Student Senate! This award is presented to one administrator for outstanding contributions to the SMU community and more importantly, for dedication to the SMU student body. We all know how awesome Elizabeth is but apparently even our students have noticed! We are so proud to see all of Elizabeth’s hard work recognized by the SMU community and most especially by SMU students.

Way to go, Elizabeth!!!

Why Archives? SMU Archivist, Joan Gosnell Explains

We recently chatted with SMU Libraries’ own Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist. With the upcoming presentations of the Black History at SMU Student Oral History Projects, we wanted to ask Joan some questions about “The Archives.” Joan was a big part in helping Dr. Jill Kelly’s students find their way through the archives to complete their projects. 

Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist
Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist

Continue reading “Why Archives? SMU Archivist, Joan Gosnell Explains”

Library Survey for Graduate Students

Graduate Students, We need your help. The Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship (ADV 6372) course is conducting a survey as part of their SMU Libraries case. They are helping us learn how to effectively tell graduate students, like you, about the libraries’ valuable services and resources.

Help us help you by taking the survey before April 6th.

The survey only takes about 8 minutes to complete. We appreciate your time and feedback!

Kanopy Streaming: Access Restored – Updated

Updated on 3/27 at 4:09pm: Library staff have restored access to streaming videos via Kanopy. 

All Kanopy films are available either immediately, or upon submission of the request form at the Kanopy site.  We are approving almost all requests received, and are aware that these films are being used for class assignments and research.  This is a temporary, budget-related measure, and we anticipate Kanopy access will return to its usual form after the beginning of the new fiscal year on June 1, 2018.  Please Ask Us if you would like assistance in locating an alternate resource for your research, or contact the Electronic Resources Team ( ) if you are having technical problems with accessing Kanopy films.