Research & Instruction Librarian University of Mississippi Libraries
An in-depth look at the famous 1893 murder trial of Lizzie Borden was used as a case study for a new critical thinking workshop at UM Libraries. In the workshop, participants were introduced to some of the pitfalls of true crime research including fact finding, primary and secondary resources, misinformation, and media bias. The objectives for participants of the workshop were to develop critical thinking and information literacy skills by examining multiple sources for credibility and relevance; recognize library staff, resources, and services as reliable and available sources of information, and to understand that authority is constructed and contextual. These objectives were achieved by reading and discussing selections from multiple primary and secondary sources, including newspaper articles, official court documents, and the autobiography of a reporter who covered the trial. Workshop feedback and plans for future true crime instruction sessions will be presented.