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Wonder Media Website Available to Support Media and News Literacy

Library of Michigan, WMU Partner on Project

LANSING – The Library of Michigan is partnering with Western Michigan University to launch a publicly available website called Wonder Media to build media and news literacy.

In the context of the website, media literacy is the ability to understand how and why people use different forms of media and how messages are perceived by others. News literacy is the ability to analyze news stories and determine their credibility and accuracy.

The Wonder Media website provides an engaging media literacy toolkit containing materials that explain several relevant and current topics, such as daily media use, the history of forms of media, construction of social media posts, the business of media, and how algorithms work.

In addition to media literacy, Wonder Media also provides interactive news literacy tips on important topics such as conspiracy theories and fact-finding.

“The Library of Michigan is proud to be a part of a project that combats the spread of misinformation online,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Public library staff, now more than ever, need tools and resources to create meaningful and important programming to do so, and it is very exciting to know this toolkit is available.”

Materials on the website are aimed at middle school users, ages 11-14, but many of the online games, videos, and program ideas are suitable for ages 10 and older.

“Improving literacy among Michigan’s children is one of our top priorities,” said Michigan Department of Education Superintendent Michael F. Rice. “In addition to learning how to read, our students also need to understand the different forms of news media and how to analyze media to determine accuracy and credibility.”

The Wonder Media website toolkit offers interesting activities to accompany site contents, including ready-made worksheets, programming ideas, and activities. These are available on the Resources page, which is continually updated. Users will find lesson plans, suggestions of books and articles, and other website and online materials on media literacy and news literacy.  

The Library of Michigan and WMU developed the website as a digital version of the successful two-year run of the Wonder Media: Ask the Questions! interactive exhibition at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in Kalamazoo. The exhibition was a joint project of WMU and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

“The project team of WMU, the Library of Michigan, and public library partners throughout Michigan are excited to share this first-of-its-kind resource with library patrons,” said Sue Ellen Christian, WMU 2021-24 Presidential Innovation professor in communication, who spearheaded the project. “This website aims to support the efforts of tweens, teens, and adults to wisely navigate today's digital media landscape.” 

Several public libraries collaborated with the Library of Michigan, WMU, and Kalamazoo Valley Museum to transition the museum exhibit into interactive online library programming for the public’s enjoyment. They are:

  • Bay County Library System.
  • Grand Rapids Public Library.
  • Kalamazoo Public Library.
  • Petoskey District Library.
  • Rochester Hills Public Library.
  • Traverse Area Public Schools’ Library.
  • Ypsilanti Public Library.
  • The Maryland State Library Agency.

“Wonder Media is a very fun and interactive way to engage with tweens and teens on the important topic of media literacy,” said Nisa Kesseler, Teen Services librarian at Petoskey District Library. “From games to displays to presentations, there are so many ways for teens to interact with Wonder Media and come away more media savvy!”

The website is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Western Michigan University, and the Library of Michigan. To provide site feedback, please visit the Wonder Media contact page.

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The Library of Michigan is an agency within the Michigan Department of Education dedicated to providing the people of this state and their government one perpetual institution to collect, preserve, and provide access to the story of the state, and to support libraries in their role as essential community anchors. To learn more, visit

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