Beyond Habit and Convention: Visual Literacy and the VRC

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Beyond Habit and Convention: Visual Literacy and the VRC by Amanda Rybin

Critic John Berger’s ideas about seeing are still relevant. Many are certainly enveloped in the contemporary academic librarian’s definition of visual literacy. As one might expect, visual literacy has particular necessity for the librarian, like me, who works in a Visual Resources Center (VRC). I am very concerned with the habits of seeing among students and instructors… There are several challenges to visual literacy on campus. When these challenges are not met, there is reliance on convention and old habits. These challenges include resource unawareness, discomfort with technology, and information overload. As our VRC evolved from a slide library to a fully equipped digital media center, our ability to answer such challenges transformed.

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