Visual Literacy in Practice: Use of Images in Students, Academic Work

Digital technology has changed the way in which students utilize visual materials in academic work and has increased the importance of visual literacy skills. This paper reports the findings of a research project examining undergraduate and graduate students’ visual literacy skills and use of images in the context of academic work. The study explored types of visual resources used, the role that images play in academic papers and presentations, and the ways students select, evaluate, and process images. The findings of the study indicate that students lack skills in selecting, evaluating, and using images. Students use a range of visual resources in their presentations but rarely use images in papers.

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Using Visual Materials to Teach Information Literacy Outside the Arts Curriculum

Students in non-arts disciplines generally are not taught to read and interpret visual images in the same way that those in the arts are taught. As a result, students in non-arts disciplines are often uncertain how to incorporate visual primary sources into their research. Using several of the frames outlined in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as an overarching structure, as well as the pedagogical model outlined in TeachArchives.org that focuses on active learning techniques, the authors outline their instructional techniques for teaching students to work with, and even interrogate, visual resources in a non-arts-based classroom.

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Tomes/Consume This! Engaging Patron Expertise through Artists’ Books

This article presents one way that librarians, archivists, and educators can create new knowledge by connecting communities with rare material culture. The authors share how they engaged critically reflective practices while gathering descriptions of rare Mexican artists’ books at community-engaged outreach events. The books took on new meanings once they were removed from the context of the archives, and were centered within diverse communities.

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The Art of Information Literacy: New Competencies for Art, Architecture, and Design Learners

Art, architecture, and design curriculum in higher education has evolved in many ways over the past decade. While many universities and colleges still ascribe to the Bauhaus model as a core approach to instruction, shifts in technology, modes of making, global perspectives, and the professional landscape have required responsiveness on the part of these institutions. Today’s art, architecture, and design learners need to be equipped to navigate, evaluate, and ethically use vast quantities and varieties of information in their practices. As a result of these evolutions and the influence of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, library pedagogy for these disciplines has accordingly shifted away from traditional bibliographic instruction and towards information literacy-based approaches.

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Teaching Students to Critically Read Digital Images: A Visual Literacy Approach Using the DIG Method

This innovative teaching idea, the Digital Image Guide (DIG) Method, addresses the pressing need to develop visual pedagogies in the university classroom by providing a technique for students to use to critically read digital images. This article also introduces the concept of shallow and deep images. It then explains the difference between the two types of images and how to use the DIG Method to dig deeper in order to understand deep images. By utilizing the DIG Method, students can learn to analyze, interpret, evaluate and comprehend images found on social media sites and around the web, increasing their visual literacy skills in the process.

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Representing Gender: Visual Literacy Instruction in the Academic Library

Contemporary society is dominated by visual communication, yet visual literacy is a learned skill that requires training. Gender issues, particularly the subjects of gender diversity and power struggles, are deeply pertinent to today’s visual culture. The critical consumption of information has long been taught in libraries, though instruction has typically prioritized text-based sources. However, visual literacy instruction has the capacity to provoke critical inquiry into issues of gender, race, social class, and ethnicity. As institutions that promote social justice, libraries can help improve diversity and inclusion in their communities through teaching visual literacy skills at all levels. Critical visual literacy instruction can also help academic libraries advance student scholarship, which can only be achieved if they are literate in all forms of knowledge production.

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Collecting Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Twenty-First Century Library

In this paper, we discuss possible pedagogical applications for virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), within a humanities/social sciences curriculum, articulating a critical need for academic libraries to collect and curate 3D objects. We contend that building infrastructure is critical to keep pace with innovative pedagogies and scholarship. We offer theoretical avenues for libraries to build a repository 3D object files to be used in VR and AR tools and sketch some anticipated challenges. To build an infrastructure to support VR/AR collections, we have collaborated with College of Liberal Arts to pilot a program in which Libraries and CLA faculty work together to bring VR/AR into liberal arts curricula.

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Visual Literacy: Academic Libraries Address 21st Century Challenges

This paper aims to explore a study that examines the role of academic librarians who teach visual literacy within their information literacy curricula.

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Visual Literacy, News Literacy, and the Fight Against Misinformation

This column explores the ways in which the new generation of librarians can position themselves at the front lines of the misinformation and “fake news” crisis by incorporating visual literacy and news literacy into information literacy lessons.

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The Art of Evidence: A Method for Instructing Students in Art History Research

Within various disciplines, contextual sources such as history, theory, and criticism are used to support knowledge claims. However, the discipline of art history assigns the undergraduate a particular challenge with regard to secondary source use.

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Supporting Multimodal Literacy in Library Instruction

Students interact with information in many ways throughout the day, code switching between modes depending on their needs. Educators are finally realizing that composing in more than one mode is not only important, but also necessary. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the academic library, the ACRL Framework and information literacy instruction in creating ethical, inspired users. This paper looks at previously published work on multimodal discourse, how libraries have supported modes in the past and how the ACRL Information Literacy Framework highlights the need to teach students and faculty how to compose in many modes.

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Methodological Approaches for Exploring Visual Literacy Practices

The proliferation of images and their increased use in academic and everyday information practices has sparked an interest in visual literacy as an area of research and library instruction. Teaching approaches and student learning are examined using theoretical frameworks and a variety of methodological strategies. This paper provides a review of research methodology adopted in empirical studies of visual literacy that were published in academic journals between 2011 and 2017.

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Harder to Find than Nemo: The Elusive Image Citation Standard

New image citation standards need to be developed for college and graduate students to meet visual literacy standards. The MLA Handbook, 8th edition, and Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, do not adequately clarify how to caption, attribute, and cite images. Other image captioning and citing resources are available, but they refer to the MLA and Chicago manuals. Image captions from scholarly journals vary widely and cannot be used as examples for students to follow. Recommendations are also provided for future editions of the MLA Handbook and Chicago Manual of Style.

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Gathering the Margins: The London College of Communication Library Zine Collection

The London College of Communication (LCC) Zine Collection was founded in July 2009 and now contains more than 4,000 zines. It is the most heavily used special collection at LCC Library. This article outlines the history and development of the collection, its uses in teaching, learning and research, and its value for widening access to, and representing diversity in an academic library environment.

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Developing Visual Literacy Skills Through Library Instructions

Visual literacy skills have become an inevitable part of life in today’s world. Technological innovations leading to new literacy skills have changed traditional ways of communication and made it necessary to learn and understand symbols, pictures, photos, illustrations, diagrams, infographics, pictograms, simulations, graphical interfaces, digitized images, and other visual tools. Therefore, it is very significant to teach individuals about visual literacy skills: the ability to understand, interpret, evaluate, organize, and construct visual information. Infographics are essential tools for learners. One of the most prominent institution to teach visual literacy skills is libraries. Visual tools, strategies, and methods should be applied in library instructions for users to realize these skills. The aim of the chapter is to show the importance of visualization, visual literacy, and infographics and present suggestions regarding how to develop the visual literacy skills of learners by libraries.

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Cultural Differences and Information Literacy Competencies

Design students can pose multiple challenges for librarians. Their information-seeking behaviours are often less linear than those of their university colleagues. Developing library initiations and instruction becomes even more challenging when working with international students who bring different cultural backgrounds and language competencies to their college programme. They also have varying degrees of experience with and knowledge about libraries.

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Critical Digital Pedagogy and Cultural Sensitivity in the Library Classroom: Infographics and Digital Storytelling

Academic librarians have a demonstrated interest in digital tools for teaching and learning and often provide support for these tools to their wider campus communities. Additionally, many librarians incorporate these tools into their own teaching in the information literacy classroom. However, little has been written about how digital tools can support critical information literacy and critical pedagogy specifically in library instruction.

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Comics, Questions, Action! Engaging Students and Instruction Librarians with the Comics-Questions Curriculum

In a four-session Summer Bridge programme, we experimented with new curricular and pedagogical ideas with a group of incoming freshmen. We developed the Comics-Questions Curriculum (CQC), which melds students’ question asking with a focus on comics. The purpose of this paper is to describe the rationale for and ongoing development of the CQC as well as the ways the CQC fosters engagement of students and librarians, builds upon students’ existing skills but propels them forward toward college-level work, and positions librarians as partners in students’ college work. Although it was designed for a specific purpose initially, the CQC in its current state is widely adaptable to other contexts beyond the original scope.

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“Let me tell you what I learned”: Primary Course Literacy and Student Employment in Archives and Special Collections

In academic libraries, information literacy traditionally focuses on instruction sessions and classes, activities in library learning spaces, and interactions with librarians. Often overlooked but equally as important to augmenting the student experience is employment in academic libraries and its relationship to the development of information and other literacies. This is particularly true concerning the contribution of special collections and archives, as most scholarship associated with primary source literacy focuses on instruction. This article begins to fill this gap by reporting the results of a series of qualitative interviews with student employees who worked directly with special collections and archives.

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When Research Does Not Start with a Question: Teaching with the Framework and Visual Literacy Standards within Art and Architecture Librarianship

While much has been written about implementing the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in various classroom settings, this article addresses mapping the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education to the Framework in designing instruction for art and architecture students. Disciplinary lenses, allowing for an integrative, pragmatic heuristic, are coupled with an integration of approaches found in the library instruction literature, including faculty and librarian teaching partnerships and assessment. The versatility of mapping these professional documents is demonstrated through implementation in both one-shot and embedded instruction.

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