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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Data Visualization Literacy: Definitions, Conceptual Frameworks, Exercises, and Assessments

In the information age, the ability to read and construct data visualizations becomes as important as the ability to read and write text. However, while standard definitions and theoretical frameworks to teach and assess textual, mathematical, and visual literacy exist, current data visualization literacy (DVL) definitions and frameworks are not comprehensive enough to guide the design of DVL teaching and assessment. This paper introduces a data visualization literacy framework (DVL-FW) that was specifically developed to define, teach, and assess DVL.

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What Does It Mean to be Visually literate? Examination of Visual Literacy Definitions in a Context of Higher Education

Competency in visual literacy (VL) is crucial for effective visual communication, and thus for living and working in a visually saturated environment. However, VL across disciplines is still marginalized in higher education curricula. This tendency is partly caused by the lack of knowledge and agreement on what it means to be visually literate. This study juxtaposes and evaluates 11 VL definitions, selected as the most relevant for higher education practitioners and coined from 1969 (the first one) to 2013 (the most recent one).

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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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Revisiting Metacognition and Metaliteracy in the ACRL Framework

In the early drafts of the Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education, metaliteracy and metacognition contributed several guiding principles in recognition of the fact that information literacy concepts need to reflect students’ roles as creators and participants in research and scholarship. The authors contend that diminution of metaliteracy and metacognition occurred during later revisions of the Framework and thus diminished the document’s usefulness as a teaching tool. This article highlights the value of metaliteracy and metacognition in order to support the argument that these concepts are critical to information literacy today, and that the language of these concepts should be revisited in the language of the Framework. Certainly metacognition and metaliteracy should be included in pedagogical strategies submitted to the newly launched ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox.

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Break the Stereotype! Critical Visual Literacy in Art and Design Librarianship

The authors consider an approach to visual literacy instruction that is rooted in the philosophies and practices of critical librarianship and feminist pedagogy. They explore the extent and limitations of existing standards, frameworks, and pedagogical models to support an idea of critical visual literacy, particularly in the context of art and design schools and creative career-focused institutions. By examining practices and examples from other disciplines, the authors identify strategies for teaching critical visual literacy in context. These pedagogical models inform the design and revision of two workshops for art and design students.

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Visual Language, Visual Literacy: Education a la Modes

I [the author] am writing about visual literacy and visual texts, and in doing so, I will share with you examples of children’s ‘picturebooks’ where alphabetic print is no longer the primary carrier of meaning and where images and print often are symbiotic.

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Interpretation of Journalistic Photographs as an Instrument of Visual Literacy Education

Images are produced, used and distributed on an enormous scale. However, the skills of understanding, interpreting and using images as well as thinking and learning in terms of images are taken for granted, and thus, they are not sufficiently taught and developed, especially in higher education. The need for introducing visual literacy into the curriculum was identified in late 1960s, but no concrete guidelines have followed. This study proposes to apply interpretation of journalistic photographs as an instrument of visual literacy education. The main focus is on the image interpretation process and the kinds of meanings viewers apply to a photograph in the interpretation process. In each of the four articles included in this study, a model or approach to photography interpretation is proposed.

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Kids, Take a Look at This! Visual Literacy Skills in the School Curriculum

Although the paradigm of visual literacy (VL) is rapidly emerging, the construct itself still lacks operational specificity. Based on a semiotic understanding of visual culture as an ongoing process of ‘making meaning’, we present in this study a skill-based classification of VL, differentiating four sets of VL skills: perception; imagination and creation; conceptualization; analysis. A qualitative curriculum analysis based on this framework revealed that curriculum standards for compulsory education in Belgium refer only peripherally to the use of visuals. The attention for VL skills also decreases from secondary education on, especially curriculum standards related to the analysis of images are scarce.

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Illustrations of Iconic Women in Children’s Book Biographies

The purpose of this study is to examine the illustrations of iconic women in children’s book biographies published in the United States. Part I will discuss the history of juvenile children’s book biographies and identify the gradual growth of illustrated biographies and the emergence of children’s picture book biographies pertaining to women throughout the twentieth century. Part II will present research on the history of four iconic individuals and representations of them in art as a foundation. There will be a discussion of past and contemporary depictions of four iconic women: Joan of Arc, Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, and Josephine Baker, by various children’s book illustrators in different time periods. This will allow for the comparison and contrast of different approaches of illustration for these women. Through in-depth research and interviews the visual representation of a historical female figure in children’s books will be explored.

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Visual Literacy Standards in Higher Education: New Opportunities for Libraries and Student Learning

“Visual literacy is essential for 21st century learners. Across the higher education curriculum, students are being asked to use and produce images and visual media in their academic work, and they must be prepared to do so. The Association of College and Research Libraries has published the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which, for the first time, outline specific visual literacy learning outcomes. These Standards present new opportunities for libraries to expand their role in student learning through standards-based teaching and assessment, and to contribute to campus-wide collaborative efforts to develop students’ skills and critical thinking with regard to visual materials.”

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Transforming Information Literacy in the Sciences Through the Lens of e-Science

“In 2011, the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) completed its five-year review of the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology. Predicated by the evolving nature of scholarship and research in the sciences, the reviewing task force strongly recommended that the standards be revised. This paper considers the broad recommendations of the task force, using the framework of e-Science – team-based, data-driven science – to address areas of necessary transformation in information literacy: an advanced team-based model that crosses disciplinary boundaries; a recognition that individuals and groups not only consume information, but also produce it; and stronger interplay between information literacy and complementary literacies. This paper also extrapolates beyond the sciences, referencing broader trends within higher education.”

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The Neoliberal Library

“Information literacy, from its emergence to its recent formulation, has and continues to uncritically adopt and reproduce neoliberalism within a closed discursive system that works to deny alternative conceptions of library pedagogy and instruction. The knowledge produced by librarianship and information literacy discursive practices is an enactment of power that naturalizes and authorizes neoliberalism and constrains the questioning of inequalities. Library instruction and pedagogy specifically and librarianship more generally need to begin promoting an awareness of the fields’ embeddedness within a neoliberal political and economic context, and engaging critically with that context.”

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Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy

“Metaliteracy is envisioned as a comprehensive model for information literacy to advance critical thinking and reflection in social media, open learning settings, and online communities. At this critical time in higher education, an expansion of the original definition of information literacy is required to include the interactive production and sharing of original and repurposed digital materials. Metaliteracy provides an overarching and unifying framework that builds on the core information literacy competencies while addressing the revolutionary changes in how learners communicate, create, and distribute information in participatory environments. Central to the metaliteracy model is a metacognitive component that encourages learners to continuously reflect on their own thinking and literacy development in these fluid and networked spaces. This approach leads to expanded competencies for adapting to the ongoing changes in emerging technologies and for advancing critical thinking and empowerment for producing, connecting, and distributing information as independent and collaborative learners.”

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Beyond the Physical Archive: Imagining Primary Source Literacies in the Digital Age

“In this paper, we propose strategies for outreach and collaboration with faculty and archivists that are centered on digitized primary sources. These strategies are based on our experiences and informed by a review of the literature of teaching faculty in several disciplines, as well as the archival literature, to identify current methods of teaching and supporting undergraduates’ research with primary sources.4 Next, we present examples of activities, assignments, and approaches to digitized primary source pedagogy that are linked to relevant information literacy and visual literacy standards. Finally, we offer concluding thoughts on the development of primary source literacies, not just in an era of digital abundance, but at a time in which the rapidly expanding field of digital humanities has the potential to complicate and alter students’ relation to sources even more dramatically.”

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“I Will Not Be a Tourist in the Land of Images”: Adding the Visual to Information Literacy Instruction

“… the creation of separate standards for IL and visual literacy (VL) suggests a disconnect between these constructs, despite the fact that words and images often function together as information carriers. IL standards seem to address verbal literacy, while visual or media literacy addresses the information associated with visual media. Given the increase in visual content carriers, a logical step for IL instruction would be the integration of VL and IL into a seamless literacy program (Harris, 2010). The presenters will suggest ways to combine VL and IL into a rhetorically based, critical-thinking approach to information. This approach can enrich IL and critical-thinking instruction, as learners are taught to apply rigorous criteria to texts regardless of their media form.”

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Picture This, Imagine That: The Literary and Pedagogic Force of Ekphrastic Principles

“My thesis is comprised of two articles, titled “Interpreting Britomart’s Encounters with Art: The Cyclic Nature of Ekphrasis in Spenser’s Faerie Queene III,” and “Picture This, Imagine That: Teaching Visual Literacy in the Disciplines.” To communicate the urgency of the need for students to enrich proficiency at visual literacy, I provide a literature review that narrates the growing need expressed by visual literacy scholars, composition theorists, visualization theorists and specialists, and the library community for an overarching visual literacy framework that provides scaffolding and common language for students.”

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