Words versus Pictures: Leveraging the Research on Visual Communication

Librarians, like many other occupations, tend to rely on text and underutilize graphics. Research on visual communication shows that pictures have a number of advantages over words. We can interact more effectively with colleagues and patrons by incorporating ideas from this research.

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Visual Literacy Meets Information Literacy: How Two Academic Librarians Combined Information Science and Design in Their Careers

The two authors of this chapter both worked in graphic design departments before obtaining their Master of Library & Information Science degrees, and subsequent professional positions in academic libraries. Framed within a context of visual literacy, this chapter describes each author’s experiences with graphic design and how the skills gained from those experiences lend themselves well to academic library outreach, instruction, web design, and archival work.

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Visual Literacy and Education: Seeing the World Meets Critical Thinking

The abundance and complexity of information now being delivered visually demands that we become visually literate, as well as verbally literate. We need to understand better a process we have taken for granted. In an age increasingly dominated by images – a media culture, it becomes imperative to develop an understanding of how our visual processing system works; how visual cognition is shaped by social, political, and cultural conditioning; and how visual messages are created to elicit specific responses. One of the chief goals of visual literacy education is to encourage critical analysis of visual communication by developing tools that help us understand and manage this complex activity. “Seeing” needs to become an actively conscious, not a passive activity for us. This thesis illustrates the importance of critical visual literacy, provides an historical overview of the visual literacy movement, and suggests a foundational approach to teaching the basics of visual literacy.

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Using Strategies from Graphic Design to Improve Teaching and Learning

This chapter calls attention to the value of graphic design education in K–12 settings by explaining the history and practice of graphic design, identifying the uses and value of graphic design in education, and sharing a case study of how it can be applied in the classroom. The chapter focuses particularly on the value of constructing meaning with pictures and text, both for teacher use in the classroom and in student picture–text integrated projects. It argues that the visual draft process, which uses pictures and words together, can operate just as powerfully as the writing process to facilitate and demonstrate student learning. This graphic design process gives learners control of their content and liberates them to see different relationships between elements and ideas. At the same time, it frames picture and word relationships as malleable and builds flexible, critical thinking in multiple dimensions.

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Teaching Visual Literacy Skills in a One-Shot Session

Just as one-shot information literacy sessions can be implemented in college classes to improve students’ research capabilities, similarly-styled sessions on image research can increase their visual literacy skills. The desired outcome of teaching an instructional session is to provide students with the tools and confidence they need to effectively use high-quality visual materials in their undergraduate years and beyond.

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Stunted “Visual Competence” in Archaeology: a Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

It is a truism that archaeology is a profoundly visual discipline; it is paradoxical, then, that so
much of its output exhibits a poor level of what here I opt to call visual competence. There are, of course, many glorious exceptions to the picture I will sketch out here (pun probably
intended). Yet as someone who returned to the UK university sector to teach archaeology
after a decade as a jobbing illustrator and then museum educator and writer working closely with designers, I am as often dismayed as thrilled by the quality of images in many new
archaeological publications, and other documents and presentations created by archaeologists for specialist or public consumption. This is an international issue.

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Data Literacy: In Search of a Name and Identity

The role of data literacy is discussed in the light of such activities as data a quality, data management, data curation, and data citation. The differing terms and their relationship to the most important literacies are examined. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

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Constructing and Reading Visual Information: Visual Literacy for Library and Information Science Education

This article examines visual literacy education and research for library and information science profession to educate the information professionals who will be able to execute and implement the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Visual Literacy Competency Standards successfully. It is a continuing call for inclusion of visual literacy into the curriculum for library and information science education and research in order to educate students to provide professional services in this visual information world and it is a call for a paradigm shift from text-based information services and research realm to a social construction of meaning, reading, searching, finding meaning in a visual information world.

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App it up: Using Google Apps in Library Instruction

Utilizing Google Apps in library instruction can help librarians easily incorporate digital literacy into their information literacy lessons. This chapter, informed by the experiences of three Eastern Kentucky University reference and instruction librarians, covers the basic functionality of Google Apps such as Google Drive (including Google Docs, Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets), Google Groups, Google Hangouts, etc., and some possibilities and advantages for creatively employing these apps to enhance face-to-face and online library instruction, as well as to aid in assessment.

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Visual Rhetoric for School Librarians

The role of the school librarian requires mastering numerous dynamic and pliable 21st-century literacies. Of those literacies, visual literacy is sometimes overlooked, yet appear in numerous standards at the state and national levels.

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Visual Literacy: Creating Meaning and Context from Images

The article reports on the adoption of standards for competency in visual literacy by the American Association of College and Research Libraries in 2012 to prepare students in higher education and career guidance. Topics discussed include the analysis and communication of messages, coordination of elements for personal expression and training of students in the examination of images. Also mentioned is the access to the National Archives Tool Box for Primary Sources.

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Visual Literacy Across the Disciplines

Visual literacy is a crucial skill for today’s university students and faculty. Thus, it is essential for academic librarians to have an understanding of basic issues surrounding use and discovery of images. This chapter defines visual literacy, explores potential visual needs across subject disciplines, discusses search strategies for images, describes potential roles
for academic librarians related to visual literacy, discusses ethical concerns regarding images, lists visual literacy competencies and selected resources on visual literacy, and indicates where to locate images.

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The Importance of Visual Literacy for a Changing Geography

The University of South Africa (Unisa), is an open and distance learning institution in a developing country. Technological development provides a wide range of distance learning technologies as a means of addressing the educational needs of distance learning users. This paper reflects on the importance of visual literacy for instructional design, as well as for teaching and learning strategies used in the Department of Geography at Unisa. The reflection aims at creating new opportunities for the development of visual literacy.

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Improving Visual Communication of Science Through the Incorporation of Graphic Design Theories and Practices into Science Communication

Visual culture is becoming an increasingly prominent part of our cultural identity in the 21st century. Consequently, images have become an important tool with which to communicate science. We identify two impediments to science communicators using visual elements effectively: (1) visual material is typically treated as an add-on instead of being an integrated part of the whole and (2) there is a lack of identifying target audiences and refining visual elements for them specifically. We argue that science communicators can become more effective visual communicators if they incorporate elements of theory and practice from the discipline of design.

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Crafting Knowledge with (Digital) Visual Media in Archaeology

Visual producers have a deep and inseparable relationship with the institutionalisation and development of archaeological practice. Their role in articulating concepts, circulating knowledge, refining interpretations, and publicising sites, finds and features – indeed demarcating those sites/finds/features in the first instance – is hardly a point for contention today.

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Digital Literacy: A Demand for Nonlinear Thinking Styles

“This paper makes a case for a direct relationship between digital literacy and nonlinear thinking styles, articulates a demand for nonlinear thinking styles in education and the workplace, and states implications for a connection between nonlinear thinking styles visual literacy, and intuitive artistic practice.”

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Cognitive Visual Literacy: From Theories and Competencies to Pedagogy

“Visual literacy is an important part of being literate in the twenty-first century because people are interacting with visual materials with increasing frequency and immediacy as a result of the digital age. By understanding cognitive theories associated with visual literacy and combining them with the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, librarians can help students become visually literate. In addition to describing these cognitive theories and ACRL standards, the author provides practical suggestions as to how they may be utilized in visual literacy instruction.”

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Art and Art History

“Because of the iterative nature of art history between observation and investigation, the library becomes part of the research process as a matter of course. The value of the library collections may not be as obvious to the studio art student, especially given that the web provides an abundance of opportunities to find visual materials for inspiration and social networks to gather information. Through effective library instruction that responds to their unique needs, we can help both populations become successful researchers and benefit from all the library can offer.”

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A Big Picture Approach: Using Embedded Librarianship to Proactively Address the Need for Visual Literacy Instruction in Higher Education

“As images become ubiquitous and more accessible in digital culture, their role in the creation and dissemination of knowledge across academic disciplines is growing. Academic institutions need to adapt to this change by introducing new skill sets into the undergraduate curriculum. The term visual literacy encompasses the competencies necessary to critically use, produce, and analyze images. This article surveys the current methods academic librarians are using to introduce visual literacy instruction within their institutions.”

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