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.
This paper implements a content analysis approach to examine syllabi of existing visual literacy and media literacy courses for themes that meet best practices as established by the ACRL standards. These themes have then been combined into a syllabus template representative of a course that will meet the commonly accepted needs of contemporary students in higher education. The template includes recommended readings and assignments.
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.
Multimedia design center, digital media lab, makerspace, scholars’ lab—there are many names for the ways that academic libraries are embracing a wider definition of the “library as space” concept, “where new and emerging information technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching, and research” (Freeman 2005, 3). While actively renovating and reinventing spaces for information/knowledge commons areas, the rationale for this movement is to provide an environment where students have access to equipment and space to experiment. The underpinning of this movement encompasses two key missions of academic libraries: to develop skills in information literacy and to encourage critical thinking among college students.
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.
Information professionals such as archivists and librarians are faced with the challenge of preserving, describing, and providing access to information encoded on a variety of media, both text based and visual. While the visual and media literacy discourse recognizes the role of information professionals in visual, media, and information literacy education, the literature contains few pedagogical approaches those charged with training informational professionals at the graduate level. This chapter discusses one approach to visual and media literacy instruction in the Moving Image Archives course offered at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, and suggests one method for visual and media literacy instruction at the graduate level. This technology-based approach addresses the “designing and creating” competencies from the Association of College and Research Libraries Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, creating an environment that simulates production by introducing students to the tools and technologies of media production. This approach could also be used in other academic disciplines, such as film and media studies, where students learn to analyze and interpret specific media products, but do not engage directly with the technologies used to create these images.
This article describes a project at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Libraries in which two library staff members–a librarian and a media specialist–collaborated with a Communication Studies professor to provide assistance for two sections of an Intercultural Communication class in the creation of digital stories. As part of the course requirements, students performed service hours with community organizations and then created digital stories as a way to reflect upon and share their experiences. The project provided students with an opportunity not only to create and reflect but also to acquire digital media and visual literacy skills that may be helpful to them in future coursework and employment. In this article, the authors will describe how the digital storytelling project was designed and executed at UNR and provide guidelines for executing digital media projects to increase student engagement and to support a variety of learning objectives.
Librarians often become de facto graphic designers for their libraries, taking responsibility for designing signage, handouts, brochures, web pages, and many other promotional, instructional, and wayfinding documents. However, the majority of librarians with graphic design responsibilities are not trained as graphic designers. This exploratory research study surveyed librarians to determine their graphic design training and preparation for their assumed design duties as well as the support and training they desire. Results from this study can be used by library administrators when providing support for librarians with graphic design duties.
This case study presents a cocurricular initiative at the Margery Somers Foster Center at Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick, NJ. The initiative resulted in an interview workshop for the course Knowledge and Power, a “mission course” of the Douglass Residential College. This discussion-based workshop uses visual and multimedia resources to teach useful skills for conducting meaningful interviews, develops deeper understanding of an interview as a two-way social interaction composed of listening and talking, cultivates ethnographic and cultural sensitivity, and empowers students to critically engage with visual forms of communication and the meanings of media.
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.
In collaboration with students and faculty, the Library of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University developed an interdisciplinary Materials Laboratory that offers students in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction a hands-on and interdisciplinary sensory experience of building and construction materials. Materials research is a key component to students’ learning in design disciplines, and the tactile and visual experience of handling physical building materials samples allows students to investigate and discover materials in new ways. This article explores the collaborative creation of the Materials Lab that positioned the library as a central and innovative educational resource for all design disciplines.
This article discusses the partnership between the library and the studio art faculty that led to the integration of information literacy instruction into the studio art curriculum. The author outlines the importance of information literacy to artistic practice and student success, and discusses the program of instruction and learning outcomes. Early assessment of student needs and the program’s effectiveness, using both citation analysis and anecdotal feedback, reveals that the program has contributed to the maturation of student research and inquiry skills, and positively affected the relationship between the department and the library, and provides preliminary conclusions about undergraduate studio art information behaviors. An ongoing further program of study to more fully describe the information needs of undergraduate studio art students is also outlined.
This chapter describes our instruction efforts concerning Google Images, a specialized search engine. We were inspired to teach Google Images to an academic audience by our experiences in the Power Searching with Google MOOC, Google’s effort to improve searchers’ understanding of their platform’s capabilities, and by our academic community’s interest in finding images for coursework, presentations, publications, and other scholarly activities.
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.
This article discusses visual literacy, its connection to information literacy, and its significance to scientific disciplines. It includes a case study from Washington and Lee (W&L) University that showcases how libraries can integrate visual literacy instruction into STEM courses. In the study, two W&L Library staff members partnered with one W&L visiting assistant professor of physics to transform a common assignment, the academic poster, into a digital form of visual communication. This shift resulted in a revised evaluative rubric and led to enhanced library led instruction focusing on information literacy, visual literacy, and digital literacy skills.
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.
In response to the growing call for authentic learning and content creation in the information literacy setting, librarians at Emporia State University have created assignments and activities that utilize an iOS app called Comic Life to create photo comics. Students in a for-credit course created photo comics as information literacy narratives, while First Year Seminar students worked to build library guides. These activities encourage honest, meaningful reflection by students and allow them to demonstrate metaliteracy skills in an engaging and creative manner and can allow for both individual and group-created content. Students at Emporia State University have expressed high levels of satisfaction and engagement when participating in these activities.
This paper reports on a pilot study conducted at a medium–sized state university in California. An information literacy instructional method which incorporated instruction in argument analysis using both text and image-based material was used in two sections of a two unit quarter length first year information literacy course. The course was part of a first year experience cluster program that included several linked general education courses, including instruction in writing and reasoning. The information literacy course required an argument and research paper. The instruction consisted of: an analysis of an article’s argument components, a topic analysis worksheet; news photo, advertisement, political cartoon and infographic assignments, emphasizing various elements of argument and alternative perspectives. Results of the pre and post-tests and of a sampling of research papers are reported and discussed.
An architect’s education requires a broad mastery of visual skills. Particularly in design courses, students must demonstrate the skills necessary for the use and production of images to achieve a competitive academic performance. However, the development of these skills in students and the evaluation of their work by faculty members are based mostly on subjective criteria supported by the faculty’s experience. The research used digital photography as an object of research to understand the processes of learning in architectural design. The results help to establish new educational strategies for the development of visual skills to be used during the design process. The collaboration between faculty members and librarians of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico presented new partnerships that have enriched the planning process of different pedagogical activities for the advancement of knowledge with the development of visual literacy skills in students.
When faculty were asked to use online assignments to make up the class time lost due to Hurricane Sandy, librarians at Lehman College’s Leonard Lief Library spotted a new opportunity for the Library’s Web comics. This article describes the partnership between the Library and the College’s Art Department that led to the development of the Web comics, provides readers with a model for responding to circumstances creatively, and puts forward an approach for combining digital learning objects with writing assignments to meet faculty needs.