In recent times, the declaration of the prominence of the visual over other channels of communication has been persistent across several disciplines, including film studies, design, sociology, and literacy education (e.g. Bolter, 1991; Fransecky & Debes, 1972; Kress, 2005; Sartori, 1998; Messaris, 2012). It is within this loom of visuality that the concept visual literacy has been woven together throughout the twentieth century and beyond. This dissertation explores the mobilization of this concept through the last century and addresses the implications of its interdisciplinary and polysemic nature. By tracing the evolution of this term, as well as some of its correlates in English, I map the concept of “the visual as a literacy.”
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.
For the benefit of students, employers, and society, data literacy must be recognized as a necessary civic skill (Swan et al., 2009). This recognition should come from all levels of government, and from post-secondary institutions. There needs to be agreement on what
elements of data literacy are necessary in an undergraduate core curriculum, in order to provide a consistent foundational education for those entering an increasingly data-dependent workforce.