The nature of today’s communication is overwhelmingly visual. Images, as modes of communication, play a dominant role in our daily activities and are especially prominent in the lives of young people. Today’s students were born in image-saturated environments, the era of internet, digital technologies and touchscreens. Their communication practices are mediated visually, including photo and video creation and sharing, video chatting, and the visual language of emoticons, GIFs, and emojis. However, the moment students enter university classrooms, they are thrown into almost a completely textual world. Such highly textual context may cause an alienation from the course material and content. In consequence, contemporary millennial and post-millennial generations, although usually technologically savvy, are often visually illiterate.
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.
Today’s consumers also termed as the “Eye Generation” consume lots of visual data through the net, mobile phones, advertisement, mobile applications and many others. This is because the visuals are considered as a more accessible means of obtaining and communicating messages.
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.
Contemporary culture is a visual culture. Visual images become the predominant form of communication. Students should be visually literate and be able to read and use visual language, to decode, interpret and evaluate visual messages successfully, and, last but not least, to encode and compose meaningful visual communication. The combination of modeling with other methods in scientific knowledge increases its potential as a cognitive method. Infographics can play a significant role in the process as tool or target according to the age and cognitive abilities of the students.
Description is an essential library service of which reads may be unaware. The catalouge reveals where the desired item is; the item is retrieved. That seems easy. But the description of materials in special collections is often more complex, and sometimes even the fundamental nomenclature indicating what an item is can be difficult to identify.
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.
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.
The visual dominates our visual culture and has become an essential tool for universal communication. The information landscape is embedded in contemporary culture through the internet and social media; wi-fi and remote access to library resources enable immediate access to information. The visual has become an essential resource and source to share. Image cross boundaries and non-verbally illustrate information – a global language that unifies all cultures. Therefore, when communicating human rights issues, images narrate the past and present. How do our brains process these visual resources, and what influence does this neurological process have on interpreting visual images of culture or human rights?
This chapter examines how new visual literacies allow students to create meaning and develop competencies needed for the 21st century. Today’s generation is continually exposed to visual and digital media. Through empirical work, this chapter highlights how emerging visual technologies such as big data, infographics, digital badges, electronic portfolios (ePortfolios), visual social media, and augmented reality are facilitating the development of technology-related skills required for students in academics and in the workforce. Each visual technology platform will be examined for their usefulness in promoting engagement, subject-matter knowledge, and collaborative learning outside the traditional classroom approach.
The term ‘metaliteracy’ is still a relatively new concept since being introduced into the library and information science literature as a ‘framework that integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types’ (Jacobsen and Mackey, 2011, 62). It is therefore still a fairly recent addition to the parlance surrounding library instruction and teaching and learning practice, which this chapter will attempt to expand on.
Teaching and learning visual literacy within art and design librarianship presents several unique challenges. Librarians are better equipped than ever to meet these challenges with the help of ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, which provides an exciting opportunity to situate visual literacy within the contextual definition of information literacy for art and design students. In mapping these two documents together the author found several ways to address the more critical components of information and visual literacy in more nuanced and meaningful ways. While art librarians have often addressed visual literacy needs to varying degrees and in creative and practical ways, a more systematic approach is needed as we move forward.
In this technologically advanced environment, users have become highly visual, with television, videos, web sites and images dominating the learning environment. These new forms of searching and learning are changing the perspective of what it means to be literate. Literacy can no longer solely rely on text-based materials, but should also incorporate digital images and sounds. Higher education seems to be lagging behind with incorporating visual literacy into their academic programs. This paper explores visual literacy, the digital native, and the importance of integrating visual literacy into our learning curriculum, especially in instructional design programs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Astronomy classes that teach students to read and write images, diagrams, and plots offer an ideal venue to teach visual literacy.
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.