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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Judith Schwartz

This paper aims to explore a study that examines the role of academic librarians who teach visual literacy within their information literacy curricula.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore a study that examines the role of academic librarians who teach visual literacy within their information literacy curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

The author developed a survey that was distributed to five listservs during a three-week period, generating 118 responses from academic libraries. The author subsequently interviewed 16 participants.

Findings

The findings reveal that visual literacy is important across all disciplines. However, a majority of academic librarians who replied to the survey stated that they do not teach visual literacy. Only 37.3 per cent of the respondents indicated that they or their institutions include a visual literacy component in their sessions.

Practical implications

The paper identifies the most relevant visual literacy trends, and it includes examples of visual literacy skills and concepts being taught in academic libraries. It provides ideas to develop marketing strategies to increase student enrollment in library workshops.

Originality/value

This study has expanded librarians’ awareness of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In addition, it explores the teaching of multiliteracies such as visual literacy within the information literacy framework in the academic library. The survey data demonstrate that academic librarians are slowly embracing visual literacy and including it in their information literacy instruction across all disciplines. The study recommends that librarians work on their professional development to become multiliterate to remain relevant within their academic communities.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2010

Benjamin R. Harris

This paper seeks to offer a rationale and practical suggestions for the integration of visual literacy instruction and information literacy instruction practice and theory.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to offer a rationale and practical suggestions for the integration of visual literacy instruction and information literacy instruction practice and theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper aligns visual literacy and information literacy competency standards, revealing connections and opportunities for practical integration during library instruction and traditional classroom instruction.

Findings

On analysis of 11 visual literacy competencies, three exhibit a strong relationship with the ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards.

Practical implications

The paper provides guidelines for teaching and learning scenarios that may be used in a library instruction session or as part of a course curriculum.

Originality/value

The paper advocates the alignment of visual literacy and information literacy competencies as a method for connecting multiple literacies in information literacy instruction.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Irene Lopatovska, Sarah Hatoum, Saebra Waterstraut, Lisa Novak and Sara Sheer

The purpose of this paper is to understand young children’s knowledge of visual literacy elements as well as their ability to comprehend newly introduced visual literacy

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand young children’s knowledge of visual literacy elements as well as their ability to comprehend newly introduced visual literacy concepts. The study also examined existing support for visual literacy programs from parents and educators.

Design/methodology/approach

The study explored the knowledge of basic visual literacy elements of young children enrolled in two private schools in the New York City metropolitan area. The authors interviewed 17 children, aged four to six years old, about fine art paintings using a semi-structured interview format. Children’s responses were qualitatively analyzed to determine their initial level of visual literacy and their ability to learn and retain the concepts of visual literacy after receiving basic instruction. The children’s educators and parents completed online questionnaires that were quantitatively analyzed to determine their level of support for visual literacy programs.

Findings

The findings show that young children exhibited extensive knowledge of simple visual literacy elements (color, shape, line), and limited understanding of more abstract elements (perspective and salience). Children’s knowledge of visual elements improved after instruction. Parents and educators expressed support for incorporating visual literacy instruction in early childhood education.

Research limitations/implications

The study relied on a sample of children and adults drawn from two private schools. The sample’s demographics might have affected study findings. More studies are needed using a larger and more diverse sample.

Practical implications

The study suggests that young children are ready to receive instruction on visual literacy elements using art images. Children reacted positively to the images and were engaged in the discussions about them, supporting the use of fine art paintings as an instrument to introduce visual literacy concepts to young children. Survey of children’s parents and teachers indicated strong interest in, and support for such programs.

Social implications

With the increase of visual information production and consumption, it is important to introduce visual literacy early in life. The study advances research in methods for developing visual literacy instruction for young children.

Originality/value

There are no previously reported studies that have examined pre-kindergarten children’s knowledge of basic visual literacy elements and reactions to visual literacy instruction.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Leonie Lynch, Maurice Patterson and Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin

This paper aims to consider the visual literacy mobilized by consumers in their use of brand aesthetics to construct and communicate a curated self.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the visual literacy mobilized by consumers in their use of brand aesthetics to construct and communicate a curated self.

Design/methodology/approach

The research surveyed a range of visual material from Instagram. Specifically, the goal was to use “compositional interpretation”, an approach to visual analysis that is not methodologically explicit but which, in itself, draws upon the visual literacy of the researcher to provide a descriptive analysis of the formal visual quality of images as distinct from their symbolic resonances. The research also incorporates 10 phenomenological-type interviews with consumers. Consistent with a phenomenological approach, informants were selected because they have “lived” the experience under investigation, in this case requiring them to be keen consumers of the Orla Kiely brand.

Findings

Findings indicate that consumers deploy their visual literacy in strategic visualization (imaginatively planning and coordinating artifacts with other objects in their collection, positioning and using them as part of an overall visual repertoire), composition (becoming active producers of images) and emergent design (turning design objects into display pieces, repurposing design objects or simply borrowing brand aesthetics to create designed objects of their own).

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for the understanding of visual literacy within consumer culture. Engaging comprehensively with the visual compositions of consumers, this research moves beyond brand symbolism, semiotics or concepts of social status to examine the self-conscious creation of a curated self. The achievement of such a curated self depends on visual literacy and the deployment of abstract design language by consumers in the pursuit of both aesthetic satisfaction and social communication.

Practical implications

This research has implications for brand designers and managers in terms of how they might control or manage the use of brand aesthetics by consumers.

Originality/value

To date, there has been very little consumer research that explores the nature of visual literacy and even less that offers an empirical investigation of this concept within the context of brand aesthetics. The research moves beyond brand symbolism, semiotics and social status to consider the deployment of abstract visual language in communicating the curated self.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Benjamin R. Harris

This paper offers definitions and application scenarios for three interdisciplinary heuristics designed to encourage a more holistic view of texts with the objective of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper offers definitions and application scenarios for three interdisciplinary heuristics designed to encourage a more holistic view of texts with the objective of raising awareness and enhancing the information literacy of student researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the thesis that visual texts and images should be considered in information literacy theory and practice, a selection of three visual heuristics found to be useful in instruction session situations are explained and described in a practical teaching situation.

Findings

These three heuristics can be used in a number of ways for different audiences to encourage critical thinking about the context, components, and the communication process involved in presenting texts used by students (from books, to journal and newspaper articles, and web sites).

Research limitations/implications

There are other useful heuristics that have not been considered within the scope of this study. Other readers and researchers may locate and discuss other means by which these ends can be achieved.

Originality/value

A number of texts in the professional literature have discussed whether or not visual literacy and images should be considerations for information literacy advocates. Few have offered specific interdisciplinary examples that might be used to experiment with or achieve such an aim.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

M. Delores Carlito

Students interact with information in many ways throughout the day, code switching between modes depending on their needs. Educators are finally realizing that composing…

Abstract

Purpose

Students interact with information in many ways throughout the day, code switching between modes depending on their needs. Educators are finally realizing that composing in more than one mode is not only important, but also necessary. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the academic library, the ACRL Framework and information literacy instruction in creating ethical, inspired users.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper looks at previously published work on multimodal discourse, how libraries have supported modes in the past and how the ACRL Information Literacy Framework highlights the need to teach students and faculty how to compose in many modes.

Findings

Librarians are already well-versed in many literacies, including information, visual and media. They are familiar with multimodal tools and the ethical issues related to the use of images, videos and sound files. While professors are proficient in subject matter, librarians are experts in the paradigm shift from print to multiple modes; therefore, by teaching faculty and students to locate, evaluate, use ethically and cite various modes, librarians become the primary resource on campus for creating multimodal artifacts. The strata used by Kress and Van Leeuwen, coupled with the ACRL Framework, are a model for future instructional design.

Originality/value

While much has been written on visual literacy, little is written on library support of multimodal discourse or combining several modes in one argument. This paper is alone in reviewing the past support of multimodal literacy in libraries and gives some sample activities for use in the academic library.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Nicole A. Beatty and Ernesto Hernandez

The purpose of this paper is to examine the theoretical concept of socially responsible pedagogy because it applies to teaching information literacy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the theoretical concept of socially responsible pedagogy because it applies to teaching information literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

At Weber State University, two librarians use a socially responsible pedagogical approach, combining critical information literacy and visual literacy to teach an undergraduate information literacy course.

Findings

Initial results suggest that the course design and the authors’ approach to socially responsible pedagogy are largely successful based on students’ application of course material to a signature assignment in the course.

Research limitations/implications

Data are limited because this approach was only used for two semesters. The authors are aware that a socially responsible information literacy classroom needs quality assessment to help make instructional decisions, evaluate teaching strategies and assist with ongoing student learning. Additional semesters of using this instructional approach will allow for reflection and critical inquiry into the theories and teaching strategies that currently inform instruction. Early implications of using this method of instructional design reflect students’ deep understanding of the importance of information literacy because they explore social justice topics.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this research reveal a theoretical framework for teaching critical information literacy, called socially responsible pedagogy. The theory looks at teaching based on the “spirit” of the course, which is the promotion of equality. It also looks at “the art” of designing an information literacy course, incorporating socially responsible pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching and critical information literacy. This study also looks at “the science” of assessment and offers suggestions on how one might go about assessing a socially responsible information literacy class. Moreover, the authors examine how visual literacy helps teach information literacy concepts in the course as students put together a signature assignment that meets both information literacy course objectives and general education outcomes.

Social implications

This general review of the theoretical concept of socially responsible pedagogy is limited to two semesters of information literacy instruction. In researching these topics, students situate themselves within a diverse worldview and work to promote awareness and advocacy through group presentations.

Originality/value

While librarians are exploring critical librarianship and social justice, many are not using socially responsible pedagogy combined with other social theories and images to help students work through the research process and develop information literacy skills.

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Ana Maria Ramalho Correia and José Carlos Teixeira

This paper aims to provide an overview of some of the most recent developments in concepts and practices associated with information literacy worldwide, revealing the…

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an overview of some of the most recent developments in concepts and practices associated with information literacy worldwide, revealing the paradox that, while information literacy is a key discipline of the information society and knowledge economy and is well‐understood in its broader sense, it has made little progress educationally, save for a few exceptions in countries such as Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK. Deriving from the authors' background as university professors, the paper concentrates on approaches to promote information literacy in higher education. The paper concludes by pointing to the need to expand the debate on information literacy and how to raise ethical and moral concerns in the use of the Internet and the new technologies. It also explores the potential role that the European Commission eSafe (2003‐2004) programme can play to encourage research and practice on information literacy in its widest sense, as an intrinsic competency in the fight against the effects of disseminating illegal and harmful content through online and other new technologies.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1981

Paula Murphy

The process of community development can be described as one which embraces the efforts of the people and the government working to improve the economic, social and…

Abstract

The process of community development can be described as one which embraces the efforts of the people and the government working to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of an area so that the area can contribute fully to the process of the larger community in which it exists. The success or failure of this interaction has largely to do with the coordination it receives. It is here that the library plays an important role through the articulation of community concerns and interests, program development, and resource coordination as they are described in Patrick Penland's and James Williams' Community Psychology and Coordination.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Kathy Rushton and Jon Callow

While visual arts, drama, dance and music have been used to enhance literacy learning for many decades in preschool and primary classrooms, engaging with mobile learning…

Abstract

While visual arts, drama, dance and music have been used to enhance literacy learning for many decades in preschool and primary classrooms, engaging with mobile learning can also provide many opportunities for young learners to explore and develop language and literacy. The use of mobile devices is of particular interest as technology has an impact on pedagogy and the mobility of digital devices provides many opportunities for engaged and meaningful literacy learning when teamed with the arts. In this chapter, we define the arts and their relationship with literacy learning before exploring a number of resources and practices for integrating their use in early learning settings.

Details

Mobile Technologies in Children’s Language and Literacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-879-6

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