When we step back and think about how to situate visual literacy into a library context, the word critical keeps coming up: critical thinking, critical viewing, critical using, critical making, and the list goes on. To understand our approach, start with your own practice, add images, and see where it takes you.

Do you encourage students to think critically as they research?

How can you extend this experience to images?

Do you embrace critical information literacy?

Can you bring visual content to enrich that experience?

Do you teach students to critically evaluate sources?

How can you expand that practice to images?

You’ll see a lot of questions in this book, because our approach is inquiry- driven. This is not to say that we don’t cover the basics of image content. Curious about color? Covered. Not sure where to find great images? We’ll show you. Wondering what makes a good presentation? We talk about that too. But what we really want you to get out of this book is a new understanding of how images fit into our critical (there it is again) practice as librarians and how we can advance student learning with our own visual literacy.

This book grounds visual literacy in your everyday practice—connecting it to what you know and do as a librarian who engages in reflective practice. Heidi Jacobs put it well when she argued that, for information literacy pedagogy, “one of the best ways for us to encourage students to be engaged learners is for us to become engaged learners, delve deeply into our own problem posing, and embody the kind of engagement we want to see in our students” (Jacobs 2008). We extend this viewpoint to visual literacy pedagogy and provide many opportunities for you to embody the kind of visual literacy that you want to develop in your learners.


Library and Information Science

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/lib_fac/127