Visual Literacy and the Art/Media Librarian


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Here are the slides for a presentation I gave for the ARLIS/NA-MW Virtual Conference on Nov 15, 2013.

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Visual Literacy and the Art/Media Librarian

  1. 1. A presentation for ARLIS/NA-MW by Robin Potter Media and Cultural Studies Librarian Brooklyn College, City University of New York rpotter @
  2. 2. Photo © 2012 by Claudio Nolasco
  3. 3. Photo by lexmonkey via Flickr / CC BY
  4. 4. Bosch, Hieronymus: exterior panels, Garden of Earthly Delights c. 1504
  5. 5. Deutch, David. Rotunda (detail). 2002. Brooklyn College Library Art Collection.
  6. 6. “..what is seen with the eye and what is „seen‟ in the mind. A visually literate person should be able to read and write visual language. This includes the ability to successfully decode and interpret visual messages and to encode and compose meaningful visual communications” Bamford (2003). Frau Venus und der Verliebte. Meister Casper. ca 1485.
  7. 7. Scholar's Books and Objects, Korea, 19th century
  8. 8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. …determines the nature and extent of the visual materials needed …finds and accesses needed images and visual media effectively and efficiently …interprets and analyzes the meanings of images and visual media …evaluates images and their sources …uses images and visual media effectively …designs and creates meaningful images and visual media. …understands many of the ethical, legal, social, and economic issues surrounding the creation and use of images and visual media, and accesses and uses visual materials ethically.
  9. 9. Visual Literacy Array based on ACRL’s Visual Literacy Standards by D. Hattwig, K. Bussert, and A. Medaille
  10. 10.  Types of images/media ›  General art image resources › ›  resolution, image size, dpi Editing/Design software ›   Difference: duration, motion, soundtrack Similarity: metaphor, symbol, color, editing, line, shape, contrast, cropping, pov Digital images ›  Books, magazines, archives, museums, their own photographs, drawings, videos Copyright, image licensing, fair use Moving images vs. still images › ›  biology, anthropology, chemistry, education, etc.!?) Other resources for images ›   Artstor, Cinema Image Gallery, Internet Archive, wiki commons, flickr Searching- brainstorming for keywords, synonyms Discipline-specific resources ›  graphs to hd video and back) Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut, Illustrator Advertising tactics Meaning/Cultural context › › Does the same image mean the same to you as it does to me? Why not? Symbolism, context
  11. 11. Instruction 4 faced Ngontang Helmet mask, Fang, Gabon Photo by Ann Porteus via Flickr Resources
  12. 12. Embedded in a course?  One shot library workshops  Library Workshop series, each with a theme  For-credit course in the library! 
  13. 13. How do our libraries embrace twitter, tumblr, vine, youtube, pinterest, etc., etc., etc.?  How well do we know copyright and fair use?  How can modelling visual literacy competencies benefit other areas? 
  14. 14. Polishchuk, Slava. Wall. 2002 Booker, Chakaia. Echoing Factors. 2004 Kentridge, William. Typewriter. 2003.
  15. 15. Images courtesy of Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections, Brooklyn College Library.
  16. 16. Flammarion Engraving, author unknown
  17. 17. 718 758 8214
  18. 18.              Booker, Chakaia. (2004) Echoing Factors. Sculpture. The Brooklyn College Library Art Collection. Retrieved from Bosch, Hieronymus (1504). Creation of the World. Image. Retrieved from Casper, M. (ca. 1485). Frau Venus und der Verliebte. Image. In ARTstor [database online]. [cited 8 November 2013]. Available from ARTstor, Inc., New York, New York. Hattwig, D. , Bussert, K., & Medaille, A Literacy Array based on ACRL’s Visual Literacy Standards in PORTAL: LIBRARIES AND THE ACADEMY, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2013, p. 75. accessed Nov 5, 2013 at Lexmonkey. (n.d.). Photo of Martin Scorsese. Acessed via flickr. CC BY Kentridge, William. (2003). Typewriter. Sugarlift aquatint. The Brooklyn College Library Art Collection. Retrieved from n.a. (n.d.) Flammarion Engraving. Image (engraving). Retrieved from n.a. (19th century). Scholar's Books and Objects, Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Retrieved from (n.a.) (n.d). 4 faced Ngontang Helmet mask, Fang, Gabon. Photo by Ann Porteus via Flickr. Nolasco, Claudio. (2012). Untitled (portrait of Robin Potter). Accessed November 1 from Polishchuk, Slava. (2002). Wall. The Brooklyn College Library Art Collection. Retrieved from (n.a.) (n.d.) Two photographs of Brooklyn College Library Interiors. Scans made from photographic prints. Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections. Screen shots (Nov 2013) of Facebook, Pinterest, Google Images, Huffington Post,
  19. 19.           ACRL (2011). Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved November 3, 2013, from ACRL (n.d.) Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy Debes, J. (1968). “Some foundations of visual literacy.” Audio Visual Instruction 13, 96964. Bamford, A. (2003) “The visual literacy white paper.” Commissioned by Adobe Systems Pty. Ltd, Australia. Beatty, N. "Cognitive Visual Literacy: From Theories and Competencies to Pedagogy." Art Documentation: Bulletin of the Art Libraries Society of North America 32, no. 1 (April 2013): 33-42. Hattwig, D., Bussert, K., Medaille, A., and Burgess, J. (2013)."Visual Literacy Standards in Higher Education: New Opportunities for Libraries and Student Learning." portal: Libraries and the Academy 13, 1: 61-89. Houtman, E. (November 6, 2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe, online. N.a. (n.d). “Visual literacy.” Scorsese, M. (2013). The persisting vision: reading the language of cinema. New York Review of Books, acessed online Nov 11, 2013 Zanin-Yost and Donaldson, C. (2005). “How to speak out (visually) at your library.” Library Philosophy and Practice 7, 2. accessed at