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Warning: Graphic Information Literacy

January 22, 2016

Over the past several years as a librarian, I have attempted to depict information literacy ideas in visual formats. For example, when I was the Dean of Library Services at Le Cordon Blue in Pittsburgh, PA, I used mixing bowls to identify the different areas students could find information. The largest bowl was for Google and/or the internet at large and the smallest bowl was a representation of the library catalog. Because I am a visual learner, I prefer to view concepts graphically; however, I ironically, am not a huge fan of graphic novels.

This semester I have the honor of teaching a two credit online library course. I searched for many hours looking for an awesome text that would essentially be a surrogate to the concepts that I would lecture in a face-to-face classroom. After stumbling upon a recently published text, Information Now, A Graphic Guide to Student Research, I found my answer. Not only is the entire text in graphic novel format, it thoroughly covers all of the major information literacy concepts that I would want to teach in the online course.9780226095691The text eloquently displays concepts such as controlled vocabulary using everyday examples and images. For example, the authors use the idea and graphics of seat versus chair for defining subject headings and goes further into the explanation of boarder and narrower terms using this example. One image identifies Google with a spider web and touches on the idea of website ranking system via a popularity contest of prom King and Queen. Overarching ideas covered in the text include steps to finding and using the right information; how information is organized and found; understanding the hunt for information (library catalogs); journals/databases; searching the open web; evaluating sources and using information ethically. Overall, the text is a quick read, entirely engaging, and will have you laughing out loud. When was the last time you could say this about information literacy concepts? I just wish the authors would create power point presentations of some images to use in one shot information literacy sessions. The text is also at an awesome price point of less than $20. If you get a chance to pick up a copy, let me know your thoughts.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 25, 2016 2:03 pm

    Thank you for the recommendation – we are always looking for inspiration, and this book looks promising. Will order a copy!

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