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Visually Appealing?

March 12, 2016

If you visit any social media site, you quickly realize that visuals consume or lives. I wonder if the invention of the television sparked this hunger for constant visual and information connection. I strongly believe that the invention of reality television has driven our thirst for more personal social media postings detailing our lives in textual and visual format. So, how can academic libraries make our services more visually appealing to students?

Recently, our institution subscribed to Browzine, a database that allows users to view thumbnail images of our electronic journal holdings. Will students be more inclined to use our resources if they are able to view the image of journal covers? Will they better understand the idea of a print journal in an electronic format? Despite a visual connection, if the database is not easy to use and offer a personal connection, I feel students will not find it appealing. Thus far, the database offers personalization to some degree and they are working on more ways to personalize searches, etc.

Visually Working?: I use visuals in several of my professional work tasks. For example, when creating print library guides on topics related to workshops held on campus in collaboration with the counseling center and the six o’clock series, I include visuals of the book and electronic book covers. Thus, making a simple subject bibliography more visually appealing. Second, for nearly every social media postings, I include a related image (@IUPLibraries). Even if that image is a screenshot of a resource that I am promoting. Third, I am one of the managers of the digital (visual) signs in the library. I create one-slide PowerPoint images advertising events, services, etc. Finally, as per my previous two postings via this blog, I use visuals heavily in my online course utilizing a graphic novel text and several YouTube videos and online tutorials. Additionally, I have offered an optional bonus assignment to students to create their own comic (visual) related to their research project for the course (my example below).

Is a picture worth a thousand words or a thousand likes? Did you look twice a this blog posting because of the image? What does this mean for the future of information? Is it all really visually appealing?

Super Info Cartoon Example

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