Literacies for the 21st Century Academic Librarian
Presenting information, data, or library instruction content, in appealing and innovative formats offers librarians opportunities to engage students and library users in services, resources, and instruction.
An infographic is a visual representation of information, data, or ideas through images. Think visual storytelling. Mike Smiciklas recently authored “The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences” reviewing the history of the infographic and guiding readers through design elements, the science of visualization, and many uses of visual storytelling.
I create infographics to present material covered during information literacy sessions. Subject faculty can load the graphic into course management programs (Moodle, BlackBoard) where students can easily access materials pertaining to library instruction and resources. While infograhics can be printed, they are intended for viewing online where embedded objects and hyperlnks can be opened.
We are bombarded by slick images every minute of everyday. The aim of an infographic is to parse what might be perceived as an overwhelming amount of information into manageable bites or small nuggets that transform text into memorable images and meaning.
However, creating an infographic is not easy nor a project to be undertaken by the nervous, timid, design-challenged, style-deficient, or technology-phobic person. Plan. Prepare. Revise. Re-revise. You must consider images, size and orientation, icons, information flow, colour schemes, links, references, font styles and sizes, audience, and output.
There are many free online programs now available offering templates for creating infographics. Try any one of these to get started:
The authors of another WordPress Blog, Seo Optimization Articles , have compliled a list of what they believe are the top 10 infographic online tools. Furthermore, they have written some instructions and ideas to consider when creating an infographic.
This is an example of using an infographic to present learning outcomes and topics presented in a library instruction session for first year university students: STSS Follow up Feb 2 2013 (PDF). The infographic is 30 cm x 55 cm.