I wrote the other day that I drew a picture to help me figure out the methodology of the study and where the different sources of data fit in. Drawing pictures helps me a lot. And I’m not alone. In fact, if you do the slightest bit of reading into the literature on how we think and perceive and remember, you’ll quickly find that our brains are arranged to take in information visually almost 3 times more than our other 4 senses combined. We are visual thinkers. Sadly, though, we live in a society based much more on verbal and written communication. That might explain why we’re so confused, but I’ll resist the urge to digress onto that thought.
I’m fascinated with the topics of visual communication and visual literacy and visual note taking. I’m also really lucky to be married to someone who teaches in this field (as a subset of graphic design) and so I’m privy to a lot of great books and journals and magazines. Between Lynn’s teaching and my interest, we’ve developed quite the library.
I’ve also been lucky in that I was recently asked to speak on a panel at the upcoming “Emerging Roles Symposium” being hosted by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association. During the panel, I’ll be talking about my role supporting eScience. There are several panels and a whole bunch of great speakers and topics. It’s going to be a terrific program and I couldn’t be more pleased to take part.
The invitation also came with another to teach a continuing education class. If you’re flying all the way across the country for a meeting, you might as well make the most of it. Of course, I said, “Sure!” Note that I said “Sure!” before ever agreeing on what I’d teach. In the back of my mind though, for a long while, had been the thought to develop a class around my interest and knowledge of visual communication, and so I proposed this to the CE Committee. The result – Bullet Point 1, Bullet Point 2, Bullet Point 3… the Audience Flees: Visual Communication Skills for Effective Teaching and Presentations – a class that, up until I got distracted by writing this blog post, I was working on this morning.
I thought I’d merge my class prep into this post by sharing the bibliography that I’m putting together. These are just some of the books that I’m using, but it’s a great collection to get you started on getting to know this topic. When I think about the skill set needed to be an embedded librarian, I think that two of the most important skills one must have for success are creativity and problem solving (critical thinking, analytical thought, however you might describe it). Or better put, maybe the one skill needed most by an embedded librarian is creative problem solving and one of the best ways to hone our creative problem solving skills is to practice visual thinking. So without further ado, here’s a small library to get you going (presented visually, of course):