Call for Feedback on the Framework for Visual Literacy draft

Request for Feedback


Please return the survey by July 7, 2021

We are currently seeking feedback on the Visual Literacy Framework Companion Document. We are asking you to consider how you might use this document. We would also like to understand how it could be improved to better align with your needs. We thank you in advance for your input to ensure this document is thoughtful and useful.

Survey link for feedback:

Participants will find the draft in various formats to facilitate feedback options on the Task Force website:  If you have any questions, please contact us at


In the years following the publication of the 2011 Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, librarians began to engage with threshold conceptsmetacognition, and metaliteracies, reflected in the 2016 ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Framework), which replaced the Information Literacy Standards. Ongoing critical conversation continues to shape how learners are taught to create, use, share, and assess information in the twenty-first century. Addressing these shifts, ACRL assembled several task forces in 2018 to develop Framework Companion Documents and update disciplinary literacy standards documents. In this spirit, the current Visual Literacy Task Force was formed by the Image Resources Interest Group to update the 2011 Visual Literacy Standards.

At the outset, we acknowledged that visual literacy and related terminology remained difficult to define due to variations in use and meaning across disciplines. We also recognized that mapping to the Framework would be a challenging exercise. Success would require the participation of thoughtfully engaged stakeholders. Therefore, we began by conducting an IRB-approved qualitative research study[i]. From fall 2019 to spring 2021, we interviewed a broad community of practitioners and scholars, including architecture and planning librarians. Participants were asked to define visual literacy, identify necessary skills and competencies for their discipline, and discuss what they perceived as challenges and opportunities.

By coding the interviews, we identified four themes that serve as the backbone for the current Visual Literacy Framework Companion Document draft. These themes are:

·         Perceive visuals as communicating information;

·         Participate in a changing information landscape;

·         Practice visual discernment and criticality; and

·         Pursue social justice through visual practice.

Current Task Force Members

Millicent Fullmer (co-chair), University of San Diego

Tiffany Saulter (co-chair), Deque Systems, Inc.

Stephanie Beene, University of New Mexico

Katie Greer, Oakland University

Maggie Murphy, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Sara Schumacher, Texas Tech University

Dana Statton Thompson, Murray State University

Mary Wegmann, Sonoma State University

Past member:

Kathy Edwards, Clemson University (2018-2019)

[i] IRB #00001310 was coordinated through the University of San Diego. Co-Principal Investigators were Millicent Fullmer and Dana Statton Thompson. Co-Investigators were Stephanie Beene, Sara Schumacher, Katie Greer, Maggie Murphy, and Mary Wegmann.

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