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In the introduction to their Visual Literacy Standards, ACRL states: "The importance of images and visual media in contemporary culture is changing what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Today's society is highly visual, and visual imagery is no longer supplemental to other forms of information. New digital technologies have made it possible for almost anyone to create and share visual media. Yet the pervasiveness of images and visual media does not necessarily mean that individuals are able to critically view, use, and produce visual content. Individuals must develop these essential skills in order to engage capably in a visually-oriented society. Visual literacy empowers individuals to participate fully in a visual culture."
Librarians and teachers play an important role in selecting visual culture to share with their students and their communities AND providing people with the skills to think critically about visual images. As graphica (comic books, graphic novels, manga and other visually rich media) becomes increasingly embedded within our curricula and library collections we should use the opportunity to engage young people in a dialog about how visual culture impacts how we see the world and ourselves.