What is an infographic, and why should I care?

Introduction

Information is constantly changing the way it is designed, presented and viewed. We want data in a matter of seconds. No longer do we want to read through multiple pages of reports or sit in boring meetings where the central focus is a PowerPoint presentation.

We demand data absorption to be fast, accurate and interesting. Some want less text; others want charts, graphs or images to represent information. We want main ideas and numbers. These characteristics are often true of 21-st century learners, who want fast results.

What is an infographic?

Infographics are visual representations of information and data. These graphics summarize complex concepts or knowledge into a concise and clearer design through key ideas, images, charts or graphs.

To create an infographic, you simply collect data, analyze and design it and present results. When you create an infographic, it is important to provide relevant and synthesized data about the topic. Additionally, it is important to ensure the audience, whether it be a high-school student or corporate lawyer, has previously acquired the necessary comprehension skills to understand the infographic.

Why should I use an infographic?

  1. Infographics met many needs of visual learners. For visual learners, infographics have images and charts that represent key information students to learn. These help visual learners understand the meaning of information represented, and people learn more effectively seeing data or information
  2. Infographics are attention-grabbing., especially if one has effective images or interactive videos. They are a break from traditional PowerPoints or poster boards
  3. Infographics can be shared through social networks. Many infographic generators allow users to share infographics or embed codes into a blog or website
  4. Infographics breakdown complex data; this process enables an audience to understand key concepts
  5. People generally like and appreciate facts, numbers or statistics; this is the type of information infographics provide

How can infographics be used in the library or school?

There are endless ways infographics can be used to benefit the library. They can be used as assessment, content overviews or presentation tools. Here are some ways to utilize infographics in a library or school:

Library

  • Create an infographic for a board or administration meeting. Show statistics of how many students visit the library each year. Show how many books circulate each month or what type of equipment is most needed by students. Create a chart of the most-used services in the library, or what books are most popular
  • Use infographics for new-student orientations. Show how many books or videos are available to check out. Display library hours, contact information or circulation periods
  • Use infographics to promote services and resources the library provides
  • Design an infographic to promote library advocacy
  • Create an infographic as part of a book display. List data about key authors, genres or books you promote
  • Create an infographic to coincide with a theme, such as Banned Book Week, National Library Week or National Poetry month

School

  • Have students create infographics to present what they learned at the end of a unit
  • If there is much data in a science or history class, create an infographic to organize this information for students
  • Create an infographic for students interested in college. Provide statistics or tips as to what they need to do. For example, become involved with school activities, what exams are needed (SAT, ACT). Highlight public or private colleges in the region
  • Design an infograph for fire, health or safety issues
  • Create a timeline of a period in American or global history for class
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