LIBR 220-01
LIBR 220-10
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Maps and Geographic Information Systems
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Susan E. Aber
Phone (work): 620-341-5977;
Phone (home): available to enrolled students. Calls should be between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. PDT/PST.
Office location: Emporia, Kansas and online.
Office Hours: I can be reached by email, telephone, and discussion board. I will respond to messages within 48 hours and notify you in advance when I will be unavailable or if delays are likely. Four informal Elluminate session meeting times will be scheduled and given in course announcements at least one week in advance; participation is voluntary, but strongly encouraged!

Greensheet Links
Enrollment Information
Course Description
Course Objectives
Learning Outcomes
SLIS Core Competencies
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
General Resources
iSchool eBookstore
Fall Course Webpages
Student Resources

Enrollment Information

Fall semester begins on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. This course will be available on Desire2Learn (D2L) on Friday, August 19. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.  I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

Course Description

According to the SJSU catalog, LIBR220 is an “examination of the nature of resources for, and services to, professions and disciplines including methods of communication, characteristics of researchers and other users, and current methods of meeting research needs in libraries and information centers” (

As a part of this LIBR220 resources and services series, these sections (01 and 10) will focus on maps, geographic information systems (GIS), and map librarianship. The course is designed to acquaint students with the nature of cartographic resource types such as print and electronic maps, as well as other geospatial information and data such as visual imagery (e.g., aerial photography and satellite images). Cartographic concepts will be presented such as map scales, projections, and symbols, plus maps and GIS as tool, technique, application, and thought process. Specifically, how to read a topographic map and create a map display using Web GIS will be demonstrated. Also, the course is designed to acquaint students with services and duties unique to map librarianship and geoscience library liaisons.

With a client-centered focus in mind, methods of communicating among map librarians and between librarian and client will be examined. Services and duties associated with reference as related to map and geospatial data resources will be emphasized, but selection/acquisition, collection management, classification/cataloging as related to map and geospatial data resources will be briefly covered. Finally, methods of marketing and promoting cartographic resources and services to the public are presented.

This course is designed for interested students who have a desire to investigate maps and GIS resources as well as map-related professions to better understand services, which libraries and information centers can provide. No prior knowledge of geography or geoscience in general is assumed. All students are welcome whether or not you navigate using global positioning system technology or familiar landmarks. This course will benefit the geospatially challenged and geography bee winner alike.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 210 Reference & Information Services and its prerequisite, LIBR 202 Information Retrieval, are the two courses to come before this one according to SJSU SLIS policy ( Accordingly there are no exceptions.

Course Objectives

The overall goal of this course is for students to learn about basic cartographic resources and to gain an appreciation of services that map librarians or geoscience library liaisons provide to assist clients. In order to adopt a client-centered focus toward map librarianship, an additional course goal is to diagram characteristics of map and GIS users in order to better predict effective services and market resources. Thus, the following student learning objectives apply.

Student Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course...

  • given map and imagery examples, students will be able to identify descriptive elements associated with map resources such as map scales and symbols, as well as define map and imagery types such as topographic, DLG, DEM, and DOQ;
  • given online government sources such as those offered at the U.S. Geological Survey, students will be able to locate and download data and imagery;
  • given Web-based GIS map servers such as the National Map Viewer, Kansas MapMaker, and Google Maps students will be able to construct simple map displays;
  • given suggested reference resources such gazetteer or atlas, students will be able to answer simple questions by evaluating map-related sources;
  • given map user observation and communication, students will be able to describe and diagram map and data user characteristics;
  • given monitoring of librarian to librarian listserv communication, students will be able to categorize services and duties of map librarians;
  • given catalog descriptions of maps in various libraries, students will be able to identify and distinguish classifying and cataloging systems;
  • given virtual/actual library visits and observable criteria, students will be able to analyze the users’ experiences in accessing and acquiring cartographic resources and services;
  • using knowledge gained throughout the course, students will be able to create and present a project for effective promoting and marketing map services and resources.

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to...

  • locate and utilize cartographic and geospatial information/data resources and technologies to demonstrate a proficiency in use of visual information and map technologies, which will facilitate communication with clients and other library staff;
  • recognize characteristics of map users by applying service concepts and techniques, as well as describe duties unique to map librarianship or geoscience library liaisons, which will facilitate access and accuracy in designing services to user groups;
  • construct and demonstrate a promotional project for cartographic resources or map librarian services to increase awareness for map and GIS resources among individuals or groups of users in educational or public communities.

LIBR 220 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies

  • demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users.

Course Requirements

Angel will be used as a platform for course lecture readings, assignments, and discussions. All assignments must be your own work with properly cited and referenced sources. The expected citation and reference style is APA, which is consistent with SJSU SLIS policy. See SLIS APA Style Resources at, and there are sample papers to view. Also, a useful template for a full report was created by Nelson L. Eby and Dr. Douglas Degelman,


  1. Student Learning Outcome: Locate and utilize map, geospatial information/data, and Web GIS resources. Assessment: All students will complete assignments on various aspects of maps, locate geospatial information/data and create maps using Web GIS resources, as well as contribute to the discussion forum and other information sharing applications.
  2. Student Learning Outcome: Recognize characteristics of users and assess duties of librarians who work with map resources and GIS. Assessment: All students will be required to complete informal conversations with map users and librarians, plus share results on various aspects of map and GIS users, librarians, and library collections, as well as contribute to discussion forum and other information sharing applications.
  3. Student Learning Outcome: Construct and demonstrate a promotional project for cartographic resources or map librarian services contributing to educational and social well-being of our communities. Assessment: All students are required to blend and integrate information and knowledge gained from course readings and assignments to create a final project in an online presentation format related to marketing and promoting mapping resources and map library services.

Course Calendar

The fall 2011 semester is August 24-December 8 with SJSU holidays listed below in the calendar. A tentative course calendar is shown below; assignments and project due dates are subject to change with fair notice. Collaborate sessions will be 9/14, 10/16, 11/13, and 12/7.  Attendance is voluntary, but strongly encouraged!

Weekly Dates Modules & Weekly Assignments Fall 2011 Assign-due date & points
  Module 1: Map/Geospatial Data Resources & Map/GIS User & Professional  
8/24-31 Week 1: Getting Acquainted & Intro to Maps Assignment 1: Getting to Know You & Me Discussion Forum 01: Introduce yourself to the class & attach photograph or avatar picture Assign01 due 8/31 (3 pts) DF01 due 8/31 (2 pts)
8/26-27 Our son is getting married!  The rehearsal dinner is the 8/26 and wedding, 8/27. My communication with you may be slowed and delayed at this time.  
8/31-9/7 Week 2: Introduction to Maps & GIS Assignment 2: What are Maps & GIS? Discussion Forum 02: Definitions & Visual Information: The Window Seat Assign02 due 9/7 (4 pts) DF02 due 9/7 (2 pts)
9/5 Labor Day – celebrate this observance. Campus & online communications are closed!  
9/7-21 Weeks 3 & 4: Maps & GIS Basics: An Introduction Assignment 3-4: Getting to Know Map & GIS Types & Concepts  Discussion Forum 3-4: Web GIS Maps/KAP Assign3-4 due 9/21 (8 pts) DF03-4 due 9/21 (4/1 pts)
9/14 Wednesday Collaborations: Getting to Know You, Me… Maps & GIS. Drop in for conversations and/or questions: 6:30-7:30 pm PDT  
9/21-10/5 Weeks 5-6: Map & GIS - Users & Professionals Assignment 5-6: Getting to Know Map & GIS Users & Professionals Discussion Forum 5-6: Teamwork Tips/KAP 1 Assign5-6 due 10/16 (10 pts) DF5-6 due 10/5 (1/2 pts)
10/5-12-16 Weeks 7: Map & GIS - Users & Professionals Assignment 7: Share your data in Collaborate OR summarize & present the stories via discussion forum Discussion Forum 7: KAP 2 Assign7 due 10/16 (3 pts) DF7 due 10/12 (2 pts)
10/16 Sunday Collaborations: Who are using maps? How are maps & GIS used? 1:30-3:30 pm PDT  
  Module 2: Maps/Geospatial Data Resources & Map Librarians  
10/16-23 Week 8: Guide through Labyrinth of Map & Spatial Data Resources/Reference Desk Resources Assignment 8: Reference Desk Resources Discussion Forum 8: Favorite map/GIS resource & suggest questions for map librarian Assign 8 due 10/23 (8 pts) DF 8 due 10/23 (1/1 pts)
10/23-30 Week 9: Classifying and Cataloging Systems Assignment 9: Brief Introduction to Classifying & Cataloging Maps Discussion Forum 9: KAP 3 & Organize questions/Identify Librarians Assign 9 due 10/30 (8 pts) DF 9 due 10/30 (2/1 pts)
11/6 Daylight Savings Time ENDS TODAY!  
11/11/11 Veteran’s Day – celebrate this observance. Campus & online communications are closed!  
10/30-11/13 Week 10-11: Map & GIS Librarians & Map Librarianship Assignment 10-11: Getting to Know Map & GIS Librarians Discussion Forum 10-11: Share your data in Collaborate OR summarize & present the stories via discussion forum Assign10-11 due 11/13 (10 pts) DF10-11 due 11/13 (3 pts)
11/13 Sunday Collaborations: Map & GIS Caretakers - Map Librarians’ Stories. 1:30-3:30 pm PST  
  Module 3: Map Libraries - Services & Resources  
11/13-16 Week 12: Map Care & Final Projects Discussion Forum 12: Celebrate GIS Day 11/16 & KAP 4 DF12 due 11/20 (1/2 pts)
11/16-12/7 Week13-15: Promoting & Marketing Map Library Services & Resources Assignment 13-15: Your final project topic will be of your choice!! You determine the electronic format for presentation as well (e.g., webpage, ppt, Prezi, video, wiki, etc.)  Discussion Forum 13-15: Share your final project in Collaborate OR summarize & present the final project via discussion forum Assign 13-15 due 12/4 (18 pts) DF13-15 due 11/20 & 27 (3 pts)
12/7 Wednesday Collaborations: Your story - Promoting & Marketing Map Library Services & Resources. 5:30-8:30 pm PST  
  Please take the time to do SOTES!  
12/8 Last day of instruction-Time to Celebrate!  
12/21 Grades due  

Course Grading

  1. Assignments - 54 pts
  2. Discussion/Participation - 28 pts
  3. Final Project - 18 pts

The SJSU LSIS grading scale with and - is detailed below, but generalized:
100-94 points is in the A range; 93-85 points in the B range; 84-76 points, C range. Details on assignments, due dates, and grading will be in each Angel weekly lesson. Participation in the informal Elluminate Sharing sessions is strongly encouraged. The exact SJSU SLIS grading scale is given below.

Course and Official University Policy

Late Assignments Policy
Due dates for activities and participation opportunities are set to keep an easy pace of progress throughout the semester. Please contact me when you need more time; it is best for consideration if requested in advance of the stated due date. Assignment late passes will be granted for two different assignments; passes have an expiration date which is routinely good for a week extension past the stated due date.

Beyond the two free one week extensions, late assignments will still be accepted with the understanding that a decrease in the number of points earned for the assignment will apply. A penalty of 10% of the total number of points possible may be deducted each week past the due date.

Textbook and Readings

No textbook is required for this elective course. Recommended online, book, and journal readings will be forthcoming in Angel course modules. One recommended book is listed at the SJSU iSchool ebookstore; however, I urge you to examine this book at a library or in a bookstore before considering a purchase in order to determine if the specific nature of this book would be useful for your future career direction. Read on for the title and information on a recommended textbook.

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Abresch, J., Hanson, A., & Heron, S. J. (2008). Integrating geographic information systems into library services: A guide for academic libraries. Information Science Publishing. Available through Amazon: 1599047268. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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