LIBR 220-01
LIBR 220-10
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Maps and Geographic Information Systems
Fall 2012 Greensheet

Dr. S. Aber
Other contact information: Phone (work): 620-341-5977
Office location: Emporia, Kansas and online.
Office Hours: Unless otherwise notified, each Wednesday from 8:00 -11:00 am PDT/PST, I will be in the office. Beyond that, I will respond to email and phone messages within 48 hours. Notification via email and D2L announcements will be given in advance when I will be unavailable and delays in communication are likely.

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Enrollment Information

This course will be available Wednesday, August 22, 2012, when the fall semester begins. You will be enrolled into this D2L site automatically.

D2L Course Management System: In 2011 SLIS adopted the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management platform for all online courses. Use of D2L is required for this class, as nearly all course content, links, session recordings will be linked there.

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” (

The topic of this LIBR220 resources and services series is on maps and geographic information systems (GIS). Print and electronic maps, WebGIS, and geospatial information and data such as visual imagery (e.g., aerial photography and satellite images) will be introduced. Concepts such as topographic map scales and symbols, plus maps and GIS as tool, technique, application, and thought process is presented. Interpreting a topographic map and creating a map display using Web GIS will be demonstrated.

Service and duty unique to map librarianship and geoscience library liaisons will be described. Information-seeking behaviors and communicating among map librarians and between librarian and client will be covered with a client-centered focus. Reference services will be emphasized, but selection/acquisition and classification/cataloging duties for map liaisons and librarians will be briefly covered. Finally, methods of marketing and promoting cartographic resources and services to the public are identified.

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 Requirements

All submitted and posted assignments must be your own work with paraphrase, quote, and personal communications properly cited and referenced. The expected citation and reference style is APA, which is consistent with SJSU SLIS policy. See SLIS Writing Support at

A note about textbooks: Two textbooks are listed below but they are not a requirement for this elective course. The books are recommended, yet one has not appeared in print although publication release was to be in 2010! The other, Albresh et al., is expensive; examine it before purchase to be sure this will be useful for your future career direction.

There will be activities, discussion forum participation tasks, and a final project. At least 3 weeks will be given to complete the 2 field activities; the 10 lecture activities will be due within one week. Discussion forum tasks are always due in one week. You will be expected to participate in 10 discussion forums overall. Three forums during weeks 5, 10, & 15 are mandatory OR satisfied by presenting on the Collaborate session during those 3 weeks. Collaborate project sharing sessions are scheduled to present and discuss the field activity work. While it is strongly encouraged, presenting during Collaborate is voluntary. Again, if you cannot participate in the voluntary Collaborate session, posting a presentation on the field activity in the forum is mandatory.

Details on all assignments, due dates, and grading will be given in each D2L weekly posting. A tentative calendar is shown below.

Course Calendar

The fall 2012 semester is August 22-December 10 with SJSU holidays listed below in the calendar. This course calendar is subject to change with fair notice. Collaborate sessions will be Wednesday afternoon 9/19, Sunday afternoon 10/28, and Monday evening 12/3. 

Dates Assignments Fall 2012  

Module 1: Maps & GIS - User & Professional
Week 1: Getting Acquainted & Introductions
Lecture Activity 1:
Introductory Survey
Discussion Forum 1
: Introductions


Week 2: Introduction to Maps
Field Activity J: Investigating Map & GIS Users...Uses! 
Discussion Forum 2
: Definitions

Competency J

Labor Day – celebrate this observance. Campus & online communications are closed!

9/5 Week 3: Maps & Map Basics
Lecture Activity 2: Interpreting Maps
Discussion Forum 3: Maps & aerial photos - astronaut
Competency H

Week 4: Map Concepts - Public Land Survey System
Lecture Activity
3: Locating Township & Range!
Discussion Forum 4: Maps & aerial photos - KAP

Competency H

Week 5
Wednesday Afternoon Collaborations: Getting to Know You & Me, Sharing Field Activity 1- How do people use maps & GIS?  1:30-3:30 pm PST.
Discussion Forum 5: Field Activities*

9/26 Week 6: Introduction to GIS
Lecture Activity 4: Using WebGIS
Discussion Forum 6: Definitions & GIS
Competency H
10/3 Module 2: Map Librarians - Resources & Services
Week 7: GIS & Map Librarianship
Field Activity I
: Investigating Map Librarians & Libraries! 
Discussion Forum 7: An Extraordinary GIS Librarian

Competency I

10/10 Week 8: Collection Development
Lecture Activity 5: Evaluating Map Resources in Libraries
Discussion Forum 8: WebGIS
Competency H
10/17 Week 9:  Navigating Labyrinth of Cartographic Resources
Lecture Activity 6: Map & geospatial data challenges
Discussion Forum 9: GNIS

Competency H

10/24 Week 10: Reference Desk Resources
Lecture Activity 7: Exploring Map Library Service
Discussion Forum 10: Q & A - FAQ - Favorite Maps
Competency I
10/28 Sunday Collaborations Sharing Field Activity 2-
Map & GIS Caretakers: A Map Librarian's Story
1:30-3:30 pm PST
Discussion Forum 10: Field Activities*

Week 11
Final Project Explained: Promoting & Marketing
Map Library Services & Resources
Discussion Forum 11: Locating LibGuides

Competency I
11/7 Week 12: Classifying and Cataloging Systems
Lecture Activity 8: Investigating Cataloging & Libraries Discussion Forum 12: Locating map index
Competency I

Veteran’s Day – celebrate this observance. Campus & online communications are closed!

11/14 Week 13: Map Care & Marketing Map Collections
Lecture Activity 9: Geography Awareness Week 11-17
Discussion Forum 13: Celebrating GIS Day 11/14!
Competency I

Week 14: Global Positing System
Thanksgiving Holiday -22 & 23 Campus & online communication is closed!
Discussion Forum 14
: Maps vs. GPS

11/28 Week 15: Jobs & Promoting Map Librarianship
Lecture Activity 10: Investigating SOTES & Map Librarians
Discussion Forum 15: Map-GIS favorites!
Competency I
12/3 Monday Collaborations: Your story - Promoting & Marketing Map Library Services & Resources.
6:00-8:30 pm PST

Week 16: Final Project Due Today!
Discussion Forum 16
: Final Project Presentations*

12/10 Last day of instruction-Time to Celebrate!  
12/22 Grades due  

Course Grading - Letter grade scale given below

  1. 2 Field Activities - 24%
  2. 10 Lecture Activities - 40%
  3. 10 Discussion Forum Participation - 20%
  4. 1 Final Project - 16%

Course and Official University Policy

Late Assignment Consequence Policy
Due dates for discussion forum participation and the final project are firm with no late posts or projects accepted. Activities are set to keep an easy pace of progress throughout the semester. Please contact me in advance of the stated due date when if more time is needed.

Assignment late passes will be granted for two different assignments, but there is an expiration date. The pass is good for up to one week beyond the due date without penalty. Beyond the one week extension, late assignments will still be accepted with the understanding that 10% penalities accrue daily.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 210

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify key print and online research resources useful for finding moving images and moving image-related information.
  2. Demonstrate effective use of film and media resources.
  3. Evaluate at least two institutions with collections that include moving images.
  4. Identify the broad issues involved in collecting, cataloging, preserving and providing access to film and media.
  5. Describe the federal and state governmental units that make primary law and the types of primary law they make.
  6. Identify the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state jurisdictions.
  7. Locate the nearest brick-and-mortar law library and find materials in it.
  8. Identify and describe the relative merits and shortcomings of the major print and online (both "free" and "pay-for-view") legal resources.
  9. Use print and online sources to find the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state law.
  10. Answer questions from patrons about basic legal resources, and direct patrons to the best sources for legal information.
  11. Develop strategies for defining search terms to use with "finding tools" in print, online, and pay-for-view legal resources.
  12. Create guides ("pathfinders") for patrons needing legal information.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. B Describe and compare the organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  4. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  5. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


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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