LIBR 220-01
LIBR 220-10
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Maps and Geographic Information Systems
Fall 2013 Greensheet

Dr. S. Aber
Other contact information: Phone (work): 620-341-5977
Office location: Emporia, Kansas and online.
Office Hours: Tuesday from 11:00 am-2:00 pm Pacific Time, via email or work phone. I will respond to messages within 48 hours and notify you in advance when I will be unavailable and delays may be likely. Office Collaborate sessions are available upon request.

Greensheet Links
Course Calendar
Course Grading
General Resources
D2L Login & Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Student Resources

Additional Greensheet Links
Course Description
Course Requirements
Another recommended book
Late Assignment Policy

Enrollment Information

This course will be available Wednesday, August 21, 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 SLIS online courses and it is required for this class.

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 course is designed to acquaint students with the nature of mapping or cartographic resource types and formats such as print and electronic maps, Web GIS, and other geospatial information and data such as visual imagery (e.g., aerial photography and satellite images). Cartographic concepts will be presented including 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. With a client-centered focus, information-seeking behaviors and communication with clients will be identified. Reference services, collection management, selection/acquisition, classification/cataloging will be covered. Finally, methods of marketing and promoting cartographic resources and services to the public are investigated and identified.

This course is designed for students who have a desire to explore the world of maps and GIS resources and better understand services, which libraries and information professionals 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

Completion of five assignments, three main projects, and weekly discussion forum tasks are all required course expectations (see course calendar below). Several weeks will be given to accomplish the three main projects; set your calendars to share your project results at Sunday afternoon Collaborate parties on 9/29, 10/27, and 12/8Attendance is voluntary at our synchronous Collaborate gatherings; required alternative sharing and attendance assignments will be arranged, if you are unable to attend.  

Assignments, Core Competencies, and SLOs appear in the course calendar, but to summarize:
Core Competency H >DF tasks 2, 3, 5, 12, 14
Core Competency I > Project 2, 3
Core Competency J > Project 1
SLO 1 > Assignment 2; DF tasks 2, 3, 5, 12, 14
SLO 2 > Assignment 4, DF task 11
SLO 3 > DF 8
SLO 4 > Project 1
SLO 5 > Assignment 3; DF 9
SLO 6 > Project 2; DF task 6
SLO 7 > Project 3; DF task 7, 13

A note about textbooks: One textbook is listed below but it is not a requirement for this elective course.The Albresh et al. (2008) book has a focus on integrating GIS academic library including chapters on map librarianship, reference, cataloging, collection development, which may be useful if your future career direction is map and geospatial librarianship. Search WorldCat to find libraries near to you for a book preview.  Another book recommended, but not required is: Dodsworth, E. (2012). Getting started with GIS: A LITA guide.  NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers. The Dodsworth book has a practical focus on online mapping and GIS, including tutorials on Web Mapping; direction for GIS data and ESRI Arc software products; and expanding library services with GIS. Search WorldCat for locating it at a library near you for a book preview.

See below for Academic Integrity policy. All assignments must be written in your own words with paraphrase, quote, and personal communications properly cited and referenced; plagiarism will have negative grading consequences. The expected citation and reference style is APA, which is consistent with SJSU SLIS policy. See SLIS Writing Support.

See below for Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities policy. In addition to registering, please e-mail me at the beginning of the semester if you believe course accommodations may be needed.

Course Calendar

The fall 2013 semester is August 21-December 9 with breaks for SJSU holiday observances. Dates, topics, SJSU SLIS competencies, student learning objectives, and assignment grading points are listed below. Please remember this calendar is a tentative guide provided before the course begins; during the semester, fair notice will be given if any changes are needed. Set your personal calendar to attend Sunday Collaborate Sharing on 9/29, 10/27, and 12/8.

  Topic 1: Maps & GIS - User & Professional  
Week 1
Getting Acquainted & Introductions
Assign 1: Survey & Image
(due Wed. 8/28, 7 pts)
DF 1: Introductions & Interests (due 8/28, 2 pts)
Week 2
Introduction to Maps & Geoliteracy
Project 1a: Map & GIS Users & Uses! 
(due 9/11, 12 pts)
DF 2: Users & Static Maps (due 9/4, 1 pt)
Competency J
Competency H
Labor Day–SJSU observance  
Week 3
Map Definitions, Types, Formats
DF 3: Users & Interactive Maps
(due 9/11, 1 pt)
Competency H
Week 4
Introduction to Topographic Maps
Assign 2: Interpreting Maps (due 9/18, 8 pts)
Project 1b: Sharing, Compiling (due Fri. 9/27),
Evaluating Experiences
(due Wed. 10/2, 4 pts)
DF 4: Challenges for Teams (due 9/18, 1 pt)
Week 5
Introduction to GIS
DF 5: Users & Editable Maps
(due 9/25, 1 pt)
Competency H
Week 6
GIS Software & Users
DF 6: Project 1 Presentation to
Collaborate Assistant or DF
(due Friday, 9/27, 2 pts)
Special Session
You are invited to attend!
Project 1 Results & Sunday Collaboration
Sharing how people use maps & GIS
1:30-3:30 pm PT
Competency J
  Topic 2: Map Librarians - Resources & Services  
Week 7
Introduction to Map Libraries & Librarianship
Project 2: Investigating Map Librarians & Libraries!
(due 10/23, 12 pts)
DF 7: Explore Map Librarian Support-MAGIRT & MAPS-L (due 10/9, 2 pts)

Competency I
Week 8
Navigating Labyrinth of Cartographic Resources
Assign 3: Investigating Physical/Online
Map/GIS LibGuides (due Wed. 10/23, 7 pts)
DF 8: Extraordinary Librarians (due 10/16, 2 pts)


Week 9
Reference Desk Basics
DF 9: GNIS, Earth Explorer, Google Maps
(due 10/23, 2 pts)
Week 10
Collection Development
DF 10: Project 2 Presentation to
Collaborate Assistant or DF (due 10/25, 2 pts)
Special Session
You are invited to attend!
Project 2 Results & Sunday Collaborations
Sharing a Map/GIS librarian caretaker’s story
1:30-3:30 pm PT
Competency I
Week 11
Classifying and Cataloging Systems
Assign 4: Investigating Cataloging & Libraries
(due 11/6, 7 pts)
DF 11: Locating the map index (due 11/6, 1 pt)
  Topic 3: Promoting &Marketing Map & GIS
Resources & Services
Week 12
A Future for Map & GIS Librarians
Project 3: Promoting & Marketing
Map Library Services & Resources-Your Choice!
(due 12/4, 12 pts)
DF 12: Map Mashups (due 11/13, 2 pts)
Competency I

Competency H
Veteran’s Day–SJSU observance  
Week 13
Map Care & Preservation
DF 13: Library Services-Workshops/Events
(due 11/20, 2 pts)
Week 14
Celebrate GIS Day 11/20
Celebrate Geography Awareness Week 17/23
DF 14: Interactive Mapping-Holiday Plans
(due 11/27, 2 pts)
Competency H
Thursday & Friday
Thanksgiving Holiday–SJSU observance  
Week 15
Assign 5: SOTEs & Librarians
(due 12/4, 5 pts)
DF 15: Post your Favorite Map! (due 12/4, 1 pt)
Week 16
Complete Project 3!
DF16: Project 3 Presentation to
Collaborate Assistant or DF (due 12/6, 2 pts)
Special Session

You are invited to attend!
Project 3 Results & Sunday Collaborations
Sharing your story: Promoting & Marketing
Map/GIS Library Services & Resources
5:30-8:00 pm PT
Competency I
Last day of instruction-Time to Celebrate!

Course Grading - Letter grade scale given below

  1. Assignments – 34 points
  2. Discussion Forum Tasks – 26 points
  3. Projects – 40 points

Course and Official University Policy

Late Assignment Policy
Course calendar activities are set to keep an easy pace of progress throughout the semester. Due dates for projects 1, 2, & 3, as well as DF 6, 10, 16 are firm and late submissions will be subject to grade penalties. For any other activities, please contact me in advance of the stated due date, when if more time is needed; late passes will be granted twice during the semester, 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% penalties 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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