Sunday, September 30, 2007

Summer 2008: GIS Librarianship Course

The confirmation is only preliminary at this point, but I am preparing to teach a GIS Librarianship course next summer (2008) for the University of Arizona's School of Information Resources and Library Science. This course will be 100% distance education, so I encourage any library student or librarian out there with an interest in GIS to consider enrolling. I will post more details here as the confirmation becomes more official and as the date gets closer.

This is so, so great. For the past few years, I have been teaching GIS and spatial analysis courses for Earth & Enviro Sciences, Marketing, and Real Estate, but it has always been a dream of mine to work with library science students to attempt to pass on and convey my excitement and enthusiasm for GIS librarianship. As part of this dream, I have posted practicum opportunities at the UNT School of Library and Information Sciences for the last 4 years. My only bite came over the summer, but the night before the practicum was to start, he/she canceled due to an emergency. Ah well...

Anyway, I am typing this and am giving my first concrete thoughts as to how to structure such a course. Here is my first draft/first thoughts outline of the course:
  • What is GIS and what contributions can a library provide to this subject area?
    • This will be a nice, but brief overview of GIS and GIS librarianship. The final section (below) will consider the role of GIS librarianship in greater detail, but this will serve as a nice introduction.
  • Basics of GIS
    • My thoughts are this will take up the first half the course, and will be a condensed version of an Intro to GIS course, with a focus on data types, data acquisition, and data preparation. In essence, the pre-analysis concerns of GIS.
  • Marketing GIS services
  • Managing GIS data
    • This will focus on metadata and the use of various types of metadata catalogs.
  • Data Acquisition
    • This will focus on selecting and processing datasets from data vendors, public data archives, and government organizations.
  • Types of GIS Services Offered by Libraries
    • I think it best to end the course with this topic. At this point everyone will have a deeper understanding of the potential and can actually contribute to the conversation. This might even make a great final project.
I am sure I am missing something(s) here, but I feel pretty good about getting at least this much down. Of course, if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or criticisms (keep those clean, yeah?) feel free to leave them as comments here or email me at: been [[-at-]] uta [[-dot-]] edu.


michele said...

Your course draft looks excellent,and your enthusiasm is super. I'm going to see if I can take your course. I am in SLAIS at UBC and can take courses elsewhere if the institute you're at is affiliated with UBC for this. I have one specific comment relating to course content:
- on data acquisition, I would of course be interested in Canadian data (census, spatial files, etc)- will you focus exclusively on American data or can you work in Canadian (and other?) too? That would make the course appealing to me if there is relevance to Cdn data. I like the metadata development, and all other suggestions you proposed. My background is an MA in Geog so I'm sold on your ideas.

mapz said...

Sure thing about the Canadian data!

As you know, one of the most valuable skills is the ability to work with and integrate various datasets, in various formats and projection systems. Many projects will be open, meaning everyone can select their own geography and subject. Once I get a feel for the makeup and interests of the class, I will also make sure to tailor the exercises using datasets of interest. We will definitely be exploring major North American data sources, including the GeoConnections Discovery Portal and INEGI.

JS said...

Sounds like a very sound plan. For myself - with a great interest in both library science AND GIS - but no formal training in either - doesn't sound like a great entry point.

However - I'd be very interested to know if you were involved in other distance learning efforts.

Jon Soroko

Anonymous said...

Are you still offering the GIS course at U of A this summer?

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