Spatial Literacy

Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping

Next Session: Oct. 6 - 26, 2014

Other upcoming sessions: TBD

Register online now! Or, register by mail or fax by downloading the registration form (PDF format.)

Course Objectives and Description

Since the emergence of dynamic and easily accessible online mapping tools, there has been a drastic increase in geographic interest and awareness. Whether for personal, social, professional or academic use, people are using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to communicate information in a map format. Whether it’s using Google Earth to study urban change, or creating Google Map Mashups to show cemetery locations, more and more members of society are turning to online mapping programs for their visualization needs. With so many using GIS technology in their daily lives, it is time to train librarians to not only assist library clients with their inquiries, but to use the technology themselves.

This three week course will introduce students and library staff to a variety of mapping tools and GIS technologies that are of interest to both public and academic library users. Librarians will be able to apply their newly developed Web 2.0 mapping skills in their reference work, and liaison responsibilities. Through hands-on exercises, demonstrations and presentations, the librarian will receive a thorough overview of GIS-related technologies that they may be exposed to in the library.

Examples of topics include geographic literacy, GIS, online mapping (Google Earth, Google Maps, etc). The course will include:

  • Online lessons – 2 hours a week
  • Two Assignments
  • Two Tutorials
  • One Discussion Question

Course Format

Beginning in 2008, ALA will use Moodle for all online educational courses. Learn more about Moodle at

The course site will open one week prior to the start date for students to access Moodle instructions and set their browsers appropriately. The course site will remain open one week after the end date for students to complete any assignments and submit the course evaluation survey.


Eva Dodsworth is the Geospatial Data Services Librarian at the University of Waterloo Map Library in Waterloo, Ontario, where she is responsible for the provision of leadership and expertise in developing, delivering, and assessing geospatial data services and programs offered to members of the UW community. Eva’s particular interests focus on the promotion, teaching and training of GIS-related resources to the novice student, faculty and librarian. Eva is also a part-time instructor at a number of Library and Information Studies Programs in North America.

Registration Information

Registration limit for each session: 30

Registrations for this session will no longer be accepted once the 30 student limit is reached.

Registration Fees:

  • $130 for RUSA members
  • $175 for ALA members
  • $210 for non-ALA members
  • $100 for student members and retired members

How to Register:

  • Online
  • By Fax: download, complete, and fax form (PDF format) to (312) 280-1538
  • By Mail: download, complete, and mail form (PDF format) to American Library Association, ATTN: MACS/Online CE Registration, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611