For immediate release | May 3, 2011

New RUSA online course teaches basics of spatial literacy, GIS, online mapping

CHICAGO — “Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping,” a new online course offered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), is now open for registration and will be offered May 16-June 3.

Through podcasts and hands-on assignments, participants in “Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping” will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and also its social uses beyond simple cartography. The course also covers the how-to of online mapping tools such as Google Earth, ArcExplorer, Scribble Maps and Google Maps. The course content is especially relevant for public or reference librarians who want to organize information in a visual or geographic way to benefit the work of the library, to make information available to the community or any number of needs.

The course will be taught by Eva Dodsworth, geospatial data services librarian at the University of Waterloo Map Library, Waterloo, Ontario. Dodsworth is responsible for providing leadership and expertise in developing, delivering and assessing geospatial data services and programs offered to members of the UW community. A complete instructor biography and course description are available at the course information page on the RUSA website.

Online registration for “Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping” is available through Thursday, May 12, with significant cost savings for RUSA members. Visit RUSA’s professional development information page for detailed course information, or go straight to the online registration page. Get more information about registering by mail or fax, or taking advantage of group discounts on RUSA online courses on RUSA’s professional development information page

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. For more information, visit Not a RUSA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at


Elizabeth Markel