Getting Help

How to Get Help from Colleagues

Cartographic specialists are often located in institutions where they are the only people who work with maps or Geographic Information Systems (GIS). When questions arise, there is nobody to ask for assistance. Fortunately, there are ways to get help from afar.

Several items on the "electronic publications" page of this site are designed to provide basic information for new map librarians. In addition, WAML (the Western Association of Map Libraries) has put together a useful list of practical information in its Map Librarian's Tool Box.


If you have a specific question, your best bet is often to ask it on a listserv.  The following listservs are specific to map, geography and GIS libraries and librarianship.

MAPS-L – the most important listserv for map librarians, MAPS-L is an international discussion forum for librarians dealing with cartographic information, cartographers, remote sensors, geographers, and cartomaniacs of all types.  Topics discussed include anything related to map libraries, cartographic information, remote sensing systems, geography, map cataloging and cartomania in general.

MAPHIST – discussion group whose primary focus is historical maps, atlases, globes and other cartographic documents. The list is open to all persons interested in the history of cartography and discussion is encouraged on all aspects of this broad subject.

GIS4LIB – discussion group for issues relating to geographic information systems (GIS) and libraries, whether academic, private, corporate, etc.  Topics may include discussion of hardware, software, data acquisition, licensing, collection development, etc.

GOVDOC-L - moderated listserv-based discussion forum about government information (including maps and data) and the Federal Depository Library program. 

Ask a Map or GIS Librarian

Here follows a list of librarians and information specialists who are willing to answer questions from other professionals concerning issues relating to maps and GIS in libraries. They can be consulted by e-mail or by phone. If you want to talk by phone, please contact the person first by e-mail to set up an appointment. 

Digital Data and GIS:
Tsering Wangyal Shawa
Geographic Information Systems Librarian
Geosciences and Map Library,
Guyot Hall

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544
Telephone: 609/258-6804
Fax: 609/258-1274
Pete Reehling
Geographic Information Librarian
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
LIB 122
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620
Phone: 813/974-1647
Digital Imaging, Preservation,
Dublin Core Metadata
General Questions:
Scott R. McEathron
Map Librarian
Anschutz Library
University of Kansas
1301 Hoch Auditoria Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-7537
Telephone: 785/864-4662
Small Map Collections:  
Joseph M. Winkler
Coordinator of the Research Collections
St. Louis Public Library
1301 Olive St.
Saint Louis, Mo 63103
Telephone: 314/539-0344
Fax: 314/539-0393
Susan Moore
Rod Library
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Telephone: 319/273-2913
Fax: 319/273-2913
Paige Andrew
126N Paterno Library
University Libraries
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Telephone: 814/865-1755
Fax: 814/867-0786
Map and Atlas Acquisitions:

Angie Cope
American Geographical Society Library
2311 E. Hartford Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
Telephone: 414/ 229-6282


Revised 05/25/2010