Spatial Education in Libraries

Authors: Emma Slayton*, Carnegie Mellon University, Jessica Benner, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: Libraries, Spatial Literacy, GIS training
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Vail, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Majestic Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Libraries have a unique role to play in Geography and GIS education. As key supporters of education on university campuses and within local communities, libraries can provide unique access to spatial learning that is sometimes left out of traditional academic coursework. Typically, these alternative academic environments have been used to support GIS tool use through consultations and instruction sessions. However, librarians are moving to offer different kinds of supports like spatial literacy and more in-depth analyses. At Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, we are working to create and provide wider access to pedagogy around spatial literacy through the development of undergraduate courses as well as supporting our students and faculty in learning new types of tools than can be used to communicate their spatial research to communities at large through our Spatial Storytelling workshop series.

In addition to these efforts, we have also started to build a broader community of librarians who are engaged in similar teaching practices and interested in or already conducting research in these areas. Through a grant from the National Center for Research in Geography Education, we have invited members of our community around Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania, as well as, national and international researchers and librarians to engage in this discussion with us. This paper seeks to spark topics in the broader conversation on where libraries are headed in this new age of spatial learning in higher education.

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