ALA Annual 2018 MAGIRT Chair's Program


Come learn more about the spatial geo humanities in academic libraries

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Understanding and Using Spatial Humanities: Digital Mapping at the Forefront of Scholarly Research

Saturday, June 23, 2018 — 8:30-10:00 am, Morial Convention Center, Rm 281-282

Academic librarians are increasingly required to understand and experience in the digital scholarship that supports any scholarly activities conducted in using digital technology. GIS and spatial humanities are part of the digital scholarship that provides dynamic visual impact to the rapidly growing area of digital scholarship. In meeting the needs of this growing field, librarians need to develop the skills and knowledge to assist researchers in creating successful and insightful projects.

During this session, panel experts will focus on overview of spatial humanities in digital scholarship, the skills and innovations available to librarian to successfully guide researchers in spatial humanities, and challenges that may emerge in spatial humanity practices for various research projects.

Panelists include Katherine Hart Weimer (Rice University), Nicole Kong (Purdue University) and Chelcie Rowell (Boston College). Leslie Wagner, Chair of MAGIRT, will act as moderator.

Co-sponsored by ACRL/DSS Numeric and Geospatial Data Services Discussion Group


Brief Biographies

Katherine Hart Weimer

Head, Kelley Center for Government Information
Data and Geospatial Services
Rice University, Fondren Library
Houston, Texas

Spatial Humanities: An Introduction to Space and Place in Digital Scholarship

Ms. Weimer will present an overview of the ‘spatial turn’ in digital scholarship and how librarians can contribute to scholarly inquiry within a framework of spatial thinking. She will conclude with a few projects and organizations which focus on these concepts.

Nicole Kong

Assistant Professor of Library Science
Purdue University

Librarian as a Collaborator: Supporting Spatial Humanities Research Projects

At the raise of spatial humanities, library plays an important role in supporting scholarly research as a centralized place for spatial information, digital mapping, and learning resources. Different with other information, spatial information are usually saved in relatively complicated format, which are difficult to manipulate and requires additional learning curves. This provides challenges for humanities researchers to acquire, use, create, publish, and preserve the spatial information in their “spatial turn” projects. Librarians can collaborate in these cases to integrate the spatial information into the research. In this presentation, I will introduce different ways I have used in collaborations, including integrating spatial information literacy into instruction, assisting digital mapping projects using different tools, and spatial information management and publication support. I will also discuss tips and tricks I have learned that could help to effectively working with the community.

Chelcie Juliet Rowell

Digital Scholarship Librarian & History Liaison
O'Neill Library, Boston College

The role of the Subject Librarian in Spatial Humanities

Subject librarians engage deeply in the research, teaching, and learning activities of their departments. With the spatial turn, we are increasingly being called upon to participate in the whole lifespan of spatial humanities, from finding raw materials to creating, sustaining, and preserving spatial humanities research. Although I am not a GIS specialist, I have performed many roles in spatial humanities research—including data provider, methods consultant, instructional designer, and cheerleader. During my talk, I will discuss the spectrum of my involvement, as well as how I gained confidence to engage in spatial humanities research.

Brief Biographies

Katherine Hart Weimer

Kathy is is Head of the Kelley Center for Government Information, Data and Geospatial Services at Rice University’s Fondren Library. Her research and work includes a range of maps and geospatial information related topics, including spatial thinking, digital gazetteers, and digitized map collections. Currently, Kathy is participating in the Mellon supported Linked Data for Libraries (LD4L/LD4P) Cartographic Sub-Group. Kathy served as Chair of MAGIRT in 2010 and was recipient of the MAGIRT Honors Award in 2016. She is past co-editor of the Journal of Map and Geography Libraries and co-founder of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organization’s GeoHumanities Special Interest Group.

Nicole Kong

Nicole Kong is the GIS Specialist and Assistant Professor at Purdue University Libraries. Her research interests include geospatial data management, geospatial visualization, and GIS in humanities. In the past a few years, she has collaborated in two National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) funded summer institute projects, and several Mellon grant projects which emphasize the interdisciplinary research of STEM and humanities. She also offers a graduate level credit course titled “GIS research method for humanities and social sciences” at Purdue University.

Chelcie Juliet Rowell

Chelcie Juliet Rowell is the Digital Scholarship Librarian & History Liaison at Boston College Libraries, where she works closely with Boston College faculty, students, and library colleagues to imagine, carry out, and sustain digitally inflected research and teaching. She also performs collection development, research consultations, and library instruction on behalf of the History Department.