Geospatial Information Librarian Creates Workbook to Aid Map Collection Reviews

In an effort to support the assessment and preservation of map collections in libraries, Janet Reyes, UCR Library’s Geospatial Information Librarian, developed a comprehensive workbook titled Conducting a Map Collection Review. This resource, made freely available through the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), aims to assist librarians and library staff, regardless of their level of familiarity with maps, in conducting comprehensive map collection reviews.

Map collection reviews play a crucial role in evaluating the current state of map collections and making informed decisions regarding retention, cataloging, and preservation. By undertaking such reviews, librarians can identify valuable items, ensure accurate catalog representation, and address any preservation needs.

Janet took great care to write in a manner that anyone could understand, breaking down complex map-related concepts and terminology to help ensure that people from diverse backgrounds can benefit from the workbook and enhance their assessment processes.

“The inspiration for this workbook came in late 2017,” Janet said. “We learned the School of Medicine planned to repurpose the space that was housing our map collection for a simulation lab. I had already been thinking of doing a map collection review, so the upcoming relocation gave me a great reason to proceed.”

Janet completed the review project in June 2019. Janet’s supervisor at the time, former UCR Library Director of Research Services Brianna Marshall, encouraged her to share her experience through an article. However, in light of the extensive amount of content, the idea soon evolved into the creation of a comprehensive workbook.

Despite Brianna's departure, her connections within ACRL proved invaluable. Janet connected with an editor at ACRL through Brianna. ACRL recognized the workbook's value and potential impact on the library community.

Since its release, the workbook has received widespread praise. Librarians have found it immensely useful in their work. 

“I’ve sent the workbook link to relevant listservs and have received a lot of great feedback,” Janet said. “One person reached out from Canada saying they’d recently found out that their map collection would be moving, so they were thankful to have the workbook when they start their review.”

Conducting a Map Collection Review bridges the gap between librarianship, geospatial expertise, and project management. This resource equips professionals with the necessary tools to undertake successful map collection reviews. Librarians seeking to improve their map collection management strategies will find this workbook an excellent resource.

To download the workbook courtesy of ACRL, visit