Learning about Library Associations: Western Association of Map Libraries

Library science is an enormous field, home to every interest you could imagine! This means that there are many organizations out there for you to join, in order to connect with other people who share your professional interests.

So even if you work alone in your library, there are other people out there doing work similar to yours! Each week we will highlight a different library association for you to learn more about, and depending on your work, potentially join! You can also check out our page dedicated to Library Associations.

This week we are going to take a look at the Western Association of Map Libraries. “The Western Association of Map Libraries is an independent association of map librarians and other people with an interest in maps and map librarianship. Membership in WAML is open to any individual interested in furthering the purpose of the Association, which is “to encourage high standards in every phase of the organization and administration of map libraries.”

From their Wikipedia page:

“Founded in 1967, WAML was the first independent organization centered on map collections and the librarians who oversee them. Academic libraries have always been strongly represented in the membership, but members also hail from public libraries, private collections, and government and commercial entities, or have been simply aficionados of maps and cartographic information. While paper map collections were traditionally the focus of attention, the advent of geographic information systems (GIS) and other digital platforms for geospatial data have led to a change in emphasis.”

WAML’s website includes a Map Librarians’ Toolbox full of resources including links to cataloging and processing tools as well as equipment and supplies.

Read more about WAML through their publications, one of which is open access!

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