GIS projects Using Geographic Information Systems to Improve Community Initiatives Regarding Obesity in the United States and geospatial discovery both demonstrate my ability in reference and user services. When exploring for my research paper I developed techniques to retrieve and evaluate scholarly articles from various UT databases. Through searching health & science databases, information science databases, geography databases, and education databases, I was able to find 30 relevant resources relating to my topic. Conducting research for my paper enabled me to develop skills in utilizing different databases to retrieve relevant information and weed out unwanted sources.
The geospatial discovery project exposed me to a number of government and GIS resources and taught me to navigate these sources to find the correct answers to complicated reference questions. I also developed techniques to retrieve and produce information from a diverse group of resources. This project required me to think outside the box and demonstrates my ability to navigate complex geospatial data sources.
It is important for information professionals to gain real-world experience in the various areas of reference services. These projects have given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities to search and evaluate a variety of different geospatial sources. These reference techniques will allow me to apply my knowledge of GIS in any future job setting that could benefit from utilizing geospatial data.
Reference and User Services by ALA
5A. The concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services that provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information to individuals of all ages and groups.
5B. Techniques used to retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information from diverse sources for use by individuals of all ages and groups.
5C. The methods used to interact successfully with individuals of all ages and groups to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of recorded knowledge and information.
5D. Information literacy/information competence techniques and methods, numerical literacy, and statistical literacy.
5E. The principles and methods of advocacy used to reach specific audiences to promote and explain concepts and services.
5F. The principles of assessment and response to diversity in user needs, user communities, and user preferences.
5G. The principles and methods used to assess the impact of current and emerging situations or circumstances on the design and implementation of appropriate services or resource development.