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Embracing GIS Services in Libraries: The Washington State University Experience

For over the past ten years, many academic libraries have transformed their services by adding new technology. One transformation has been the adoption of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology in libraries. This article focuses on the evolution of GIS technology at Washington State University Libraries, particularly at the main Holland/New Library. As a land-grant research university without a geography or cartography department, Washington State University Libraries present a unique organizational context for the adoption of GIS services. The Libraries' primary clientele are faculty and students (1996 enrollment totals approx. 16,600 on the Pullman campus) where the surrounding area is a farming community, geographically isolated from a major metropolitan or industry-affiliated population.