November 21, 2017

Kim Ricker | Movers & Shakers 2008

Data Tracker

While working on her MLS, Kim Ricker served as geospatial information systems assistant at the University of Maryland Libraries and got hooked. Now, as GIS (geographic information system) librarian, she’s “turned a small-scale GIS instruction program into a high-profile service that has administrators and faculty clamoring for more,” according to map librarian Michael Fry.

In three years, she’s taught more than 2500 people to use GIS, managed hardware and software upgrades, surveyed campus GIS needs, and helped faculty use geospatial data to research topics like low-income families’ access to dentists who accept Medicaid. One satisfied professor praises her “keen understanding of faculty needs.”

Ricker says she’s “learned to be creative” in acquiring expensive datasets. She’s collaborated with other departments, obtained government data through the Federal Depository Library Program, and made 12,000 languishing Landsat image CDs accessible.

She hopes someday to convince departments to consolidate all their datasets into a centralized repository—because before you can use data, you have to track it to its lair.

Vitals

CURRENT POSITION GIS/Data Librarian, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park

DEGREE MLS, University of Maryland, 2004

PROFESSIONAL SIDETRACK One year as marketing director for Scarecrow Press

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