This paper details three projects utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) in the assessment of public libraries. The benefits of GIS include the abilities to generate maps to convey more information than through other means and to allow for spatial analysis of library services. This paper includes specific examples of uses implemented by the authors. GIS allowed the authors to display data related to library service and identify various disparities across service areas. In addition, this paper discusses practical issues of GIS for library researchers and practitioners based upon the knowledge gained through the development of the three GIS projects discussed here.

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Published in LIBRES, v. 21, issue 1, p. 1-18.