Librarian for Government Documents, Geography, Earth Science, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Maps
Research and Scholarship
Subject Areas Earth Sciences, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geography - Human, Geography - Physical, Government Documents, Maps
Maps, Cartography, Earth Sciences, Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Government Documents
John received his MILS from the University of Michigan in 1990. While studying there he worked as a Library Assistant in the Hatcher Graduate Library’s Map Collection and as an Assistant at the William L. Clements Library’s Map and Atlas Collection.
John has worked professionally as the Assistant Map Librarian at the University of Minnesota (1990-1994) and as Sr. Assistant Librarian at the Behrend College of Penn State University (1994-2000) before being appointed to his present position at SU.
Current research interests and activities
Scanning and digitizing historical aerial photography and maps of New York State. Assessing and interpreting the historical maps and census data of Central New York State and its geo-spatial conversion. Geo-spatial repositories and clearinghouses. John is also the site license administrator for ESRI’s ArcGIS software for the SU and SUNY-ESF campuses.
Professional activities and publications
John has been active in the American Library Association (ALA) serving in a number of elected and appointed positions in the Map and Geography Roundtable (MAGERT) over the past 20 years: Currently he is a member of the GeoTech, and Publications committees.
Column editor/writer of: “ALL THINGS DIGITAL!” for the Journal of Map and Geography Libraries. 2004 –
Article review editor for “Coordinates A” An online peer-reviewed journal of ALA-MAGERT 2004 -
Article review editor for “Coordinates B” An online journal of ALA-MAGERT. 2004 –
Regional editor for: Guide to US Map Resources 3rd ed., Scarecrow Press, 2006.
Refereed Journal Articles
- Olson, J. A. (2004). Library-based GIS Labs: A Case Study – Syracuse University. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 1(1), 75-88.
- Hart, R. L., Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (2001). Laser Printing at Public Workstations: User Behaviors and Attitudes. Information Technologies and Libraries, 20(1), 39-43.
- Olson, J. A. (1999). What Librarians Should Know about Creative Thinking. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 25(5), 383-389.
- Olson, J. A. (1999). How to Encourage Students in a Bibliographic Instruction Session to Use Critical and Creative Thinking Skills: A Pilot Study. Research Strategies, 16(4), 309-314.
Non-refereed Journal Articles
- Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (1997). Internet Resources for Journalism / Communications. College and Research Libraries News, 58(2), 86-91.
- Olson, J. A. (1993). Andrew Ellicott and the Surveys of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Journal of Erie Studies, 22(1), 3-25.
Olson, J. A. (2000). How Search Engines Search the Web. In Trudi Jacobson (ed.), Critical Thinking and the Web: Teaching Users to Evaluate Internet Resources, (pp. 235-242). Pittsburgh, PA: Library Instruction Publications.
- Olson, J. A. (2002, July). Library-based GIS Labs: What you should know. Paper presented at the ESRI Education Users Conference, San Diego, CA.
- Olson, J. A. (2000, October). GIS: What's it all about. Paper presented at the TeachingTools 2000 Conference, Syracuse, NY.
- Olson, J. A. (2000, September). Data through the Library: What can I get for Free. Paper presented at the 16th New York State GIS Conference, Liverpool, NY.
- Hart, R. L., Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (2000, July). Network Printing in the Library: Students' Attitudes and Behaviors. Poster session presented at the 119th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Chicago, IL.
- Olson, J. A. (1998, June). Critical Thinking: Applications for Students in a One-Shot Bibliographic Instruction Class. Can It Be Done? Poster session presented at the 117th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Washington, D.C.
- Olson, J. A. (1995, June). Discussion on the use of the G Schedule with Cartographic Materials. Program panel member, presented by the MAGERT Map Cataloging Discussion Group at the 114th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Chicago, IL.