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Date of Original Version



Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore library research that uses geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool to evaluate library services and resources to ascertain current trends and establish future directions for this growing research area.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The study searched full text for geographic information systems in two databases: Library and Information Science Source (LISS) and Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA), replicating the method used in a prior literature review. The titles and abstracts of the search results were analyzed to gather only the research that used GIS as a tool to measure and analyze library services.

Findings: This study found growth in the last decade for library research using GIS. There remain two ways the tool is primarily used: to analyze service areas and to manage facilities and collections.

Practical Implications: The findings are relevant for library and information science researchers and practitioners because they summarize a specific area of research that has grown and changed and that still has potential to be used more widely. Using GIS in practice and research could benefit all library users and nonusers because spatial analysis facilitates more precise and informed delivery of services and resources.

Originality/Value: The paper provides future directions for use of GIS in library research and attempts to define subdivisions within this research area to clarify the area for researchers and practitioners.