Last week at IGES we had a rebirth of the map library as it became digital. This probably sounds more dramatic than it was. What we did was to create a new drive on the public network for IGES staff and students with a structured directory and put on some spatial data that relates to the Dyfi Biosphere. We also highlighted a few Web Map Services that you can access and invited some staff along to talk about using the area and how to create metadata through Geodoc. There is also an open invitation to staff and students to store any spatial data they want to make available to others on the drive as long as they also give it a metadata file to keep it company.
Really none of that had to happen in the map library but I think that the physical space it provides is more important than you might think. Now we have a place that encourages access to data and metadata creation. This together with a map librarian who will help people through the use of the resources like Geodoc, makes it a place for spatial data management and access. The walls have posters espousing data sources, Gogeo and metadata creation and IGES has taken a step towards changing its culture of data management.
I like to think of the map library as a locus of good practice that will spread the message of spatial data management.