Paulette Marie Hasier has been appointed chief of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress. Hasier has nearly 20 years of library and geospatial information program management experience, most recently as branch chief of the U. S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s GEOINT Research Center and Pentagon Map Library. Hasier is the ninth person and first woman to be named chief of the division since its creation in 1897.
Helena Zinkham, director of Collections and Services at the Library of Congress, said “Dr. Hasier brings exceptional education and experience to this position. The Geography and Map Division will benefit from her formal education in the history of cartography and librarianship, her proven ability to manage large, complex map libraries and special collections, and her extensive knowledge of historical maps, modern cartography, and geospatial information systems.”
Hasier earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Northern Illinois University and a master’s in history and a master’s in library science from the University of North Texas. She received her doctoral degree in transatlantic history from the University of Texas at Arlington, with a focus on early French mapping of the United States.
Following her academic training, Hasier began her career as a librarian at the Dallas Public Library in Texas, in charge of Dallas history and archives with special collections, including historical maps. Hasier then worked as a librarian/director of the Business Information Center at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business in a premier integrated digital library environment.
Upon her move to the Washington D.C. area, Hasier worked in the private sector as manager of Education and Member Services at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) CAPCON (Capital Area Library Network), where she established metrics for its training courses and built computerized training modules. She encouraged OCLC personnel to offer online courses to better serve its customers and diversified their ability to support topics, in both reference and technical-service areas.
Another private-sector position followed at Advanced Resources Technologies, Inc., in Alexandria, Virginia, where she served first as library taskmaster in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and then as project manager for Research Services. While at DARPA, Hasier developed a program that resulted in an institutional digital repository to ensure access to critical technical reports, previously only available in paper format.
Hasier then entered federal government service with the U. S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), where she initially served as a lead geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) analyst and then chief of the GEOINT Research Center and map libraries. She directed multiple programs at the department level, including the administration of human, financial, material, and information resources that contributed to accomplishing NGA’s mission. She became known for effective team-building and staff development as she supervised and managed some 40 contract and government personnel in multi-disciplinary environments, from acquisitions, cataloging, digitizing, and processing of maps and geospatial datasets to public services, training, and outreach.
Hasier managed an estimated one million maps both at NGA and at the Pentagon Map Library, with approximately 90 percent of the maps digitized to ensure access. She successfully introduced a model to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) within the daily work of the map library, ensuring the library’s relevance in an age where online availability of geospatial data is paramount. Hasier emphasized GIS data management, open-source purchasing, metadata extraction and cataloging, and outreach. As a lead member, Hasier offered direction for the dissemination and digitization of paper maps that were geo-rectified in order to transition to an integrated library system with an online visualization tool that complemented the GIS datasets. An on-demand OCR and an image-search tool were also implemented to help analysts discover maps relevant for their work.
The Geography and Map Division is among the world’s largest map collections, holding some six million cartographic items in various languages dating from the 14th century to the present. Some of its most important collections are available online at https://loc.gov/maps/
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