McCook and Bossaller's updated, comprehensive text on public librarianship

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/14/2017


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association

(312) 280-5052

CHICAGO — Put simply, there is no text about public librarianship more rigorous or comprehensive than “Introduction to Public Librarianship,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman. For its new third edition, REFORMA Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author Kathleen de la Peña McCook has teamed up with noted public library scholar and advocate Jenny S. Bossaller to update and expand her work to incorporate the field's renewed emphasis on outcomes and transformation. This “essential tool” (Library Journal), now featuring a foreword by Felton Thomas Jr., remains the definitive handbook on this branch of the profession. It covers every aspect of the public library, from its earliest history through its current incarnation on the cutting edge of the information environment, including:

  • statistics, standards, planning, evaluations, and results;
  • legal issues, funding, and politics;
  • organization, administration, and staffing;
  • all aspects of library technology, from structure and infrastructure to websites and makerspaces;
  • adult services, youth services, and children's services;
  • associations, state library agencies, and other professional organizations;
  • global perspectives on public libraries; and
  • advocacy, outreach, and human rights.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

McCook is Distinguished University Professor, School of Information, University of South Florida in Tampa. The Chicago Public Library recognized McCook as a "Scholar in Residence" where she did a system wide series of events on the role of the public library in building communities in 2003. Author of numerous articles, she has also contributed to many books on librarianship, including “Libraries & Democracy: The Cornerstones of Liberty” and “The Portable MLIS.” She is member of the editorial boards of the journals Progressive Librarian and The Library Quarterly.

Bossaller is Associate Professor at the University of Missouri's School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. She has served on the editorial board of RUSQ for the past four years. Her scholarship covers a wide range of topics, such as free speech, public librarians' role in the Affordable Care Act, library management, equity, education, indigenous knowledge, and reference work. She is the co-PI on the Public Library Leadership (PuLL) project, which aims to develop new public librarian leaders with an awareness of community needs, and which involves work with many public librarians across Missouri.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions and ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or


Rachel Chance, ALA Acquisitions Editor; Angela Gwizdala, Director of Editing, Design and Production; and Robert Christoper, Marketing Coordinator facilitated, designed and announced our work. They were wise, patient, persistent and most of all encouraging. It would not be the book it is without their sustained attention and meticulous focus on helping us to get it right from front matter to index.

Thank you Rachel, Angela and Robert--

Kathleen & Jenny