Updated measures of service quality for today’s libraries

Contact: Jill Davis

ALA Editions

800-545-2433 ext. 5418



For Immediate Release

February 2, 2010

ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, announces the release of “
Assessing Service Quality: Satisfying the Expectations of Library Customers, Second Edition,” by Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman. This classic book, which was honored with the Highsmith Library Award when first published, is brought fully up to date as Peter Hernon and Ellen Altman integrate the use of technology into the customer experience. They offer solid, practical ideas for developing a customer service plan that meets the library's customer-focused mission, vision and goals, challenging librarians to think about customer service in new ways, including

  • Distance education
  • Use of library Web sites
  • Partnerships and consortia for electronic collections
  • Ways to effectively embrace change for continuous improvement

A range of suggested tactics and tools, from mystery shoppers and benchmarking to surveys and group interviews, will help all staff, administrators and trustees measure service quality by learning how to see the library as the customer does.

Hernon is a professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College in Boston; he previously taught at the University of Arizona and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). He is the coeditor of
Library & Information Science Research, founding editor of
Government Information Quarterly and past editor-in-chief of the
Journal of Academic Librarianship. He is the author of more than 285 publications and has received a number of awards for his research and professional contributions, including the 2008 Association of College and Research Libraries’ award for Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.

Altman, now retired, was visiting professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) until July 1997. She has been a faculty member at the Universities of Kentucky and Toronto and at Indiana University, professor and director of the Graduate Library School at the University of Arizona and feature editor of
Public Libraries, the official publication of the Public Library Association. Altman is coeditor of “The JAL Guide to the Professional Literature” in the
Journal of Academic Librarianship, a member of
Library Quarterly’s editorial board, and a coauthor of
Performance Measures for Public Libraries. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers School of Communication, Information and Library Studies in 1983.

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