though Texas A&M ratings are higher than the average ARL scores, they are
experiencing a slight downward trend (see Figure 3).
Steps Taken to Improve
Library as Place Scores
Many steps have been taken in listening to users to improve their perceptions of
the Texas A&M Libraries in terms of physical spaces and access. Opening hours
have been changed significantly in that several libraries are now open 24
hours/5 days a week. Libraries are now open Sunday mornings as requested by
students. Accommodations for different learning spaces are being made. “Ninja”
quiet spaces are being created in some areas of the library. Quiet reading rooms,
enclosed group-study spaces, and quiet open group-study facilities are now also
available. One trend seen in LibQUAL+® comments has been the request for
additional electrical outlets to facilitate use of personal laptops and other
electronic equipment. An Information Commons with flexible furniture, state
of the art technology, soft seating, and many well-placed outlets has also been
introduced.3 The libraries have collaborated with the university’s Information
Technology Department to increase the number of computers and printers in the
libraries. In addition, over 150 laptop and netbooks are available for checkout.
Another collaboration, this time with the University of Texas System, to provide
off-site storage of library materials has enabled additional space to be opened for
studying and teaching spaces.
LibQUAL+® provides important management information for decision making,
especially when considered over time. Trend data from the Texas A&M
University Libraries indicate significant changes in users’ desired, perceived,
and minimum expectations over the past decade. LibQUAL+® data allows
administrators to trace the results of interventions based upon earlier data.
Equally as important desired and minimum data provide leadership with
information on evolving user expectations for library service. The LibQUAL+®
tool is making key contributions not only for ARL member libraries but also for
libraries across the globe.
There are several articles describing other libraries’ experiences using
LibQUAL+® and LibQUAL+® Lite in this issue of RLI.
A Decade of Assessment at a Research-Extensive University Library Using LibQUAL+®
C O N T I N U E D
AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC