LibQUAL+® and the
“Library as Place” at the
University of Glasgow
Jacqui Dowd, Management Information Officer,
University of Glasgow Library
IThis
n 2001 Chris Bailey, then Acting Director of Library Services
at the University of Glasgow wrote:
year the University has been celebrating the five hundred and fiftieth
anniversary of its foundation in 1451. The foundation coincided with the
invention of printing by moveable type—a major contribution to the
subsequent transformation of European culture and society. We now find
ourselves, at the beginning of the twenty-first century and the coming of
the digital information era, with a revolution in information provision and
access no less significant.1
In the midst of this digital revolution it was obvious that traditional
statistical data collection, which focused on inputs, circulation, expenditures,
etc., are no longer sufficient to define the library’s evolving role in the
21st
Century. As these measures alone no longer describe the library’s function or
measure service quality, we began to investigate other performance assessment
tools beyond the biennial user satisfaction survey, focus groups, targeted
surveys and observational studies previously used to assess library services and
identify user needs.
Self-administered internal surveys, though valuable, from design through to
analysis are expensive.2 We had moved to a web-based survey by 1996, thus
reducing the costs of printing and distribution, but were continuing to input
data, which is a very time-consuming task. In addition, these surveys offered no
facility to compare our performance with peer institutions.
With the increasing demand, internally and externally, to demonstrate that
the library was delivering services that were responsive, efficient, progressive,
accountable and in line with the university’s strategic priorities, the capacity to
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AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC