now been taken by 1.2 million respondents from 1,200 libraries in 20 language
versions throughout the world.
A number of goals have emerged as the foundation of the LibQUAL+®
program:
Foster a culture of excellence in providing library service
Help libraries better understand user perceptions of library service quality
Collect and interpret library user feedback systematically over time
Provide libraries with comparable assessment information from peer
institutions
Identify best practices in library service
Enhance library staff members’ analytical skills for interpreting and acting
on data
In its final version LibQUAL+® consists of 22 questions and a free-text
comment box. This box secures open-ended comments from users regarding
their concerns and suggestions about library services. A set of demographic
questions, a set of satisfaction questions, and five outcomes questions are also
included. The survey measures three dimensions of library service quality: affect
of service, the emotive aspects of service provision; information control, the
scope of content and means of access to content; and library as place, the
physical characteristics of library spaces. Respondents answer each of the 22
questions on a nine-point scale from three perspectives: the minimum level of
service; the perceived, current level of service; and the desired level of service.
Perceived scores most often fall somewhere on a continuum anchored by a
minimum level of service at the low end and a desired level of service at the
high end. The spectrum of opinion is called the “Zone of Tolerance,” a term
borrowed from LibQUAL+®’s progenitor, SERVQUAL.2
LibQUAL+® at Texas A&M University Libraries
Texas A&M University has implemented LibQUAL+® each year since 2000. The
survey has provided direction for local management decisions and for
monitoring progress on those directions longitudinally across time. The survey
has also been used to benchmark against peers, particularly other ARL libraries
using LibQUAL+®. With nearly a decade of LibQUAL+® data, trends are
emerging that are particularly useful. A few highlights of this trend data are
discussed below by dimension and within dimension by user group using Texas
RLI 271
5
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
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