RLI 286 8
Strategically Focusing on Focus Groups to Improve
Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administrative Services, University Libraries, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro
Cdecided to engage the ClimateQUAL survey1 in 2011 to gain perspective on changes that wereomplementing several successful implementations of the LibQUAL+ survey to assess libraryservice quality, the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)
occurring within the library staff organization as well as within the profession overall. At the time, the
profession was seeing a greater need to justify resources and expenses overall, and the UNCG University
Libraries was strategically implementing decisions made due to budget cuts, which impacted some
positions and work flows within the organization.
UNCG Libraries convened a ClimateQUAL team that included the associate dean for public services, the
assistant dean for administrative services, the human resources librarian, and the reference and diversity
librarian in order to prepare and organize the libraries for administering the ClimateQUAL instrument.
This team regularly consulted with the dean of libraries throughout the entire process.
The UNCG Libraries launched the survey in the fall of 2011, following several organizational changes
either recently completed or announced within the organization, as well as a substantial budget cut
for that year. It should also be noted that salary increases had been denied by the state for the previous
three years and other departments on campus were conducting layoffs. No layoffs occurred at the
The UNCG ClimateQUAL team marketed the survey well to the entire libraries staff and arranged
for special considerations in taking the survey, as well as activities surrounding the “event” such as
refreshments. The team also explained and oriented staff to the survey protocol prior to implementation
and answered staff questions in advance so as to ensure understanding of the survey’s purpose and use.
The team presented the survey in conjunction with the University Libraries’ mission statement, statement
of values, and current strategic planning, asking staff to reflect upon organizational attributes as they
were reflected by these collective commitments.
UNCG Summary Data and Results
The UNCG Libraries achieved a 91% completion rate for staff taking the survey and presented results to
the staff in the spring of 2012. Results were first shared as statistics and pie charts but were later simplified
for ease of understanding and to facilitate the process of identifying issues that warranted attention.
RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2015