LibQUAL+® and the “Library as Place” at the University of Glasgow Jacqui Dowd, Management Information Officer, University of Glasgow Library I n 2001 Chris Bailey, then Acting Director of Library Services at the University of Glasgow wrote: This 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 21 st 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 RLI 271 13 AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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