Impact of Changes in Service on LibQUAL+® Results The second key challenge concerned how changes made to library services might result in a decline in LibQUAL+® scores. The current economic climate has impacted libraries the world over, with reduced budgets and increasing resource costs leading to a reduction in resources and services available within academic libraries. Cranfield University has not been immune to this and there was concern from the staff about how changes to library services would impact the LibQUAL+® results. At the “Introduction to LibQUAL+®” workshop held in London in February 2010, it became clear that the fear was shared across libraries. In some cases, participants were planning on implementing LibQUAL+® prior to cancelling resources to minimise the impact on the survey results. Cranfield did not have this option opening hours had been reduced along with front-of-house staffing levels, and resources had been reduced. How would these changes impact our previously happy, healthy LibQUAL+® scores? Results The survey was launched on March 1, 2010, and ran for one month. Immediately it became obvious that the reduced survey length and personalized e-mails were improving the response rate. More responses were received in the first day of the 2010 survey than the total number of responses received in 2009. Overall the number of responses increased by 163%, with the response rate increasing from 8% in 2009 to 21% in 2010. The key change was the increase in responses from part-time students, which rose by over 500%. Detailed analysis of the results and longitudinal benchmarking found that the LibQUAL+® results for 2010 remained at the same high standard set in pervious years with the overall superiority mean score showing no change between 2009 and 2010. For all core and local questions the library exceeded minimum expectations, and overall for the Affect of Service and Library as Place dimensions it exceeded desired expectations. There was a slight decline in customer perceptions for some specific questions. However, performance is still above their minimum expectations and within the “Zone of Tolerance.” The changes implemented have been acceptable to the customers, recognized by the academic community as necessary in challenging times. LibQUAL+® has been vital in assessing the impact of these changes, enabling the library to ensure that resources and services are still aligned to customer needs. RLI 271 23 Service Quality Assessment with LibQUAL+® in Challenging Times ( 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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