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Rate your Library Survey: More Information about the LibQUAL+ Survey

The Survey will be available only from November 1 to November 20, 2015. Prize Winners will be notified by email in late November.

FAQs

Who should I contact if I have a question?

Josefine Smith is the campus contact person. Her office is on the Main Floor of the Library Room 114. Contact her at jmsmith@ship.edu.

Who should I contact if I would prefer to take this survey on paper?

Josefine Smith is the campus contact person. Her office is on the Main Floor of the Library Room 114. Contact her at jmsmith@ship.edu to arrange to take the survey on paper.

Will my responses be anonymous even though I need to provide my email to be eligible to win a prize?

Your email will be separated from your response. Your email will only be used to enter you into the Prize Drawing and to contact you to pick up your prize. Your email will not be used for any other purpose nor will it ever allow anyone to see your survey responses.

When and how will the prize winners will be notified?

After the survey closes on Nov. 20, winners will be notified by email. Prizes will be available in the office of Cindy Zeger, Library Secretary,  Room 006.

Where can I see the prizes now?

They are on display on the Main Floor of the Library, near the scanners.

Why do I need to be 18 in order to take this survey?

Most universities, as does Ship, require that all research be approved by a Human Subjects Committee. In order to gain approval we may not survey anyone under 18 without their parent/guardian's written permission. 

How long will the survey take?

We are using the 'Lite' version of the survey. Most respondents report that it takes less than ten minutes.

Who created this survey?

LibQUAL+® is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. These services are offered to the library community by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The program's centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based survey bundled with training that helps libraries assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library.

More than 1,000 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+®, including colleges and university libraries, community college libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries -- some through various consortia, others as independent participants. LibQUAL+® has expanded internationally, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The growing LibQUAL+® community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services.

What are the goals of LibQUAL+®?

The goals of LibQUAL+® are to:

  • 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

What is the basis for LibQUAL+®?

There is increasing pressure for libraries to move towards outcome-based assessment, instead of relying merely on input, output, or resource metrics. This pressure comes from funding authorities as well as users themselves. Outcome measures may show how well an organization serves its users; they demonstrate an institution's efficiency and effectiveness. LibQUAL+® is one of several outcome-based assessment efforts.

How will LibQUAL+® benefit your library and your users?

Library administrators have successfully used LibQUAL+® survey data to identify best practices, analyze deficits, and effectively allocate resources. LibQUAL+® gives your library users a chance to tell you where your services need improvement so you can respond to and better manage their expectations. Institutional data and reports enable you to assess whether your library services are meeting user expectations—and develop services that better meet these expectations. Access to the aggregate data and reports of other LibQUAL+® participants allows you to compare your library's performance with that of peer institutions, and examine the practices of libraries evaluated highly by their users.

How is the LibQUAL+® survey constructed and conducted?

The LibQUAL+® survey evolved from a conceptual model based on the SERVQUAL instrument, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector. The Texas A&M University (TAMU) Libraries and other libraries used modified SERVQUAL instruments for several years. ARL, representing the largest research libraries in North America, partnered with TAMU to develop, test, and refine a newly adapted tool to serve the particular requirements of libraries: LibQUAL+®. After years of revision based on data collected from thousands of library users, the LibQUAL+® survey has evolved into a protocol consisting of “22 items and a box.”

The 22 core survey items measure user perceptions of service quality in three dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. For each item, users indicate their minimum service level, desired service level, and perceived service performance. The survey contains additional items that address information literacy outcomes, library use, and general satisfaction. An open-ended comments box provides a wealth of information for qualitative analysis. Participants also have the option to select five additional local questions to add to their survey.

In 2008, the ARL/Texas A&M research and development team tested an alternative form of the conventional LibQUAL+® survey, called "LibQUAL+® Lite." The Lite protocol uses item sampling methods to (a) gather data on all 22 LibQUAL+® core items, while (b) only requiring given individual users to respond to a subset of the 22 core questions. The mechanics of this item sampling strategy, and some results from the spring 2008 pilot testing of the "LibQUAL+® Lite" protocol, have been described in two recent articles, which you can access on our LibQUAL+® Lite info page. The 2009 dissertation by Martha Kyrillidou adds comprehensive data analysis and literature review related to the new Lite protocol.

Conducting the LibQUAL+® survey requires little technical expertise on your part. You invite your users to take the survey, distributing the URL for your library's Web form via e-mail, on your Web site, or another method. Respondents complete the survey form and their answers are sent to a central database. The data are analyzed and presented to you in reports describing your users' minimum, desired, and perceived expectations of service.

What is the difference between the LibQUAL+® survey and a customer satisfaction survey?

Customer service can be defined as comprising all programs, activities, facilities, etc. of an organization, which have a bearing on customers' experiences during and as a result of their interactions with the organization. Customer service focuses on the customers' personal and emotional reaction to service. Service quality is the customers' assessment of how good/bad, or pleasant/unpleasant their experiences are. "Service quality" is the customers' subjective evaluation of "customer service." The LibQUAL+® instrument service quality "measurements" are snapshot or discrete summaries of customers' evaluation of their experiences.

What are the elements of the LibQUAL+® survey itself?

Following years of revision involving data collection from more than 1,000,000 library users, LibQUAL+® has evolved into a protocol consisting of "22 items and a box."

The 22 items measure user perceptions of Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. The box secures open-ended comments from users regarding their concerns and suggestions about library services. These comments are an integral part of LibQUAL+®; historically, 40 percent of respondents provide comments using "the box."