What is the LibQUAL+ survey? The Weinberg Memorial Library wants to know how well it is meeting its mission to provide information, services and programs that meet users' current and anticipated educational, research and public service needs. LibQUAL+™ measures library users’ expectations and perceptions of the quality of the library as a place, its collections and staff. LibQUAL+™ asks how users rate the minimum level of service, the level of service they expect and the service they received. LibQUAL+™ was developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The information we gather through this survey will help us understand users' perceptions and to develop a plan for addressing areas that need improvement.
How will my choice to respond to the survey benefit The University of Scranton? The University of Scranton will have information about how well we meet our users’ expectations compared to peer institutions. These libraries share information on their plans to improve their library programs. This information will be helpful to us as we develop our own plan to respond to our users’ feedback.
How and when will users have an opportunity to respond? The questionnaire is straightforward and involves no deception or coercion. Potential respondents may elect not to proceed with the survey after reading the guarantees of confidentiality and privacy.
All faculty and a random sample of students' email addresses will be compiled to represent various majors and classes. On March 1, 2009 this sample group will receive an email message from Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library, inviting them to choose to respond to the LibQUAL+™ survey. Because we cannot tell whether or not anyone has responded, reminders will be sent to all emails to encourage a sufficient response so that we can have a good sampling of data to analyze.
Responses are stored on secure servers located in the Texas A&M University Library with only aggregated mean scores reported back to us.
How are responses kept confidential? The LibQUAL+ approach to confidentiality is guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (see http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html, section 5). Demographic information is gathered to determine if the survey truly represents the faculty and students; this is not traceable back to individual responses. A Respondent may volunteer to enter his/her email address to enter a drawing for a prize; these are separated from the survey responses. Email addresses will be discarded after the drawing.
How was LibQUAL+™ developed? LibQUAL+™ evolved from the SERVQUAL tool for assessing service quality in the private sector grounded in the "Gap Theory of Service Quality" developed by Leonard L. Berry (Distinguished Professor, Texas A&M University), A. Parasuraman, and Valarie A. Zeithaml. After using a modified SERVQUAL for several years, Texas A&M University and other libraries saw the need for an adapted tool that focused on libraries. From 1999, ARL, representing the largest research libraries in North America, partnered with Texas A&M University Libraries to develop, test, and refine LibQUAL+™. This effort was supported in part by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE).
What kinds of questions are asked? All libraries use the same 22 core multiple choice questions and demographic questions. The Library also selects 5 additional questions that focus on a specific aspect of service. There is also an opportunity for open ended comments.
How can I get more information about LibQUAL+? For more information, see the LibQUAL+™ homepage at http://www.libqual.org/.