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Library Assessment: LibQUAL+ Survey

What is LibQUAL?

The LibQUAL+ survey helps library staff solicit, understand, and act upon users’ opinions of service quality. It is a web survey that consists of twenty-two core questions, five local questions (chosen from a list of pre-tested questions), and a section for comments.

The program’s centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based, nationally-normed survey that helps library staff assess and improve library services. LibQUAL+ measures user perceptions of service quality in three dimensions:

  • Affect of Service addresses how well library employees provide library services.
  • Information Control focuses on a library's collections (physical and electronic), Website, and online tools that enable users to access needed resources.
  • Library as Place focuses on the quality of library facilities.

Respondents' minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service quality are recorded. The resulting "gaps" between their minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service determines the extent to which the library is meeting user needs.

In addition respondents are asked to rate their frequency of library use, information literacy outcomes, and overall satisfaction with the library on a 1-9 scale.

2013 LibQual+ Survey

The University of Delaware Library participated in the national library survey called LibQUAL+ in the Spring of 2013. A total of 2,526 University of Delaware students, faculty and staff responded to the survey, representing over 10% of the entire University. Of those responding, 1,002 included comments in the open comment box.

LibQUAL+ was developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and measures perceptions of quality of the Library by students, faculty and staff.

The survey included questions to which users responded on a scale of 1to 9. There were questions about general satisfaction and frequency of use and an open comment box at the end in which any comment could be made.

The respondents to the survey were self-identified by category of Undergraduate Student, Graduate Student, Faculty or Staff. There was no limit on the number of times a respondent could take the survey.

As part of the LibQUAL+ participation, the Association of Research Libraries provided a 101-page statistical report of results of the survey questions and a file of all comments received verbatim.

All comments are listed exactly as reported with all typos, spellings, etc. No comments have been removed or altered except those parts of the comments with personal names, physical descriptions of staff and other information that identifies individuals have been redacted.

The survey showed that the University of Delaware Library exceeded user requirements in services, collections and facilities. Survey results showed much appreciation of services provided by the University of Delaware Library. The strongest desires of faculty related to the Library collection. Many  comments from undergraduate students related to the Library building and group study rooms.

The Library is in the process of reviewing all comments and suggestions to analyze what steps can be taken to respond to needs and how best to communicate answers to common themes. The Library is also preparing to embark upon a strategic planning process which will be based on the themes and comments resulting from the LibQUAL+ Survey.

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