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Testing the LibQUAL+ Survey Instrument. James Shedlock, AMLS, Dir. Linda Walton, MLS, Assoc. Dir. Galter Health Sciences Library Northwestern University. Testing the LibQUAL+ Survey Instrument. A presentation for the Midwest Chapter-Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

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testing the libqual survey instrument

Testing the LibQUAL+ Survey Instrument

James Shedlock, AMLS, Dir.

Linda Walton, MLS, Assoc. Dir.

Galter Health Sciences Library

Northwestern University

testing the libqual survey instrument1
Testing the LibQUAL+ Survey Instrument

A presentation for the

Midwest Chapter-Medical Library AssociationAnnual Meeting

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2002

goals
Goals
  • To introduce the LibQUAL+ survey as a tool for measuring the quality of library service
  • To demonstrate application of LibQUAL+ in an academic health sciences library
  • To show how LibQUAL+ results can be used
outline
Outline
  • Background
  • Participating in LibQUAL+, 2001 and 2002
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Reference … for further reading
background libqual
Background: LibQUAL+
  • What is LibQUAL+
background libqual1
Background: LibQUAL+
  • LibQUAL+ is a survey instrument first developed at Texas A&M University Libraries, now supported by Dept. of Education grants in collaboration with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
background libqual2
Background: LibQUAL+
  • LibQUAL+ derives from the SERVQUAL instrument, tested in several business industries, and proven to work.
  • SERVQUAL theory:
    • “Only users can determine quality.”
    • Quality measured in gaps, between minimum expectations and perceived service
  • LibQUAL+ has undergone several tests to refine the tool for accuracy.
    • The 2002 test involved 128 U.S. libraries and 78,000 participants.
background libqual3
Background: LibQUAL+
  • LibQUAL+ currently tests for quality in four dimensions (2002 test): access to info, personal control, library as place, affect of service.
  • LibQUAL+ employs three levels of user response: minimum, desired and perceived service levels.
  • LibQUAL+ uses a nine-point scale, measuring low to high.
background galter library
Background: Galter Library
  • Galter Library (GHSL) participated in the 2001 and 2002 tests.
  • GHSL was only stand-alone academic medical library in 2001 test; no true peer group for benchmarks.
  • GHSL among 36 academic medical libraries in the 2002 test (supported by NLM, AAHSL and individual libraries).
background galter library1
Background: Galter Library
  • Motivation for participating in LibQUAL+:
    • Evaluating services part of strategic plan
    • Easy way to meet goals, learn more about users
    • Wanted to be on the cutting edge for measuring quality
    • As AAHSL Annual Stats editor, needed to learn how to measure quality
    • Relatively low cost
participating in libqual
Participating in LibQUAL+
  • Fully web automated
  • Reliance on email communication
  • Need access to users email addresses; use bulk mail, lists, listservs, etc.
  • Consider all users or a sample
    • At Galter, all users with email known to med school were solicited.
participating in libqual1
Participating in LibQUAL+
  • Sample questions …
    • Complete run of journals; Comprehensive print collections; Enabling website; Comfortable, inviting location; Willingness to help; Consistently courteous
      • 5 special questions in 2002 for AAHSL libraries
    • “When it comes to … [complete runs of journal titles] … my minimum service level is … my desired service level is … perceived service performance is …
results

When it comes to…

My Minimum Service Level Is

low high

My Desired Service Level Is

low high

Perceived Service Performance Is

low high

N/A

1)

Willingness to help users

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

N/A

2)

Space that facilitates quiet study

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

N/A

3)

Complete runs of journal titles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

N/A

Results
  • See sample web form:
results1
Results
  • Scoring
    • Average scores for each question, for each user group, for each parameter (minimum, desired, perceived)
    • Gap scores = perceived – minimum
    • Graphs
      • Radar graphs – shows total results, by aggregate and group
      • Zone of tolerance – shows dimensions
      • General satisfaction
    • Percentile within normative group
results4
Results
  • Participation:
    • 2001
      • 3,575 surveys sent
      • 476 responses
      • 13.3% return rate
    • 2002
      • 3,819 surveys sent
      • 457 responses
      • 12% return rate
results5
Results
  • Age, gender changed little from 2001 to 2002 results
  • Group participation …
results6
Results
  • Aggregate – sample gap scores:
    • 2001
      • Negative gaps
        • Comprehensive print collections: -0.21
        • Complete run of journals: -0.31
        • Convenient business hours: -0.35
      • Positive gaps
        • Attractive facility: 2.21
        • Employees who enjoy what they do: 1.41
        • Library focus on here and now: 1.38
results7
Results
  • Sample score:
    • 2001
      • Comprehensive print collections
        • Minimum score: 6.45
        • Desired: 7.92
        • Perceived: 6.25
      • 6.25 – 6.45 = -0.20
results8
Results
  • Aggregate – sample gap scores:
    • 2002
      • Negative gaps
        • Complete run of journals: -0.36
        • Convenient business hours: -0.68
        • Making e-resources accessible: -0.09
      • Positive gaps
        • Comfortable, inviting location: 0.74
        • [staff] willingness to help users: 0.66
        • [staff] giving uses individual attention: 0.65
results9
Results
  • User group summary for 2002:
    • Faculty
      • Timely document delivery: -0.01
      • Interdisciplinary needs: -0.05
      • Comfortable, inviting location: 1.09
      • Contemplative environment: 0.89
      • Employees who instill confidence: 0.86
results10
Results
  • User group summary for 2002:
    • Staff
      • No negative scores
      • Comfortable, inviting location: 1.64
      • Convenient access to collections: 1.18
      • Contemplative environment: 1.10
results11
Results
  • User group summary for 2002:
    • Students
      • Convenient business hours: -1.80
      • Space facilitating quiet study: -0.51
      • Complete run of journals: -0.32
      • Place for reflection, creativity: 0.65
      • Willingness to help users: 0.61
      • Comfortable, inviting location: 0.50
discussion
Discussion
  • Learn what to fix!
  • These are the users’ issues with the library – listen to them, even if you disagree. “The customer is always right!”
  • Good insight for very little effort.
  • Do once a year, notice change in scores.
discussion1
Discussion
  • Follow-up: use gap scores in conjunction with other data. Gap scores are but one piece of data for evaluating library services.
    • Study users’ comments (new in 2002).
    • Review AAHSL Annual Stats for quantitative data, benchmarks
    • Consider using focus groups to listen to users; e.g., ask faculty how they interpret LibQUAL+ questions
      • What do your users think about quality?
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Incorporate into strategic plan
  • Easy to do
  • Considering a third survey if we can make change happen
  • Potential to be a powerful tool for the library profession, especially in time of change
  • Future: under consideration at ARL
reference
Reference
  • For more information about LibQUAL+, see:

www.arl.org/libqual

Look closely at About(FAQs)and Publications(bibliography).

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