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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

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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


Results2

Results


Results3

Results


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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