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LibQUAL+ ® 2007: An Introduction. Presented by: Bruce Thompson. LibQUAL+® Canada Ottawa October, 2007. LibQUAL+ ® Background and Overview. Reference Transactions. Assessment.

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LibQUAL+® 2007: An Introduction

Presented by:

Bruce Thompson

LibQUAL+® Canada


October, 2007

reference transactions
Reference Transactions


“The difficulty lies in trying to find a single model or set of simple indicators that can be used by different institutions, and that will compare something across large groups that is by definition only locally applicable—i.e., how well a library meets the needs of its institution. Librarians have either made do with oversimplified national data or have undertaken customized local evaluations of effectiveness, but there has not been devised an effective way to link the two.”

Sarah Pritchard, Library Trends, 1996

multiple methods of listening to customers
Multiple Methodsof Listening to Customers
  • Transactional surveys*
  • Mystery shopping
  • New, declining, and lost-customer surveys
  • Focus group interviews
  • Customer advisory panels
  • Service reviews
  • Customer complaint, comment, and inquiry capture
  • Total market surveys*
  • Employee field reporting
  • Employee surveys
  • Service operating data capture

*A SERVQUAL-type instrument is most suitable for these methods

Note. A. Parasuraman. The SERVQUAL Model: Its Evolution And Current Status. (2000).

Paper presented at ARL Symposium on Measuring Service Quality, Washington, D.C.


Three Seminal Quotations

libqual premise 1
LibQUAL+™ Premise #1

“….only customers judge quality;

all other judgments are essentially



Note. Zeithaml, Parasuraman, Berry. (1999).

Delivering quality service. NY: The Free Press.

libqual premise 2
LibQUAL+™ Premise #2

“Il est plus nécessaire d'étudier

les hommes que les livres”


libqual premise 3
LibQUAL+™ Premise #3

“We only care about the things we measure.”

--Bruce Thompson, CASLIN, 2006


interpreting service quality data
Interpreting Service Quality Data

Three Interpretation Frameworks

interpretation framework 1
Interpretation Framework #1

Benchmarking Against Peer Institutions

--1,000,000 Users; 1,000 Institutions!


score norms
Score Norms
  • Norm Conversion Tables facilitate the interpretation of observed scores using norms created for a large and representative sample.
  • LibQUAL+™ norms have been created at both the individual and institutional level

institutional norms for perceived means on 25 core questions
Institutional Norms for PerceivedMeans on 25 Core Questions

Note: Thompson, B. LibQUAL+ Spring 2002 Selected Norms, (2002).

interpretation framework 2
Interpretation Framework #2

Benchmarking Against Self, Longitudinally

“Nobodyis more like me than me!”


interpretation framework 3
Interpretation Framework #3

Interpreting Perceived Scores Against Minimally-Acceptable and Desired Service Levels (i.e., “Zones of Tolerance”)

libqual resources
LibQUAL+® Resources
  • LibQUAL+® Web site:

  • Publications:

  • Events and Training:

  • Gap Theory/Radar Graph Introduction:

  • LibQUAL+® Procedures Manual:

libqual surveys by type
LibQUAL+® Surveys by Type

* 2007 data reflects Session I data only

libqual languages
LibQUAL+® Languages

libqual surveys by language
LibQUAL+® Surveys by Language

* 2007 data reflects Session I data only

libqual surveys by consortia
LibQUAL+® Surveys by Consortia

* 2007 data reflects Session I data only

libqual surveys by consortia cont d
LibQUAL+® Surveys by Consortia(cont’d)

* 2007 data reflects Session I data only

participating libraries by country
Participating Libraries by Country

* 2007 data reflects Session I data only

why is your library participating in libqual
Why is Your Library Participating in LibQUAL+® ?
  • Institutional goals:
    • what do you want to get out of the survey?
  • Survey requirements:
    • people, supplies, technology

get permission from your institutional review board
Get Permission from your Institutional Review Board
  • Local group that approves human subject research
  • May also be called
    • Committee for Human Subject Research
    • Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects
  • Not all institutions need to obtain permission

get permission from your institutional review board1
Get Permission from yourInstitutional Review Board
  • If permission is required:
    • Seek well in advance of survey
    • Supply a copy of the survey, if requested
    • Inform them that results will be shared among participants
  • No need to inform LibQUAL+® of decision

determine whom to survey
Determine Whom to Survey
  • Random sample


  • Entire population

if you sample
If You Sample…
  • Recommendations:
    • At least 1,200 random email addresses for each user group
    • Separate sample groups for undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff
    • Think about survey fatigue if you want to repeat the survey regularly
  • Keep notes on your methodology as you will be asked to describe it in the Post Hoc Questionnaire

if you survey the entire population
If You Survey the Entire Population….
  • Recommendations:
    • Think about survey fatigue if you want to repeat the survey regularly
  • Keep notes on your methodology as you will be asked to describe it in the Post Hoc Questionnaire

obtain email addresses
Obtain Email Addresses
  • Typical sources include:
    • Campus computing office
    • Campus administrative records office
    • Library patron database

marketing your survey
Marketing Your Survey
  • Place ads in campus newspaper
  • Write article for library newsletter
  • Post flyers around campus
  • Present at faculty meetings & student orientations
  • Create a survey Web site and feature on library’s home page
  • Take the survey to where users are: dining halls, study rooms, dorms

become familiar with libqual resources
Become Familiar with LibQUAL+® Resources
  • Management Center

  • LibQUAL+® Procedures Manual

    • Updated Version – September 2006
    • Much more detail
  • Discussion list

survey process manage your survey
Survey Process: Manage Your Survey

Eight Sections:

  • Preferences
  • Customization
  • Preview
  • Representativeness
  • Monitor Survey Progress
  • Incentive Winners
  • Post Hoc
  • Evaluation

*Sections must be completed in order


Fields marked with * are required

customization disciplines
Customization: Disciplines
  • Results notebooks summarize findings by user group and provide a chart for, both, standard and custom disciplines
  • Standard disciplines (based on your institution type, i.e., College/University)
  • Customized disciplines
    • Recommend no more than 16 disciplines, if possible

the standard disciplines college university
Agriculture/Environmental Studies



Communications/ Journalism


Engineering/Computer Science

General Studies

Health Sciences



Military/Naval Science


Performing & Fine Arts


Social Sciences/ Psychology


The Standard Disciplines – College/University

customized disciplines
Customized Disciplines
  • Use your local terminology to map to the standard disciplines
  • Cautions:
    • Need to provide representativeness data for each discipline
    • Too many choices present challenges to users

customization branch libraries
Customization: Branch Libraries

The library you use most often.

previewing and approving your survey

Complete at least one full run of your preview survey

Test in different settings, using different platforms and Web browsers

Get library staff involved in testing


Can no longer make changes

Live survey URL will appear at the top of the “Manage Your Survey” page marked as Survey URL

Previewing and ApprovingYour Survey

reviewing comments
Reviewing Comments
  • About one-half of users include comments on their survey
  • Download via the Monitor Survey Progress page (Excel file or text file)

sending reminders
Sending Reminders
  • 3-5 reminders to sample populations
  • Thank respondents who have completed the survey
  • Boost up marketing efforts around campus
    • More fliers, table tents, ads in campus newspaper
    • Get professors and other staff involved
    • Increase number or types of incentives

* More examples of marketing efforts featured at the Share Fair

completing your representativeness questionnaire
Completing Your Representativeness Questionnaire
  • Determines how your institutional profile compares to your survey data
  • Requires the following information:
    • # of individuals per user group
    • # of individuals within each discipline
    • # of males and females
    • Library Statistics
      • Volumes added during the year – Gross/Total (including e-books)
      • Total number of current serials received (including electronic serials)
      • Total library expenditures (U.S. dollars)
      • Personnel – professional staff, full-time equivalent (FTE)
      • Personnel – support staff, full-time equivalent (FTE)
  • Must be complete BEFORE closing survey

completing your representativeness questionnaire1
Completing Your Representativeness Questionnaire

Representativeness Completed

Representativeness NOT Completed

closing your survey
Closing Your Survey
  • We recommend a survey run of at three weeks
  • Once you close your survey:
    • Retrieve list of incentive winners
    • Fill out Post Hoc and Evaluation Questionnaires

completing post hoc and evaluation questionnaires
Post Hoc Questionnaire

Information about your survey

Sample size

# of e-mails sent

#of invalid e-mail addresses

Incentives offered

Marketing techniques


Evaluation Questionnaire

Feedback about your LibQUAL+® experience

All survey liaisons and assistants are encouraged to complete this questionnaire

Completing Post Hoc and Evaluation Questionnaires

summary and closure

Summary and Closure

libqual resources1
LibQUAL+® Resources
  • LibQUAL+® Web site:

  • Publications:

  • Events and Training:

  • Gap Theory/Radar Graph Introduction:

  • LibQUAL+® Procedures Manual:

the libqual team
The LibQUAL+® Team
  • MaShana Davis

Technical Communications Liaison

  • Yolanda Glass

Administrative Assistant

  • Kristina Justh

Customer Relations Coordinator

  • Martha Kyrillidou

Director, Statistics and Service Quality Programs

  • Khyati Nayak

Senior Applications Developer

  • Gary Roebuck

Technical Operations Manager