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LibQUAL+ in the UK and Ireland: three years findings and experience. Stephen Town & Selena Lock Cranfield University. 6th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measures in Libraries and Information Services 22 nd August 2005. Objectives.

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libqual in the uk and ireland three years findings and experience

LibQUAL+ in the UK and Ireland:three years findings and experience

Stephen Town & Selena Lock

Cranfield University

6th Northumbria International Conference on

Performance Measures in Libraries and Information Services

22nd August 2005

  • To give an overview of SCONUL LibQUAL+ participation
  • To present the overall results of the 2003 - 2005 SCONUL Cohort
  • To describe the feedback from participants and the lessons learnt
uk he libraries survey methods
UK HE Libraries survey methods
  • General Satisfaction
    • Exit questionnaires
    • SCONUL Satisfaction Survey
  • Designed Surveys
    • Satisfaction vs Importance 1989-
    • Priority Surveys 1993-
  • Outcome measurement
    • ACPI project 2003-
  • National Student Survey (1 Question)
survey methods used in the uk
Survey methods used in the UK

West, 2004

A Survey of


the uk approach
The UK approach
  • Coordinated on behalf of the Society of College, National & University Libraries (SCONUL) Advisory Committee on Performance Improvement (ACPI)
  • 20 UK Higher Education (HE) institutions participated in 2003
  • 17 UK & Irish Higher Education (HE) institutions participated in 2004
  • 17 UK & Irish Higher Education (HE) institutions participating in 2005
  • 43 different institutions
libqual participants 2003
University of Bath

Cranfield University

Royal Holloway & Bedford New College

University of Lancaster

University of Wales, Swansea

University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow

University of Liverpool

University of London Library

University of Oxford

University College Northampton

University of Wales College Newport

University of Gloucestershire

De Montfort University

Leeds Metropolitan University

Liverpool John Moores University

Robert Gordon University

South Bank University

University of the West of England, Bristol

University of Wolverhampton

LibQUAL+ Participants 2003
libqual participants 2004
Brunel University

Loughborough University

University of Strathclyde

University of York

Glasgow University

Sheffield University

Trinity College, Dublin

UMIST + University of Manchester

University of Liverpool

Anglia Polytechnic University

University of Westminster

London South Bank University

Napier University

Queen Margaret University College

University College Worcester

University of East London

LibQUAL+ Participants 2004
libqual participants 2005
University of Exeter

University of Edinburgh

University of Dundee

University of Bath

University of Ulster

University College Northampton

University of Birmingham

Roehampton University

University of Glasgow

University of Surrey

Royal Holloway UoL

City University

Cranfield University

University of Luton

Dublin Institute of Technology

London South Bank University

Coventry University

LibQUAL+ Participants 2005
overall potential uk sample to 2005
Overall Potential UK Sample to 2005
  • Full variety of institutions
  • 25% of institutions
  • 32% of HE students (>700,000)
  • 34% of Libraries
  • 37% of Library expenditure
response comparisons

20 institutions

11,919 respondents


16 institutions

16,611 respondents

Increase by 4,692


16 institutions

17,355 respondents

Increase by 744

LibQUAL+ 2003

308 institutions

128,958 respondents

LibQUAL+ 2004

202 institutions

112,551 respondents

Decrease by 16,407

LibQUAL+ 2005

199 institutions

108,504 respondents

Decrease by 4,047

Response Comparisons
dimensions of quality 2004 2005
Affect of Service

Information Control

Library as a Place

Affect of Service

Access to Information

Personal Control

Library as Place

Dimensions of Quality 2004 & 2005

Dimensions of Quality 2003

purpose for participating
Purpose for participating
  • Benchmarking
  • Analysis compiled by LibQUAL+
  • Trialling alternative survey methods
  • More library focused than previous in-house method
  • Supporting Charter Mark application process
  • Planned institutional survey failed to happen. LibQUAL+ was cost effective way of doing something to fill the gap.
primary aim s for surveying users
Primary aim(s) for surveying users
  • Understand what their opinions of our service is, to inform strategic planning.
  • Making sure we knew what customers concerns really are as we have had much lobbying by one group of students. Also nearly three years since last survey, so needed an update after much change in services.
  • User satisfaction : as simple as that. We need to know how they view us and whether we are improving. 3 years of the same survey can have some credibility.
  • To gain information for better planning of our service and make adjustments in areas found wanting.
feedback on the libqual process
Feedback on the LibQUAL+ process
  • Majority found it straightforward
  • Hard work subtracting / managing inbuilt US bias
  • Some issues in obtaining:
    • Email addresses
    • Demographic data
  • The publicity to the student body was the most time consuming part
feedback on results
Feedback on results
  • Overall results were as expected by the institutions
  • “Not too surprising really given anecdotal evidence known already”
  • Detailed questions highlighted new information, as LibQUAL+ goes into more depth than previous surveys
  • Surprisingly bad, especially compared with other surveys including a parallel one
how can libqual be improved
How can LibQUAL+ be improved?
  • Summary and commentary on results
  • More flexibility on the content and language of the questionnaire
  • More interaction with other UK participating libraries
  • Providing results by department, campus, and for full time and part time students
  • Simpler questionnaire design
  • We really need a ConvergedServQual tool!
  • Needs to allow you to use a word other than library (e.g. Learning Resource Centre)
changes made as a result of the survey
Changes made as a result of the survey
  • It has strengthened our case in asking for more money to improve the environment.
  • We have re-introduced our A-Z list of e-journals which had been axed several weeks before the survey was conducted.
  • Implementing PG forums to address issues raised
  • Main Library makeover/Group study area
  • Refocused discussions and mechanisms relating to resource expenditure at the most senior levels
  • LibQUAL+ Successfully applied to the UK academic sector
  • Provided first comparative data on academic library user satisfaction in the UK
  • At least half the participants would use LibQUAL+ again
lessons learnt
Lessons learnt
  • The majority of participants would not sample the population in future surveys
  • The smaller the sample, the lower the response rate
  • Collecting demographics is time consuming
  • Results are detailed and comprehensive, further analysis is complex
  • Colleen Cook, Dean Of Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Bruce Thompson, Professor and Distinguished Research Scholar, Texas A&M University
  • Fred Heath, Vice Provost and Director of the University of Texas Libraries, Austin
  • Martha Kyrillidou & ARL
  • Chris West. A Survey of Surveys. SCONUL Newsletter. Number 31.
  • All SCONUL LibQUAL+ Participants
J. Stephen Town

Director of Information Services

Defence College of Management and Technology

Deputy University Librarian

Cranfield University

[email protected]

Selena Lock

Research and Development Officer

Defence College of Management and Technology

[email protected]