LibQual+ Report 2003

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October 28, 2003

The LibQual+ survey is modeled on the SERVQUAL instrument, designed to assess service quality in the private sector. The evolution of LibQual+ is based upon the work of the faculty and librarians at Texas A&M University and the Association of Research Libraries.

User perceptions of library service were based on four areas: Access to Information; Affect of Service; the Library as a Place; and Personal Control (relating to the users ability to find information for themselves). Users were asked to rate the library in a series of questions in each of the four areas. Ratings ranged from 1 (low) to 9 (high). 251 users participated (144 undergraduate; 29 graduate; 57 faculty; 21 staff).

In analyzing data from the respondent groups, it was discovered that the mean scores were as follows:

User Group Minimum Desired Perceived Adequacy Scale
Undergrads 6.70 8.14 7.08 +0.38
Graduates 6.88 8.36 6.83 -0.05
Faculty 6.95 8.19 7.37 +0.42
Staff 7.50 8.24 7.58 +0.08
ALL 6.85 8.18 7.16 +0.32

With the exception of the graduate students, the overall rating of the library was positive. Graduate student rankings were negative for electronic information resources needed for coursework and timely document delivery/interlibrary loan. The graduate students also expressed some concern with the ability of the staff to understand their needs.

Dissatisfaction was also expressed with the lack of a group study room. This was resolved during the summer term with the conversion of a storage room on the 5 th floor of the tower.

Faculty, while satisfied with the library and its services, identified three areas negatively; a) print and electronic journals collections; printed library materials needed for the faculty members’ work; and the making of electronic resources available remotely.

In analyzing the problems with remote access to electronic resources, we discovered a problem with the number of ports made available to library users by the computer center. Once we identified that users were being unnecessarily blocked, the computer center provided more ports and the difficulties have disappeared.

Overall, a review of the survey data indicates that the library is within minimal user expectations. An examination of the data with those of the other academic libraries in Alabama that undertook the survey (University of Alabama, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Alabama Huntsville, Jacksonville State University, Samford University, Troy State University, the University of Montevallo and the University of South Alabama) indicates that the AUM users had higher minimum standards than did the users at the other libraries (6.85 for AUM v. 6.66); as well as higher desired standards (8.18 for AUM v. 8.09). The perception of the quality of library service for AUM was lower (7.16 v. 7.30) than for the other institutions.


Library Actions

To address some of the issues identified in the surveys and on the user comments, the Library has undertaken the following:

  1. Installed a group study room on the 5 th floor.
  2. Is enforcing a quiet area on the 2 nd floor to counteract excessive noise.
  3. Has gotten additional ports made available for library users.
  4. Is attempting to address the needs of the graduate students through additional program instruction and the dissemination of information on how to access library materials.
  5. Developed informational brochures to try to provide additional information on services.
  6. Are continuing the beta test of the personal services librarian for students in the MLA program.
In comparing the AUM Library’s scores with the scores from all other Colleges and Universities, the mean scores are as follows:
Category AUM Minimum ALL Minimum AUM Desired ALL Desired AUM Perceived ALL Perceived
Access to Information 6.94 6.70 8.27 8.14 7.22 7.02
Affect of Service 6.85 6.46 8.22 7.90 7.13 7.14
Library as Place 6.64 6.18 7.97 7.63 7.12 6.91
Personal Control 7.00 6.73 8.38 8.24 7.31 7.16

The interpretation of the data confirms that AUM users have a higher expectation of library services than do users at other participating colleges and universities. As a result, the adequacy gap (i.e., the difference between users minimum expectations and their perception of service quality) is higher for the other colleges and universities than for AUM. The only area in which AUM scored lower on the perception scale than the scores at other institutions is under the Affect of Service category, the difference being 0.01.


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