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The Appalachian State University Library will be conducting a major web-based survey of randomly selected faculty, students, and staff during October and November 2011 to evaluate user perceptions of library service quality. The LibQUAL+™ survey is a rigorously tested Web-based survey used by libraries to assess and improve library services.
More than 1,000 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+™, including colleges and university libraries, community college libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries. LibQUAL+™ has expanded internationally, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The growing LibQUAL+™ community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services.
The LibQUAL+™ survey is a rigorously tested Web-based survey used by multiple academic and research libraries to assess and improve library services. It is a research and development project originally developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in collaboration with the Texas A&M University Libraries.
The survey measures user perceptions of service quality in three dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. For each item, users indicate their minimum service level, desired service level, and perceived service performance. Additional items address information literacy outcomes, library use, and general satisfaction.
More than 1,000 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+™, including colleges and university libraries, community college libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
The instrument addresses three service quality dimensions that have been found to be valid in previous assessments of library services: Effect of Service, Library as Place, Information Control. Each question has three parts that ask respondents to indicate (1) the minimum service level they will accept, (2) the desired service level they expect, and (3) the perceived level of service currently provided. This design permits analysis of gaps between expectations, perception, and minimum acceptance level of service.
By using the LibQUAL+™ instrument and initiating action based on the results of this survey, the Belk Library and Information Commons can be more responsive to users’ needs and provide services that are better aligned to users’ expectations.
During the last week of October through the third week of November, a random sample of Appalachian students, faculty and staff will receive email messages from Mary Reichel, University Librarian, asking them to participate in the survey and providing them with an embedded URL for the actual survey. Reminder notices will be sent periodically.
The survey data will be collected on secure servers located in Texas. Survey results will be reported back to Appalachian as aggregate mean score data in December and final results will be shared with the campus community in spring 2012.
Yes. The LibQUAL+™ approach to confidentiality is guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (see http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html, section 5). Although some information is captured from respondents, such as network and email address, privacy is protected in two ways. First, only information which would be difficult to trace back to an individual is captured. Second, personal information and email addresses entered into the incentive drawing are separated from survey responses assuring confidentiality. After the draw, the email addresses are discarded.
For more information, see the LibQUAL+™ homepage at http://www.libqual.org.
The survey typically takes from 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
No! If you do not wish to answer a question or feel a question does not apply to you, select NA (not applicable). Surveys whose core questions are not completely filled out are not counted in the aggregate scores.
There will be no compensation per se for completing the survey, though an incentive prize will be offered as thanks to participants. At the end of the web-based survey, respondents may elect to include an email address which will enter them in a drawing for two Kindle Fires. The award winners will be contacted once the survey is closed.
Respondents not able to complete an online questionnaire may obtain a paper copy of the survey by sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. You can get another copy of the web link by sending an email message to email@example.com.
If you have trouble opening the URL from within your email message, you can copy the URL and paste it into your Web browser. If you still cannot access the survey, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will contact you.
The survey examines a variety of dimensions of library services. Repetition or redundancy in questions allows LibQUAL+ to analyze the validity of each service quality dimension through statistical methods..
Due to security and confidentiality features, everyone surveyed will receive reminders, even those who have already responded. When submitted, survey responses and identifying information are immediately separated, so we have no way of knowing who has already responded.
Reminders are also sent because research indicates that the single highest predictor of response rates in web-based surveys is the number of contacts made, including reminders. (See: Cook, Heath, and Thompson, "A meta-analysis of response rates in web- or internet-based surveys", Educational and Psychological Measurement, v. 60, 2000, p.821-836.)
Because this survey is taken by people at many colleges and universities, discipline categories have been standardized for ease of comparison. or If you are in doubt as to what discipline you should select from the drop-down list on the survey, or if you are not engaged in discipline-specific work, select “Other”. If you are a student who has not yet chosen a major, select “Undecided.”
Survey data is transmitted directly from the LibQUAL+™ server to a database. The data is then analyzed and reports are generated for individual libraries that provide information on how users perceive the quality of their service. Participating institutions will have access to summary results for each institution, allowing for comparisons among peer institutions and all participating academic institutions. This will aid in developing benchmarks and understanding best practices across institutions, and will help the Belk Library and Information Commons to align services with user expectations.
Summary statistics only are shared with other institutions. The survey summary results will be made available to participants via the World Wide Web on a password-protected web site.
Survey results will include aggregate summaries, demographics by library, item summaries, dimension summaries, and dimensions measured for survey implementation.
Results will be compiled in a report that will be posted on the library web site in Spring 2007