LibQUAL+ 2007 Survey and Results Summary

The LibQUAL+ survey instrument evaluates the service quality of a library in three major areas: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. These categories are:

Affect of Service — Service provided through direct interactions of library employees with library patrons

Information Control — Service related to access to and ease-of-use of library collections.

Library as Place — Service related to the Library's role as an environment that encourages and facilitates study, learning and research.

Questions related to these main areas ask users to rate (1 - lowest and 9 - highest) the Minimum Service Level that would be acceptable to them, their Desired Service Level, and the current Perceived Service Performance of a library. Below is an example of a question:

My Minimum
Service Level Is

My Desired
Service Level Is

Perceived Service
Performance Is



The electronic information resources I need

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


Survey Response Rate

The response rate of the 2007 survey was over 4 times greater than the 2003 survey. This was due to our marketing efforts, our incentive prizes, and better e-mail access. Of the 1,755 total responses, 1,669 were valid responses. 86 responses were omitted due to either incomplete data, excessive use of "N/A" response, or excessive inconsistent responses. We also collected 714 open-ended comments - a significant number - which provided valuable insight. Our response rate compares very favorably to other institutions that generally see a 10% response by undergraduates.

Survey Response Rate
2007 2003
User Group Responses Population Response Rate Response Rate Responses
Undergraduates 1,289 6,860 19% 5% 239
Graduate 161 584 28% 19% 107
Faculty 123 619 20% 14% 102
Library Staff 26 37 70% 70% 26
Staff 156 1,001 16% 1% 10
Totals 1,755 9,101 19.3% - 484

Overview of Significant Results

Information Control - Key Findings

  • All groups rate their desire for strong collections very high.
  • Undergraduates are the most satisfied with the current status of collections, faculty the least.
  • From comments, there is a somewhat surprising desire by some Faculty for more print materials

Affect of Service - Key Findings

  • Undergraduates have a low minimum acceptable level of service (6.3) in this area.
  • All groups - faculty, graduates, and undergraduates show relatively high satisfaction with service in this area.
  • Faculty have the highest minimum (6.9), desired (8.21) and perceived (7.81) levels in this area, making them the most demanding and yet the most satisfied group in terms of service received from Library employees.

Library as Place - Key Findings

  • Rated the Library's strongest overall area by all groups.
  • Faculty had the lowest minimum requirements for Library as Place.
  • Undergraduates (8.06) and graduate students (8.03) maintain very high levels of desired service in this area with graduate students the least satisfied group.

Breakdown of Open-ended Comments
Total % Comments
Staff22024.4%Primarily laudatory of staff. Many individuals directly named.
Collections12814.2%Generally expressed a desire for stronger collections. Many showed a lack of awareness of current collections.
Computers899.9%Comments mostly from undergraduates desiring additional workstations, especially in busy times of the semester.
Space859.4%Generally expressed praise for an environment that facilitates study and learning.
Noise717.9%Mostly all from undergraduates and graduates. Desire for the library to be an "escape" from dorms, roommates, and other distractions. Many complaints directed at cell phone use.
Hours455.0%Patrons expressed a desire for longer hours of operations. This is a common wish by patrons of virtually all library systems.
Resources252.8%Comments primarily express gratitude for the high level of service offered under current budget constraints.
Miscellaneous23726.3%These comments were usually positive and contain things like, "Good job," "Love the Library," "Thanks for asking," etc.

A Sampling of Comments
User Group Comments
Anthropology FacultyI am always impressed with how much the library gets done with the too-limited resources they get. I think we desperately need more journals, both print and electronic.
Biology UndergradI depend on the library on a daily basis. Here, I am able to write papers, conduct research, and find staff to assist me with my myriad course work requirements. The library is an integral and vital part of my daily life here at SSU and the staff are always here to help.
Nursing UndergradThe library is like my second home.
English FacultyEspecially helpful are the reference librarians and media services; all people I deal with are very courteous and helpful.
Nursing UndergradI find that overall service is good except for the ability to get access to a computer in the library.
Hutchins FacultyILL needs to be much better to support faculty research.
Business GraduateNeed a help desk for computer questions: how to use powerpoint, word, excel, etc.

Implications for the Future

  • In the aggregate, the Library's current services in all areas meet our population's demands, although, in no area did the Library exceed any groups desired level of service.
  • Many students view the Library as a "place of refuge" and/or solitude. Therefore, the Library needs to:
    • Address issues related to "noise," such as cell phone use, group work, and a desire for more group study rooms.
    • Continue or increase access to computing resources.
    • Convey to faculty, who did not place high value on the "library as place," its importance to students.
  • Address increased demands from a growing graduate population for collections, study space and research help.
  • Rethink certain service areas, such as Reference help, and how they are used and delivered to undergraduates.
  • Continue to develop Information Literacy programs. IL scores were low for all groups for questions such as, the Library "helps me stay abreast of developments in my field(s)," "helps me distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy information," and "provides me with the info skills I need in my work or study."
  • Examine specific discipline areas of the collections to strengthen, such as nursing, kinesiology, economics, contemporary art, anthropology, numerical/statistical resources, biology (Web of Science).
  • Maintain strong service for faculty, particularly curriculum support provided by our Circulation and Multimedia Departments.
  • Improve ILL services. (New electronic delivery service coming soon.) LINK+ cap on books. (recently removed)
  • Market our wide range of services and resources more aggressively.