LibQUAL+TM and the small academic library

WANDA DOLE, Washburn University

Paper accepted for publication in Performance Measurement & Metrics, 3 (2002). The journal

holds the copyright to this paper.

ABSTRACT

Washburn is a Carnegie Master’s University I with an enrollment of only 6200 students. Unlike most of the 43 participating libraries in LibQUAL+TM 2001, Washburn University’s Mabee Library is not a large, academic research library. The paper describes Washburn’s experience with the 2001 LibQUAL+TM pilot project. The application of the survey at a small institution and the global nature of trends shown by the responses will be discussed. LibQUAL+TM ‘s place within the strategic planning and assessment program at Washburn’s Mabee Library is also reviewed.

Introduction

Washburn University is a municipal university with an enrollment of approximately 6200 students and a full-time faculty of 250. It is a Carnegie Master’s University I with broad-based liberal arts and professional education programs leading to 190 certificate, associate, baccalaureate, master’s and juris doctor degrees with a primary emphasis on undergraduate education. With a staff of 20, the University Libraries, the Mabee Library and a Curriculum Resources Center, serve the needs of undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities and social sciences. A third library, the Law Library, is separately administered. Thus, in this paper, the terms Library and Libraries refer to the Mabee Library and the Curriculum Resources Center.

The University Libraries began an assessment program in 2000 as a follow up to a strategic planning initiative. In Summer 2000 the Library staff met with representatives from the faculty and other areas of the university during a two-day retreat to develop a strategic planning document (cf. http://www.washburn.edu/mabee/stratplan/stratplan.html). A consultant conducted the retreat and enabled staff to identify goals and objectives that the Libraries needed to meet to remain a viable information center for the university. Following the strategic planning retreat, the staff formed a Steering Committee and six task forces to address critical issues such as technology, staffing and staff development, communications, facilities, and collection development. The Steering Committee, composed of the Director, three librarians and two paraprofessionals, took responsibility for two overarching goals: establishing an ongoing assessment program and building services around users’ needs. Conducting focus groups and measuring users’ perception of service quality with a SERVQUAL-like instrument were part of the Action Plan for 2000/2001.

Assessment at Washburn

Pre-assessment focus groups

In October 2000, a library consultant conducted four focus group sessions, one with faculty (N = 12) and three with students (N = 30), (cf. Soete, 2000). Participants were asked to review their experience with the Library as a Place, as Services and Collections, and as People and then to respond to three open-ended questions:

· What is working?

· What needs improvement?

· What future opportunities are there for the Library to serve you better?

Technology, facilities, collections/holdings, instruction/reference services, and convenient hours/services emerged as major concerns. Participants said that equipment, chiefly hardware in a computer lab located in the Mabee Library and managed by Instructional Technology, was inadequate. They identified Library as a Place (22%) and Library as Services and Collections (70%) as areas that needed improvement. Students said that the Library building was dated, calling it a "’70’s building," and did not have adequate areas for quiet study and group study. Criticism of the collections focused on difficulties of remote access and the limited number of electronic resources. Both faculty and students expressed a desire for an increase in the number of journals available in full-text online.

The focus groups identified areas of concern and laid the foundation for the next step in assessment, i.e., evaluation of users’ perception of the quality of library services.

Decision to participate in LibQUAL+TM

The Director shared information from the October 2000 Association of Research Libraries Symposium on LibQUAL+TM (http://www.arl.org/libqual/events/oct2000msq/program.html) with the Steering Committee and a presentation on LibQUAL+TM by Cook, Heath and Thompson at the August 2000 International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference (Cook, Heath, & Thompson, 2001). The Steering Committee reviewed the literature on the use of SERVQUAL in libraries. They discussed the advantages and disadvantages of adapting a stand-alone instrument such as that used by the Kansas State University Libraries (KSU) to those of participating in the nation-wide LibQUAL+TM project. In January 2000, the KSU Libraries, in response to a library strategic plan goal, had initiated a library service assessment program, one element of which was SERVQUAL. The KSU Libraries used a version of SERVQUAL based on a 1988 implementation of the instrument at the University of Virginia. KSU made modifications to that model, primarily to incorporate demographic questions and the opportunity to offer narrative comments directed to the Dean of Libraries (e-mail from Daryl Youngman to Wanda Dole, "KSU SERVQUAL", Friday 22 March 2002). KSU’s SERVQUAL:

· was posted on the Libraries’ Web site

· was always available

· measured two scales (desired and perceived levels of service)

· was local

· was user-based assessment.

In contrast, the LibQUAL+TM survey:

· was sent once as an e-mail to a random sample

· measured three scales (desired level of service, minimum level tolerated and

perceived level)

· was a national pilot

· was user-based assessment

· was being tested by a range of academic libraries

· provided benchmarking information.

The Director presented the issues to the Library staff, the academic deans and the University Library Committee. All groups favored participating in the LibQUAL+TM project because it was:

· easy to administer

· yielded comparative local data over time

· was part of a national pilot project

· provided benchmarking capabilities.

 

LibQUAL+TM process at Washburn

Survey population

 

LibQUAL+™ project managers recommended a sample of 900 undergraduate students, 600 graduate students and 600 faculty for large library systems; smaller institutions were encouraged to survey their entire population (Waller, Hipps & Kyrillidou, 2002). Because of Washburn’s size, the entire university population was surveyed. Figures supplied by the Office of Institutional Research for Fall 2000 indicated that there were 5917 undergraduate students (3509 full-time; 2408 part-time), 1029 graduate students (615 full-time; 414 part-time), 469 faculty (220 full-time; 249 part-time), 152 administrators, and 286 staff.

Publicity

A March 9, 2001 article in the campus newspaper, the Washburn Review, announced that the Libraries would participate in a national survey to assess and improve the quality of services and described the LibQUAL+TM pilot project (Allen, 2001). The Director sent a pre-survey e-mail asking for assistance in improving library services by completing the survey to all faculty and staff, and to a student e-mail list maintained by Washburn’s Instructional Technology Services (ITS).

Process

LibQUAL+TM was administered during the week of April 2, 2001. The Director sent an e-mail invitation to participate with a link to the survey URL to all faculty and staff and to the student list maintained by ITS. Two follow-up reminders were sent at week intervals.

Washburn’s response rate was low and could not be precisely calculated. Unfortunately the means of distribution through campus e-mail lists did not reach the entire population. The faculty/staff e-mail list contained the names of adjunct faculty as well as full-time faculty, but adjunct faculty did not always activate and use Washburn e-mail accounts. The student e-mail list maintained by Instructional Technology contained only 3924 names, although the Fall 2000 enrollment figures counted 6946 part-time and full-time students. The student list is limited to students who obtained and regularly used campus e-mail accounts.

In conducting the survey, Washburn encountered many of the same challenges as larger institutions, including:

· difficulty in obtaining a valid list of student e-mail addresses

· difficulty in obtaining cooperation of other campus units that control e-mail lists

· users’ dissatisfaction with the length of the survey (56 questions measured on three scales)

· users’ irritation with the number of e-mails sent by the Library (pre-survey announcement, survey and two reminders)

· difficulty in explaining the process to the Library staff and university community (especially the Library Committee).

LibQUAL+TM results at Washburn

 

As other LibQUAL+TM 2001 participants, Washburn received a notebook with data summaries for the Libraries as well as aggregated data summaries for all participating libraries. The data summaries at the library level for all participating libraries were also available for participants at the ARL LibQUAL+TM Web page.

Early analysis showed that, although the response numbers for faculty were small, they showed a positive gap in each dimension that was similar to the gap size for all institutions, as shown in Table 1. The areas of weakness were similar to those observed at other institutions: comprehensive print collections, complete runs of journal titles, and accuracy in records.

The only area where the perceived scores were measurably higher at Washburn compared to other institutions was one aspect of Library as Place, i.e., "visually appealing facilities." The areas where the faculty rated Washburn lower than faculty participating from all institutions included:

· timely document delivery/interlibrary loan

· library materials available for browsing in open stacks

· employees who have the knowledge to answer user questions

· space that facilitates quiet study

· performing services right the first time

· a library Web site enabling me to find information on my own.

Library satisfaction was lower among assistant professors than professors.

Take in Table 1

 

As shown in Table 2, undergraduate results showed uniformly low or negative gaps. Washburn undergraduates scored minimum expectations higher than the perceived level on 30 of the 56 questions compared to just one question with a negative gap for all participants. Although a comparison of perceived scores of Washburn students and all students was not as dramatic (part of the gap was created by generally higher minimum expectations), Washburn’s scores were still lower than the aggregate. For example, for #32, a question in the responsiveness dimension, "Willingness to Help Users", the negative gap for Washburn undergraduates was -0.39 compared to a positive gap of .24 for all students. However, the perceived level of service was 6.90 for Washburn students and 6.96 for all students. It is important to note that because undergraduate response was low, results were corroborated through focus groups before drawing conclusions.

Take in Table 2

 

Analysis and implementation

Clarification

After receiving the LibQUAL+TM data summaries at the June 2001 American Library Association conference, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee began to analyze the data. In retrospect, we realize that we were hoping for a punch list of quick fixes or a blueprint for improving library effectiveness. Cullen (1998) points out that the library profession has been grappling for over 30 years with the question of whether performance measures improve organizational effectiveness. Effective assessment processes take time to realize, she emphasizes.

The Steering Committee debated the meaning of individual questions and tried to identify the strategic planning goal or functional area of the Library to which the questions referred. They tried to use the results of LibQUAL+ tm to "identify service priorities and patron needs" (Strategic Plan, goal 1.2). The Committee defined these priorities as the LibQUAL+TM questions that either faculty or students had rated 8 or higher on the desired scale, as indicated in Table 3. After several meetings, they realized that it would be necessary to hold focus groups to ask students and faculty what they thought certain questions meant and what their responses meant. The Steering Committee then drew up lists of LibQUAL+TM questions they considered ambiguous and wanted to explore further in focus group settings.

Take in Table 3

March 2002 focus groups

 

When reviewing the results of the LibQUAL+TM survey, the Steering Committee realized

that some user responses could be misinterpreted if analyzed only by the Mabee Library staff. To avoid misinterpretation and to help provide clear recommendations for the use of the LibQUAL+TM results, a consultant was retained to conduct post-assessment focus groups. The purpose of the groups was to amplify the understanding of the survey and to develop a clear understanding of library user intentions with respect to several particular survey questions (Youngman, 2002).

In March 2002, a consultant conducted four focus group sessions, one with faculty (N=5) and three with students (N=40). Approximately half of the participants had taken the LibQUAL+TM survey in 2001. The facilitator briefed each group on Washburn’s assessment initiative. One part of the focus group addressed broad service-related issues and another part attempted to address and clarify responses to several specific questions from the LibQUAL+TM survey. In addition, the participants were asked to offer narrative responses to the same questions asked in the 2000 focus groups (Soete, 2000):

· What is working?

· What needs improvement?

· What future opportunities are there for the Library to serve you better?

The comments about technology were similar to those made by the 2000 focus groups, e.g., students complained that the hardware in the computer lab located in the Mabee Library and maintained by IT were inadequate. As Cook and Heath learned in interviews with users of research libraries in North America (Cook & Heath, 2001) the concept of the Library as a Place is a major issue. When asked to explain their perception of the LibQUAL+TM questions related to Library as a Place (#2. "a meditative place"; #40 "a comfortable and inviting location"; #49 "a safe/secure place"), the students appeared to be highly influenced by the Barnes & Noble bookstore model and by the recent Michael Graves renovation of the Topeka /Shawnee County Public Library. The consultant reported that the students see the traditional library facility (large chairs, task lighting, artwork on the walls) as a modern incarnation of what they feel a library should be. Faculty concerns were similar to the students in that they desired a warm, inviting place. They were more concerned with questions #2, "a meditative place", and #6, "a center for intellectual stimulation", which they connected with the need for a place where faculty could gather.

The primary concern expressed by students about collections and services was awareness. They seemed to have a sense that they were not accessing all that was available, but they did not know how or for what to ask. When asked to explain LibQUAL+TM questions related to access, students identified two issues: physical access to secured areas such as Special Collections, and a closed-access art collection and access to the Internet. LibQUAL+TM question #36, "accuracy of records", had been a puzzle to Steering Committee. The consultant found that in all student groups question 36 centered largely on the payment of fees and fines, followed by often lengthy waits before the library system recognized the obligation as having been cleared. Complete runs of journal, #39, was not a critical issue to students; faculty wanted to have more journals online. Students concern with question #46, "resources added upon request", in nearly all cases referred to the perceived need for additional copies of reserve materials to meet peak demand periods.

When questioned about #32, "librarians’ willingness to help others", the students said that librarians should approach them and inquire if help is needed. When asked about their preferred method of instruction, students said that scheduled library sessions as part of a specific course were by far the preferred method. A distant second was the concept of drop-in library tours or instruction sessions scheduled several times during the week. The consultant noted a very low level of student awareness of instructional options. While faculty were prepared to endorse drop-in instruction, they expressed a strong preference for enhancing working relationships with librarians to develop course requirements to encourage students to use the library and engage them in learning about library literacy issues.

Results

The results of two rounds of focus groups (October 2001 and March 2002) and the campus-wide LibQUAL+TM survey (April 2001) are remarkably similar. Both students and faculty told us that they wanted an updated building, user-friendly remote access to ATLAS, the Library’s online catalog and gateway to databases and Internet resources, modern equipment, easy access to collections, and a proactive, caring staff. The Library responded by making the following improvements

TO THE FACILITY:

· student art exhibits (ongoing since fall 2001)

· new carpet on the main level (January 2002)

· rearrangement of shelving and seating to create more group and individual study spaces (January 2002)

· audiovisual/multimedia area created on the main floor (January 2002)

TO EQUIPMENT:

· added wireless access with the Library (spring 2001)

· added telephone and electrical outlets for laptop computer hook-ups (spring 2001)

 

TO STAFF:

· created new position of Coordinator of Reference and Instruction devoted to

improving reference and library instruction (spring 2001)

· hired librarian as Coordinator (August 2001)

TO THE CULTURE OF THE LIBRARY:

· progress toward a culture of assessment

· four librarians (40% of the professional staff) attended LibQUAL+TM training

· exposed all staff to LibQUAL+TM survey and results

TO COLLECTIONS:

· began ARL-facilitated Collection Analysis Project (CAP) to identify strengths and weaknesses in the collections and in the organization for collection development (October 2001).

As an additional result, the Library used LibQUAL+TM to provide the Vice President for Academic Affairs with new measures for the Library in response to the Kansas Board of Regents request that Washburn University to develop performance indicators. For Indicators 1 (Teaching and Learning) and 2 (Scholarly and Creative Activity), the Library’s measurement is: "User satisfaction with library support for on-campus and distance instruction and learning." The target is "Establish user satisfaction benchmarks using LibQUAL+TM system. In years 2 and 3, these benchmarks will be the basis for improvement."

Conclusions

Conclusions

Washburn University’s experiences with LibQUAL+ were in some respects similar to that of a large academic library and in other respects, different. Like libraries of all sizes, Washburn was motivated to participate in LibQUAL+ as part of an assessment initiative instigated by library and campus planning and as part of a campus-wide (now state-wide_ mandate for performance measures.

In terms of process, Washburn followed the same steps as large libraries in publicizing the survey and the improvements inspired by the survey results. Like large academic libraries, Washburn experienced the same difficulty in obtaining viable e-mail address for students. Unlike larger institutions, Washburn has few staff and resources to devote to an assessment program. Interpreting the data was a major challenge; no one on the staff was trained in using SPSS, so it was necessary to ask for help from colleagues at larger institutions. On the other hand, Washburn’s size allowed for all staff to be involved in puzzling over the meaning the questions and the responses.

Washburn’s results show some of the same trends identified at other institutions. LibQUAL+TM and focus group results show that users rank the Library as a Place and caring library staff as important issues. Washburn has learned that assessment is a long-term process and that there are no quick fixes. It is essential to follow up LibQUAL+TM with local assessment and to probe to find out what users are really trying to say.

 

 

References

Allen, R. (2001). Campus libraries undergoing assessment to see if they are serving students. Washburn Review, 127, 20, p. 2.

Cook, C. &. Heath, F. (2001). Users’ perceptions of library service quality: A LibQUAL+TM qualitative study. Library Trends, 49, pp. 548-584.

Cook, C.; Heath, F.; & Thompson, B. (2000). A New Culture of Assessment: Preliminary Report on the ARL SERVQUAL Survey, retrieved April 17, 2002 from http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla66/papers/028-129e.htm).

Cullen, R. (1998). Does performance measurement improve organizational effectiveness? A post-modern analysis. Proceedings of the 2nd Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services (pp. 3-17). Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Information North for the School of Information Studies, University of Northumbria at Newcastle.

Dole, W. V. (2002). Students and faculty want improvements in the library. Washburn Review, 128, 21, p. 1.

Waller, C.A., Hipps, K. & Kyrillidou, M. (2001) LibQUAL+TM Spring 2002 Policies and Procedures Manual. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries.

Soete, G. (2000) Summary Report: Washburn University Library Focus Group Sessions: October 25, 26, 2000.

Youngman, D.C. (March 9, 2002). Washburn University Mabee Library: Library Service Assessment Focus Groups: Preliminary Interpretations.

Biographical Statement

 

 

Wanda Dole has been the University Librarian at Washburn University since October 1999. Her previous positions include Assistant Director of Libraries for Collections and Public Services at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Director of Penn State’s Abington College Library, Assistant Director for Collection Development at the University of Miami, Humanities Bibliographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Architecture Librarian at the University of Kentucky.

She is active in committees of the American Library Associations, chairs the IFLA Section on Statistics and the Division of Management and Technology and is a member of the IFLA Professional Committee and Governing Board

 

 

 

Table 1. Faculty mean scores by dimension

             

 

Min

Des

Per

GAP

ALL GAP

Asst. Prof

Prof

Number respondents

35

35

63

   

23

19

9. Timely document delivery/interlibrary loan

6.39

7.91

7.23

0.84

0.33

6.85

7.4

10. Full-text delivered electronically to individual users

6.38

7.97

6.29

-0.08

0.28

5.91

6.25

11. Comprehensive print collections

6.01

7.68

5.73

-0.28

-0.4

5.1

6.12

13. Instruction in library use when requested

6.66

8.03

7.73

1.08

1.13

16. Interdisciplinary needs being addressed

6.1

7.27

6.71

0.6

0.42

   

27. Access to archives, special collections

5.5

6.92

6.32

0.82

0.77

   

29. Convenient access to library collections

6.63

8.05

7.05

0.42

0.28

6.68

6.94

39. Complete runs of journal titles

6.16

7.23

5.89

-0.27

-0.93

5.4

6.32

46. Resources added to library collections on request

6.43

7.99

6.6

0.17

0.04

6.2

6.79

55. Library materials available for browsing in open stacks

6.61

8.11

7.49

0.88

0.44

   
     

0.42

0.24

   

ASSURANCE

             

18. Employees who instill confidence in others

6.36

7.81

7.07

0.71

0.95

   

31. Employees who have the knowledge to answer user questions

7.09

8.43

7.63

0.55

0.34

7.26

7.74

42. Assuring users of the accuracy and confidentiality of their transactions

6.64

7.51

6.94

0.3

0.65

   

50. Employees who are consistently courteous

6.71

8.17

7.4

0.68

0.85

   
     

0.56

0.7

   

EMPATHY

             

5. Employees who understand the needs of their users

6.77

8.2

7.19

0.42

0.33

   

7. Employees who deal with users in a caring fashion

6.4

8.06

7.19

0.79

0.83

   

8. Convenient business hours

6.49

7.66

6.75

0.26

0.2

6.43

6.84

30. Employees who appear to enjoy what they do

5.97

7.57

7.07

1.1

1.33

   

33. Giving users individual attention

6.66

8.09

7.63

0.98

0.84

   

51. Having the users best interests at heart

6.71

8.11

7.42

0.72

0.59

   
     

0.71

0.69

   

LIBRARY AS PLACE

             

2. A meditative place

5.06

6.63

5.9

0.84

0.54

 

6. A center for intellectual stimulation

5.86

7.29

6.13

0.27

0.56

   

19. A contemplative environment

5.36

6.78

6.04

0.67

0.48

   

20. A haven for quiet and solitude

5.26

6.69

6

0.74

0.38

   

24. Space for group/individual study and research needs

5.45

6.96

6.01

0.56

0.77

   

25. Space that facilitates quiet study

5.73

7.27

6.46

0.73

0.27

   

40. A comfortable and inviting location

6.09

7.49

6.4

0.31

0.77

   

41. A place for reflection and creativity

5.34

6.89

5.76

0.42

0.6

   

49. A secure and safe place

7.28

8.23

7.55

0.27

0.4

   
     

0.53

0.54

   
               
 

Min

Des

Per

GAP

ALL GAP

Asst. Prof

Prof

RELIABILITY

             

15. Providing service at the promised time

7.07

7.86

7.55

0.49

0.56

   

26. Performing services right the first time

6.91

7.97

7.65

0.74

0.37

   

36. Accuracy in the catalog, borrowing, and overdue records

7.67

8.28

7.56

-0.12

-0.33

7.48

7.74

43. Dependability in handling users’ service problems

6.77

8.02

7.31

0.54

0.34

   

53. Providing services as promised

6.99

8.15

7.61

0.62

0.39

   
     

0.45

0.27

   

RESPONSIVENESS

             

3. Readiness to respond to users’ questions

6.57

8.26

7.46

0.89

0.51

   

32.Willingness to help users

7.09

8.37

7.75

0.66

0.55

   

44. Prompt service to users

6.71

7.97

7.48

0.76

0.42

   

54. Keeping users informed about when services will be performed

6.87

7.94

7.38

0.51

0.55

   
     

0.71

0.51

   

TANGIBLES

             

1. Visually appealing facilities

4.68

6.62

5.91

1.23

1.8

   

35. Visually appealing materials associated with the service

6.13

7.4

6.78

0.65

0.89

   

45. Modern equipment that lets me easily access the information I need

6.91

8.29

6.98

0.07

0.15

6.83

7.26

     

0.65

0.94

   

SELF-RELIANCE

             

4. Enabling me to find information myself 24 hours per day

6.14

7.63

6.58

0.43

0.4

   

14. Easy to use access tools that allow me to find things on my own

6.54

8.09

7

0.46

0.17

   

17. Making information easily accessible for independent use

6.86

8.03

6.92

0.06

0.32

6.69

7

23. Providing me with information allowing me to work in my own way

6.18

7.69

7.12

0.94

0.77

   

28. Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office

7.02

8.38

7.09

0.07

0.16

6.6

7.26

34. Facilitating self-directed research

6.59

7.9

7.26

0.68

0.63

   

37. A library website enabling me to locate information on my own

7.17

8.17

7.62

0.45

0.15

   

48. Teaching me to find library resources myself

6.26

7.47

7.18

0.92

0.92

   

52. Providing search tools that permit me to work autonomously

6.63

8.06

7.35

0.72

0.45

   

56. Providing direction to self-navigate the library

6.54

7.85

7.2

0.66

0.45

   

     

0.54

0.44

   

INSTRUCTION

             

12. Improving library use skills as a by-product of library staff assistance

5.9

7.29

6.87

0.97

1.08

   

21. Librarians providing assistance that meets only the users immediate needs

4.87

5.98

5.9

1.03

0.98

   

22. Tailoring a response to meet a particular request

5.31

6.29

6.15

0.84

1.01

   

38. Library staff focusing on the here and now not on teaching for future

4.81

5.58

5.87

1.06

1.1

   

47. Librarians providing help for now but also improving future skills

6.08

7.41

7.07

0.99

1.05

       

0.98

1.05

   

 

Table 2. Undergraduate mean scores by dimension

 

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Washburn Gap

All gap

COLLECTONS

         

9. Timely document delivery/interlibrary loan

6.17

7.35

6.53

0.35

0.60

10. Full-text delivered electronically to individual users

6.09

7.66

6.18

0.09

0.23

11. Comprehensive print collections

6.30

7.49

6.14

-0.17

0.43

13. Instruction in library use when requested

6.60

7.79

6.90

0.30

0.80

16. Interdisciplinary needs being addressed

5.99

7.25

6.20

0.21

0.58

27. Access to archives, special collections

6.04

7.45

6.06

0.02

0.77

29. Convenient access to library collections

6.42

7.72

6.21

-0.22

0.4

39. Complete runs of journal titles

6.54

7.91

6.43

-0.12

0.15

46. Resources added to library collections on request

6.15

7.84

5.89

-0.26

0.29

55. Library materials available for browsing in open stacks

6.59

7.89

6.92

0.33

0.64

       

0.05

0.49

ASSURANCE

         

18. Employees who instill confidence in others

6.47

7.70

6.42

-0.06

0.73

31. Employees who have the knowledge to answer user questions

6.97

8.22

6.68

-0.29

0.23

42. Assuring users of the accuracy and confidentiality of their transactions

6.30

7.72

6.50

0.21

0.60

50. Employees who are consistently courteous

6.74

8.36

6.78

0.03

0.45

       

-0.03

0.50

EMPATHY

         

5. Employees who understand the needs of their users

6.55

7.93

6.38

-0.17

0.35

7. Employees who deal with users in a caring fashion

6.80

7.97

6.54

-0.26

0.42

8. Convenient business hours

6.55

8.23

6.09

-0.47

0.24

30. Employees who appear to enjoy what they do

5.62

7.62

6.24

0.62

1.01

33. Giving users individual attention

6.50

7.93

6.68

0.18

0.65

51. Having the users best interests at heart

6.89

8.04

6.74

-0.15

0.44

       

-0.04

0.52

PLACE

         

2. A meditative place

6.17

8.00

6.15

-0.02

0.50

6. A center for intellectual stimulation

6.29

7.87

6.20

-0.09

0.59

19. A contemplative environment

6.61

7.88

6.39

-0.23

0.50

20. A haven for quiet and solitude

6.62

7.94

6.43

-0.18

0.05

24. Space for group/individual study and research needs

6.55

7.96

6.21

-0.34

0.41

25. Space that facilitates quiet study

6.62

7.96

6.49

-0.12

0.18

40. A comfortable and inviting location

6.51

8.28

6.41

-0.10

0.48

41. A place for reflection and creativity

6.20

7.89

6.04

-0.16

0.56

           
 

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Washburn Gap

All gap

49. A secure and safe place

7.02

8.36

7.23

0.21

0.39

       

-0.12

0.41

RELIABILITY

         

15. Providing service at the promised time

7.00

7.89

6.84

-0.16

0.38

26. Performing services right the first time

6.98

8.17

6.90

-0.08

0.42

36. Accuracy in the catalog, borrowing, and overdue records

6.86

8.29

7.01

0.14

-0.07

43. Dependability in handling users’ service problems

6.51

7.82

6.47

-0.04

0.37

53. Providing services as promised

7.09

8.19

7.00

-0.09

0.30

       

-0.05

0.28

RESPONSIVENESS

         

3. Readiness to respond to users’ questions

6.81

8.43

6.87

0.05

0.40

32.Willingness to help users

7.29

8.15

6.90

-0.39

0.24

44. Prompt service to users

6.84

8.19

6.81

-0.03

0.36

54. Keeping users informed about when services will be performed

6.36

7.74

6.56

0.20

0.44

       

-0.04

0.36

TANGIBLES

         

1. Visually appealing facilities

5.06

7.51

5.64

0.59

1.43

35. Visually appealing materials associated with the service

5.97

7.32

6.11

0.14

0.80

45. Modern equipment that lets me easily access the information I need

7.02

8.35

6.40

-0.62

0.27

       

0.03

0.83

SELF RELIANCE

         

4. Enabling me to find information myself 24 hours per day

6.04

7.96

5.26

-0.78

0.01

14. Easy to use access tools that allow me to find things on my own

6.85

7.96

6.63

-0.22

0.18

17. Making information easily accessible for independent use

6.56

7.85

6.48

-0.08

0.30

23. Providing me with information allowing me to work in my own way

6.35

7.54

6.67

0.32

0.69

28. Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office

6.83

8.30

6.47

-0.36

0.18

34. Facilitating self-directed research

6.48

7.66

6.67

0.20

0.68

37. A library website enabling me to locate information on my own

6.66

8.26

6.74

0.08

0.43

48. Teaching me to find library resources myself

6.13

7.55

6.64

0.52

0.71

52. Providing search tools that permit me to work autonomously

6.82

8.09

6.78

-0.04

0.56

56. Providing direction to self-navigate the library

6.85

8.00

6.73

-0.12

0.42

       

-0.05

0.42

INSTRUCTION

         

12. Improving library use skills as a by-product of library staff assistance

5.86

7.36

6.44

0.58

0.90

21. Librarians providing assistance that meets only the users immediate needs

6.07

7.14

6.33

0.25

0.87

22. Tailoring a response to meet a particular request

6.13

7.31

6.40

0.28

0.87

38. Library staff focusing on the here and now not on teaching for future

5.76

6.90

6.32

0.55

1.14

47. Librarians providing help for now but also improving future skills

6.10

7.53

6.61

0.51

0.83

       

0.43

0.92

Table 3. Washburn LibQUAL+TM , 2001 priorities based on items with 8.0 or higher

   

Faculty

(63 resp.)

     

Undergrads

(81 res.)

 

COLLECTIONS

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Gap

 

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Gap

Number of respondents

35

35

63

   

47

47

81

 

13. Instruction in library use when requested

6.66

8.03

7.73

1.08

         

29. Convenient access to library collections

6.63

8.05

7.05

0.42

         

55. Library materials available for browsing in open stacks

6.61

8.11

7.49

0.88

         
                   

FACILITIES

                 

2. A meditative place

5.06

6.63

5.90

0.84

 

6.17

8.00

6.15

-0.02

40. A comfortable and inviting location

6.09

7.49

6.40

0.31

 

6.51

8.28

6.41

0.10

49. A secure and safe place

7.28

8.23

7.55

0.27

         

8. Convenient business hours

6.49

7.66

6.75

0.26

 

6.55

8.23

6.09

-0.47

                   

TECHNOLOGY

                 

45. Modern equipment that lets me easily access the information I need

6.91

8.29

6.98

0.07

7.02

8.35

6.4

-0.62

14. Easy to use access tools that allow me to find things on my own

6.54

8.09

7.00

0.46

         

28. Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office

7.02

8.38

7.09

0.07

 

6.83

8.30

6.47

-0.36

17. Making information easily accessible for independent use

6.86

8.03

6.92

0.06

         

37. A library website enabling me to locate information on my own

7.17

8.17

7.62

0.45

         

52. Providing search tools that permit me to work autonomously

6.63

8.06

7.35

0.72

 

6.82

8.09

6.78

-0.04

                   
                   

LIBRARY STAFF QUESTIONS

                 

EMPATHY

                 

5. Employees who understand the needs of their users

6.77

8.20

7.19

0.42

         

7. Employees who deal with users in a caring fashion

6.40

8.06

7.19

0.79

         

33. Giving users individual attention

6.66

8.09

7.63

0.98

         

51. Having the users best interests at heart

6.71

8.11

7.42

0.72

 

6.89

8.04

6.74

-0.15

     

0.71

         

RELIABILITY

                 

26. Performing services right the first time

                 

36. Accuracy in the catalog, borrowing, and overdue records

7.67

8.28

7.56

-0.12

 

6.86

8.29

7.01

0.14

43. Dependability in handling users’ service problems

6.77

8.02

7.31

0.54

         

53. Providing services as promised

6.99

8.15

7.61

0.62

 

7.09

8.19

7.00

-0.09

     

0.45

         
   

Faculty

(63 resp.)

     

Undergrads

(81 res.)

 

RESPONSIVENESS

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Gap

 

Minimum

Desired

Perceived

Gap

3. Readiness to respond to users’ questions

6.57

8.26

7.46

0.89

 

6.81

8.43

6.78

0.05

32.Willingness to help users

7.09

8.37

7.75

0.66

 

7.29

8.15

6.9

-0.39

44. Prompt service to users

6.71

7.97

7.48

0.76

 

6.84

8.19

6.81

-0.03

     

0.71

         
                   

 

 


Îáðàòíî êúì Äåéíîñòè