What is LibQUAL?
LibQUAL is a survey administered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) used to assess the quality of service provided by libraries. By participating in the survey, we will have the opportunity to find out what our community thinks about the Heard Library system, and the individual libraries within the system, and also to compare our library with comparable academic libraries. The survey addresses quality of service categorized into three dimensions: Affect of Service (how people feel about the services and staff), Information Control (the ability to locate resources) and Library as Place (encompassing the overall physical space in the libraries).
Why is the Heard Library system conducting this survey?
The LibQUAL survey will help the Heard Library system understand what services are most important to its community. The survey will help us see how we are doing and what services and resources are most important to you.
When is the survey being conducted and who is included?
The survey will be open from March 10. All faculty, graduate students, and university central staff will receive an email invitation and reminders to take the survey. A random sample of the undergraduate students will receive the survey invitation and reminders.
What about my privacy?
Identifying information is kept separate from the survey results to ensure the privacy of respondents. The reporting of results will be generalized to ensure anonymity.
While we hope that you will share your opinions with us, you are not required to take the survey. If you change your mind about participating once you’ve begun the survey, you may simply close your browser. Your responses will not be captured unless you have clicked on the “Complete the Survey” button. If there is a particular question to which you do not want to respond, you may use the “N/A” response for that question.
Why are reminders sent to respondents who have already completed the survey?
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, therefore, are distributed to everyone in the survey group.
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.)
What will be done with the results?
The results of the survey will be used to guide the service priorities for the Heard Library system overall, as well as for the individual libraries and collections that are part of the system. The Dean of Libraries will use the LibQUAL survey results, in conjunction with other information, to begin a campus conversation about the library of the future.
The Heard Library used the 2006 LibQUAL survey results to support the following improvements:
- The library began work on a new search and discovery tool called DiscoverLibrary that will strengthen and simplify searching our collections.
- A faculty delivery service was implemented.
- Group study rooms were added.
- 14 workstations were added to the libraries
A summary of the findings will be shared with the campus community through our LibQUAL 2009 website: http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/libqual2009