LibQUAL+ Service Quality Assessment Results, Spring 2009
Who participated in the survey?
The 2009 survey consisted of 22 core questions surveying users for their perception of three dimensions: the Library facility (Library as Place), services (Affect of Service), and resources (Information Control). A key feature of LibQUAL+ is that it asks users to state the minimum amount of service expected, the level of service they currently believe they are receiving (perceived), and their desired level of service. The resulting data provides the library with a "gap analysis" — a way to understand what is most important to users, and how well Library services match the service quality desired. The survey also invited open-ended comments, providing useful detail and many constructive suggestions.
The survey was distributed to a sample of 11,069 users at San José State University, which included approximately 1995 faculty, 2045 staff , 4987 undergraduates, and 2042 graduate students. Of the 11,069 surveyed, slightly over 10% responded, with 1223 surveys returned of which 1,122 provided usable data for assessment. The largest group of respondents were the undergraduates, with 482 usable responses (42.96% of the 1,112 responses), followed by graduate students with 308 responses (27.49%), faculty with 161 responses (14.35%), University staff with 188 responses (10.52%), and library staff with 53 responses (4.72%).
How satisfied is San José State University with the Library?
- Areas of higher satisfaction
Overall, San José State users are most satisfied with the King Library facility, as respondents were most satisfied with "the community space provided for group learning and group study," followed by "providing a comfortable and inviting location" (Library as Place). Coming in third, was the library’s staff "willing to help users" (Affect of Service). Of the 22 core questions respondents perceived the library to exceed the minimum amount of service expected for all 22 questions.
- Areas of lower satisfaction
Of the three dimensions of service: Library as Place, Affect of Service, and Information Control, responses indicate that users are least satisfied with access they have to resources (Information Control). In fact, 6 of the 8 questions asked to explore the dimension of Information Control resulted in the highest gaps between user’s desired level of service and their perceived level of service. Of the 22 questions asked, users indicate the least satisfaction with the library providing "print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work," followed closely by"a library Web site enabling me to locate information on my own," and "making electronic resources accessible from my home or office." In regards to questions asked to determine perceptions of services available, results indicate that users desire and increase in "employees who instill confidence," followed by "dependability in handling users’ service problems.
Who uses the Library?
In an increasingly digital information environment, with powerful new open search engines and resources such as Google and Wikipedia playing a major role in many peoples' information practices, traditional measures of library use are changing. The LibQUAL+ survey provides an interesting perspective on library use, asking respondents to compare how often they use the library facilities, the library web page, and non-library information sources.
- Undergraduate library use
Approximately 15% of undergraduates report visiting the Library daily to use resources, 41% weekly, 25% monthly, and 16% quarterly. Of the 482 undergraduates surveyed, 3% report never visiting the library. Slightly over 10% of the undergrads report using library resources through a library web page daily, 45% weekly, 32% monthly, and 10% quarterly. What is interesting to note is that just as 3% of the undergrads never visit the library facility, 3% also don’t access library materials through the library’s webpage - indicating that 3% do not use the library, either in person or remotely. The third question asked of the students in regards to obtaining research materials, reveals that undergrads rely heavily on Yahoo and Google, as 74% reported using these search engines daily, 17% weekly, 4% monthly, and 2% quarterly. Again, 3% report never using these sources to gather information. As students are required to do research for their courses, a question to consider is “exactly what resources are the 3% using to complete their assignments?” Are these students limiting their resources to those purchased to support their coursework, such as textbooks and faculty course readers, or do their professors require them to conduct primary research in labs or the field?
- Graduate library use
Approximately 12% of graduate students visit the library daily, 32% weekly, 19% monthly, and 17% quarterly. Slightly over 20% never visit the facility. The number of distance programs at the graduate level could account for the increased number of graduates over undergrads who do not visit the library in person. Students at the graduate level rely more heavily on peer-reviewed and vetted, academic resources provided by the library, accounting for the 21% who use these resources daily, 51% weekly, 19% monthly, and 6% quarterly. Of the 308 graduates who replied to the survey, eight (2.6%) reported to never use the library resources through a library web page. Over 200 graduate students (approximately 72%) report using Yahoo and Google daily to locate information, 19% weekly, 4.5% monthly, 2.6% quarterly, and slightly less than 2% never use these search engines.
- Faculty library use
The majority of the faculty report visiting the library facility on a monthly basis (38%), followed by weekly at 30%, and quarterly at 19%. Slightly less than 9% of the faculty report visiting the library on a daily basis. Nearly 5% never enter the facility. Most faculty report accessing library resources through a library web page on a weekly basis (52%), followed by daily (27%), and monthly at 15%. Only seven faculty members (4.35%) report using resources on a quarterly basis, and slightly less than 2% report never. Nearly 69% of the faculty use Google and Yahoo daily and 20% weekly. Monthly and quarterly usage account for 3% each. Almost 6% report never using these search engines to access information.
The SJSU Library LibQUAL Subcommittee is currently reviewing comments provided by survey respondents. Comments and Responses will be posted on this website in late October 2009. A detailed summary of survey results for San José State University will be available in Spring 2010. The resulting assessment report will be used to identify the steps necessary to continue the improvement of library services and better meet users' expectations.
On behalf of the entire Library staff, we thank all the students, faculty, and San José State University staff who took their valuable time to help us understand how to improve our services.
For more information or questions about LibQUAL, please contact Bridget Kowalczyk, LibQUAL Administrator at library-libQUALemail@example.com.