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LibQUAL+® Library Survey Results 2015


LibQUAL+® Library Survey Results 2015

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    Introduction to the LibQUAL+® Survey 2015

    Summary of 2015 Lingnan LibQUAL+® Survey Results

    Users' Desire and Satisfaction

    Core Questions Summary

    Demographic Summary of Respondents

    Written Comments

    New Services/Continuous Improvement of Library in the 1st Term 2015-16

    More Actions Planned for the Future

    The Library Annual Survey

    Link to LibQUAL+® 2015 Survey Results Full Report


Introduction to the LibQual+® Survey 2015

In November 2015, the Library invited Lingnan students, faculty and staff to share their opinions on library services via LibQUAL+® Survey. This web-based survey was designed based on the famous SERVQUAL instrument. Since 2000, more than 1,000 libraries worldwide have registered and used the survey to assess their service quality.  The Library has administered the LibQUAL+® Survey in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

This time, we and 5 other UGC libraries of the JULAC consortium took part in the 2015 LibQUAL+® Library Survey. Administering the same survey after 4 years gives us an opportunity to make comparisons against ourselves over time and benchmark our services with our peer institutions. 770 responses were received from this year's survey.

The LibQUAL+®survey consisted of 22 core survey items, measuring user opinions of library services quality and identifying gaps in their expectations versus their perception in 3 dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control and Library as Place. It also contains 8 additional questions that address information literacy, library use and general satisfaction. (Click here to see a complete list of survey questions.)

Besides the 30 multiple choice questions, an open-ended comments box in the survey yielded over 380 written comments. A brief qualitative analysis revealed plenty of complimentary of library staff and many suggestions for improvements. Common suggestions included more rooms and study space, computer workstations, books, AVs, etc.

We are presenting the summary of 2015 LibQUAL+® Survey below.


 Summary of 2015 Lingnan LibQUAL+® Survey Results 

Respondents’ minimum, desired and perceived levels of service quality were measured. The means are the arithmetic average of the numbers, computed by adding the scores and dividing by the total number. The service adequacy gap score is calculated by subtracting the minimum score from the perceived score. In general, service adequacy is an indicator of the extent to which a library is meeting the minimum expectation of users. A negative service adequacy gap score indicates that users’ perceived level of service quality is below their minimum expectation. 

On the other hand, service superiority gap score is calculated by subtracting the desired score from the perceived score. It is an indicator of the extent to which a library is exceeding the desired expectation. A positive service superiority gap score indicates that users’ perceived service quality is above their desired level.

  JULAC 2015 Lingnan 2015 Lingnan 2011
Desired Mean 7.50 7.40 7.39
Perceived Mean 6.89 6.80 6.57
Minimum Mean 5.99 5.90 5.79
Adequacy Mean (Perceived Mean-Minimum Mean) 0.90 0.90 0.78
Superiority Mean (Perceived Mean-Desired Mean) -0.61 -0.60 -0.81

Based on the result above, we can see that the Lingnan Library obtained higher scores in minimum mean, desired mean and perceived mean when compared with the last survey in 2011. In other words, users had higher expectation of library services than before, while the service quality the users received was also better than before. Meanwhile, a negative superiority mean was calculated, showing that the actual service level still could not meet the desired services level of Lingnan library users.

However, the mean scores of all the 3 categories were lower than the JULAC mean scores, revealing that on one hand, the Lingnan library users in average had a bit lower expectation on the library services than users in other peer institutions; on the other hand, though the service adequacy score of Lingnan library is same as the score in JULAC libraries, our services level was a bit lower than average when compared to other JULAC libraries.

Here below is the comparison table across different types of users:

<2015 Mean Scores> Undergraduates Postgraduates Academic Staff
Minimum Mean 5.82 6.05 6.63
Desired Mean 7.34 7.71 7.96
Perceived Mean 6.77 6.97 6.95
Adequacy Mean (Perceived Mean-Minimum Mean) 0.94 0.92 0.32
Superiority Mean (Perceived Mean-Desired Mean) -0.57 -0.74 -1.02

From the table above, the undergraduates overall gave a lower scores than the postgraduates and academic staff on the perceived service level. The Lingnan academic staff had an overall higher desire on library service, as well as higher perceived service level than the postgraduates and undergraduates. In view of this, a larger "service gap" was recorded when compared to that of the postgraduates and undergraduates (a larger negative "superiority mean" was calculated from the academic staff category). 


 Users' Desire and Satisfaction

Respondents were also asked to indicate their highest desired, lowerest desired, most satisfied and least satisfied item of the library.

  Undergraduates Postgraduates Academic Staff
Highest Desired Quiet place for individual work Readiness to respond to users Electronic resources available
Lowest Desired Giving users individual attention Giving users individual attention Giving users individual attention
Most Satisfied Courteous library staff Dependability in handling problems Active and helpful library staff
Least Satisfied Giving users individual attention Giving users individual attention Journal collections

We can arrive at the following conclusions:

1. Users felt satisfied on the library staff's service. Undergraduate students assigned the highest value to the staff's service attitude, while postgraduate students valued the dependability in handling problems of the library staff. Academic Staff preferred to have the most access to journals which facilitated their research.

2. All types of library users reached a consensus on the least expectation from library staff to give them individual attention.

3. In terms of most desired item, different users have different focuses. The undergraduate students wanted to have a quiet place for individual work; postgraduate students have highest desire on the service quality, while the academic staff thought it is most important to have more e-resources available in the Library.


 Core Questions Summary

These radar charts show the aggregate results for the 22 core survey questions. Each axis represents one question. A code to identify each question is displayed at the outer point of each axis. While questions for each dimension of library service quality are scattered randomly throughout the survey, on this chart they are grouped into three sections: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place.

On each axis, respondents' minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service quality are plotted, and the resulting "gaps" between the three levels (representing service adequacy or service superiority) are shaded in blue, yellow, green, and red.


Core Questions Summary for Undergraduates


Radar Chart for Undergraduates 2015 (Respondent = 614)
Radar Chart for Undergraduates 2011 (Respondent = 886)
Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2015 (Respondent = 614) Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2011 (Respondent = 886)


Core Questions Summary for Postgraduates


Radar Chart for Postgraduates 2015 (Respondent = 43)
Radar Chart for Postgraduates 2011 (Respondent = 67)
Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2015 (Respondent = 43) Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2011 (Respondent = 67)


Core Questions Summary for Academic Staff


Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2015 (Respondent = 34)
Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2011 (Respondent = 45)
Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2015 (Respondent = 34) Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2011 (Respondent = 45)

It was alarming that the service level of some areas in the category "Information Control" that the academic staff perceived was lower than their minimum requirements. These areas are:

- A library web site enabling me to locate information on my own

- The printed library materials I need for my work

- The electronic information resources I need

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

- Print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work


 Demographic Summary of Respondents


  Number Percentage
Undergraduate 614 83.54%
Postgraduate 43 5.85%
Academic Staff 34 4.63%
Library Staff and Other Staff 44 5.98%


  Number Percentage
Faculty of Arts 292 42.32%
Faculty of Business Administration 182 26.38%
Faculty of Social Sciences 176 25.51%
Others 40 5.80%


  Number Percentage
Female 507 69.55%
Male 222 30.45%


  Number Percentage
Age 18-22 587 80.41%
Age 23-30 65 8.90%
Age 31-45 45 6.16%
Other Age Groups 33 4.52%

 Written Comments

In addition to mean scores, respondents’ written comments were also well noted. In the 2015 survey, there were more than 350 respondents giving us as many as 388 specific comments on library facilities, resources and services. Not all written comments were negative in nature. After taking out those positive comments and “no comments”, there were about 260 complaints or suggestions for improvement. Breakdowns for major issues (10 or more written comments received) are grouped as follows:

  Number Percentage
Books / AV Materials 37 9.54%
Space for studying / discussion 22 5.67%
Electronic Resources / Journals 21 5.41%
Air-conditioning 21 5.41%
Noise control 18 4.64%
Other facilities 14 3.61%
Printers   13 3.35%
Circulation Policy 12 3.09%
Library Website  11 2.84%

  New Services/Continuous Improvement of Library in the 1st Term 2015-16:

From the new academic year, we have already taken some immediate actions to address those issues which many users find problems:

  1. Added a book-drop on the 1/F of SEK to facilitate the users from SEK
  2. Continue working with the vendors to check the printers of the IC area regularly
  3. Frequent checking of the temperature of different areas in the library, especially the 3/F, has been undergone
  4. WI-FI printing in IC area has been introduced as an alternative way for users to operate the printing jobs through mobile devices
  5. More patrol on noise control on all the floors of the library
  6. "WhatsApp a Librarian" service has been introduced as a communication channel with users who request quick replies
  7. "Book Delivery Service" has been introduced to the academic staff 
  8. New databases on different subjects, like "American History, 1493-1945 and Slavery", "Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchanges", have been subscribed 


More Actions Planned for the Future

The Library is dedicated to provide an equal learning environment to all library users. To meet the learning needs of "Special Education Need" (SEN) students, we have already purchased equipment like height-adjustable tables (for users with wheelchair), NVDA software and Braille display and reading machine (for visually impaired users). A room in the North Wing, 1/F of the Library will be converted to be "Special Needs Room", which is to place all these equipment for users.

The Library has committed to the renovation work of the Library. From mid-2015, we have been working with an architect consultant to re-design the space on all floors of the library, so as to create more learning spaces for library users and to accommodate the increasing number of library materials. The Library always welcome library users to raise out views on library space planning.


The Library Annual Survey

The Library has been conducting an annual survey since 1997. More than 30 service items are measured. Comments and feedback are invited at the end of the questionnaire. More information on the annual survey is available on the Library Website. Since the LibQUAL+® Survey is conducted every 4 years, we shall continue to rely on the annual library survey to monitor long-term user satisfaction.

The Library will continue to listen and act upon user suggestions and try our best to make necessary changes to improve library services, space and equipment. If you have further comments and suggestions, please feel free to let the Library know.

The Library also welcomes any opportunity to work with academic departments or other university libraries to study user expectations and improve library services. Please contact Dr. Tommy Yeung, Associate Librarian, for proposal of collaboration or new service initiatives for improvement.