LibQUAL+® Library Survey Results 2019
To understand the needs of our library users and further improve our library services, our Library conducted a Library Survey from 1 November 2019 to 11 December 2019 using LibQual+® as the instrument. LibQual+® is developed by the Association of Research Libraries that is widely adopted by the libraries worldwide to review and assess their library services. We have used LibQual+® to carry out surveys in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Besides our Library, five other UGC-funded University libraries in Hong Kong have also participated in the 2019 LibQual+® Library Survey. The survey results will help review our existing library services and make comparison with other UGC-funded University libraries in Hong Kong to identify areas for improvement.
Target Participants of the Survey
To have a more comprehensive analysis of our library services, the Library invited all existing users of our Library, including Lingnan students, faculties and staff to participate in the Survey. All the opinions and comments are consolidated below for our review and further improvement.
Details of the Survey
The Survey was conducted from 1 November 2019 to 11 December 2019 and all target participants were invited to complete the online questionnaire in either English or Chinese by using the LibQual+® Library Survey 2019. As a token of appreciation, all participants who completed the Survey were eligible to enter into a lucky draw automatically for 10 incentive prizes of book coupons.
By the deadline on 11 December 2019, a total of 327 participants responded to the Survey and the response rate was about 7.84%.
|Library Staff and other Staff||488||40||8.20%|
All respondents were required to answer 22 core questions in the Survey. The Survey was mainly focused on the following three service dimensions, which were:
- Affect of Service: Customer services provided by library staff
- Information Control: Library collections and access to resources
- Library as Place: Library spaces, facilities, and environment
All respondents were asked to provide their rates on a scale of 1 to 9 for the above three service dimensions with the following three scales:
- Minimum service level that they are willing to accept
- Desired service level that they would like to receive
- Perceived library’s service performance
After obtaining the Minimum, Desired and Perceived Mean Scores from the above three scales, the Adequacy and Superiority Mean Scores would be further calculated as follows:
“Adequacy Mean Score” refers to differences between users’ perception and their minimum acceptable service level (i.e. Adequacy Mean Score = Perceived Mean Score – Minimum Mean Score). The higher the Adequacy Mean Score, the better the library is performing.
“Superiority Mean Score” refers to differences between users’ perception and their preferred service level (i.e. Superiority Mean Score = Perceived Mean Score – Desired Mean Score”). The smaller the negative Superiority Mean Score, the closer to the superiority level the library is performing.
Summary of Survey Results
The survey results in this 2019 survey are compared with that of the last survey conducted in 2015 by our Library and that of other libraries conducted in 2019 in the same period with our Library.
1. Overall Mean Scores
|Lingnan 2019||Lingnan 2015||JULAC 2019|
|Minimum Mean (a)||6.16||5.90||6.16|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.45||7.40||7.44|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.03||6.80||7.09|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||0.87||0.90||0.92|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-0.42||-0.61||-0.35|
In 2019, our Library obtained the Adequacy Mean and Superiority Mean of 0.87 and -0.42 respectively. When compared with those figures in 2015, our Library obtained a slightly lower Adequacy Mean but obtained a higher Superiority Mean this year. The Perceived Mean score is also higher than in the past. This implied that the Library was improving in the past few years, but there were still rooms for improvement to meet the users’ desired service level.
In addition, when compared with those figures of JULAC, both Adequacy Mean and Superiority Mean obtained by our Library were relatively lower. It was concluded that our library services provided were slightly lower than other JULAC libraries. More efforts are needed to further improve our library services in the coming years.
2. Mean Scores by Different User Types
|Minimum Mean (a)||5.90||6.61||6.82|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.26||7.81||7.99|
|Perceived Mean (c)||6.85||7.49||7.36|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||0.96||0.88||0.54|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-0.41||-0.32||-0.63|
Among different user types, undergraduates provided the lowest Minimum Mean score. However, the Adequacy Mean from undergraduates was the highest among the three user groups while academic staff scored the lowest. It reflected that undergraduates had lower expectations on the library services than other user groups and our library services can satisfy their learning needs.
On the other hand, the academic staff gave the highest Desired Mean score which showed that they had higher expectations on the library services than other user groups, but they had the lowest satisfaction level as reflected from their Adequacy Mean Score. It is a signal for us to focus on their expectations and put more efforts on the improvement of the library services in order to narrow down such gap.
In addition, our Library obtained the highest Superiority Mean Score from postgraduates. Our Library had been putting much efforts in improving the services for the postgraduates in recent years, such as designing workshops on research topics, improving library space and facilities for postgraduates etc. The highest Superiority Mean score obtained from the postgraduates showed that our efforts have been recognized.
3. Mean Scores by 3 Service Dimensions
|Affect of Service||Information Control||Library as Place|
|Minimum Mean (a)||6.04||6.20||6.26|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.28||7.51||7.60|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.02||6.99||7.10|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||0.98||0.79||0.84|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-0.26||-0.52||-0.50|
The Adequacy Mean and Superiority Mean of Affect of Service scored the highest among all 3 service dimensions. The delivery of the professional services was the most satisfying services as perceived by our Library users. We will continue to serve the users in high standards and professional manner. Information Control had the lowest Adequacy Mean and Superiority Mean scores. In order to satisfy their information needs and to enhance our Library collections to better support their learning, teaching and research, our Library will work more closely with the faculties and professors in the coming future to review the current resources subscriptions, as well as to seek recommendations on new purchases and subscriptions.
Highlights from Core Question Mean Scores
1. Areas Needing Attention
Referring to Table 3, it shows that academic staff gave the lowest score on Adequacy Mean and Superiority Mean among different user groups. It indicated that the academic staff had the lowest satisfaction level as compared with the other two user groups. It is necessary to find out which areas needing improvement. Taken into account of the fact that the Mean Scores on “Information Control” dimension given by academic staff in Table 6 were not up to their minimum acceptable level, Table 5 shows the core questions in this dimension with negative Adequacy Mean Scores.
|Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office||The electronic information resources I need||Print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work|
|Minimum Mean (a)||7.33||7.00||7.29|
|Desired Mean (b)||8.21||8.25||8.50|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.00||6.63||7.00|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||-0.33||-0.38||-0.29|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-1.21||-1.63||-1.50|
The results in Table 5 alerts the Library that there were high demands for information resources from the academic staff, but the Library could hardly fulfill the needs. Although only these 3 questions had lower Perceived Mean scores than the Minimums that resulted in negative Adequacy Mean scores, the other core questions for evaluating the Information Control service dimension also showed that the Library could just reach the acceptable service level by academic staff. When comparing with the other 2 service dimensions (Table 6), Information Control for academic staff is the area that the Library should pay more attention. The Library will work more closely with Academic staff to identify their information needs for their teaching and research work.
|Affect of Service||Information Control||Library as Place|
|Minimum Mean (a)||6.71||7.00||6.59|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.87||8.15||7.88|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.73||7.06||7.22|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||1.02||0.06||0.63|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-0.14||-1.09||-0.66|
2. Services Recognized by the Library Users
From the previous section on comparing the Mean Scores by 3 Service Dimensions, Library staff’s customer services recognized by users as “Affect of Service” has received highest adequacy mean score and superiority mean score among the 3 services dimensions (Table 4).
As reflected from the core questions, the academic staff gave the highest scores among different user groups to the questions related to the “Affect of Service” dimension. Four questions have recorded positive Superiority Mean scores which mean services on these areas not only reach their acceptable service level but also their preferred service level.
|Library Staff who instil confidence in users||Giving users individual attention||Library Staff who are consistently courteous||Readiness to respond to users' questions|
|Minimum Mean (a)||6.25||5.74||6.81||7.22|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.67||6.91||7.96||8.17|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.88||6.96||8.12||8.26|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||1.63||1.22||1.31||1.04|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||0.21||0.04||0.15||0.09|
Obtaining positive Superiority Mean Scores in 4 questions in the “Affect of Service” dimension (Table 7) is encouraging to our Library colleagues as our efforts to serve are recognized by our academic staff, especially when compared with the JULAC libraries. Lingnan academic staff (Table 8) has generally higher expectations (Desired Mean) than other JULAC libraries. It is heartening to learn that we can achieve their expected service level with slightly higher adequacy and superiority mean scores than other counterparts.
|Affect of Service (by Academic Staff)||Lingnan||JULAC|
|Minimum Mean (a)||6.71||6.32|
|Desired Mean (b)||7.87||7.47|
|Perceived Mean (c)||7.73||7.31|
|Adequacy Mean (d) = (c) - (a)||1.02||0.99|
|Superiority Mean (e) = (c) - (b)||-0.14||-0.17|
1. Affect of Service
The customer services provided by the Library had generally been recognized by the Library users. The Library will certainly continue to provide high quality and professional services. Staff training to uplift the service standard of all library staff will be enhanced. Regular communications will be made with Faculty through the Library Liaisons. More research support services will be offered too.
2. Information Control
The Survey reflected that there was a high demand for study and research resources, especially from the academic staff. The Library will strive to develop fit-for-purpose Library collections via different means. Though under a limited budget, the Library will try our best to explore more funding sources. We will also pay more efforts in obtaining more affordable resources or making available more open access resources. Partnering with Faculty as well as other researchers to understand in what ways the Library can meet their research and teaching needs will certainly be undertaken.
In addition, as some users commented that although the Library provided useful resources and services to them, the publicity was limited and they were not well-informed. To improve the publicity, the Library will enhance the promotion by using different channels and means so as to reach as many users as possible.
3. Library as Place
Many of our users were concerned about the library environment, such as the cleanliness and tidiness, air conditioning, and facilities maintenance etc. The Library has been working closely with the Facilities Management Division (FMD) to enhance the standard and will deploy more staff to patrol the Library to spot for any negligence, all aiming at providing a comfortable and convenient environment for the users.
Many users also requested for additional study rooms and study areas in the Library. The Library is now working hard on a renovation plan and more study rooms and study areas would be provided in the future after renovation in this coming December. The noise problem in the collaborative workrooms would also be resolved after the renovation.
Other than providing the respective Scores, the users could provide their feedbacks/comments/opinions to the Library in the comment box as provided in the LibQUAL+® Survey. In the 2019 Survey, more than 70 respondents provided their written comments to the Library, such as comments on library facilities, resources, services, as well as giving compliments to the Library. The Library’s responses to the comments and suggestions were summarized below.
Counter Services and Frontline Operations
- I hope if it is available, the counter staff could help the reader to search for books, but not just stay at the counter by means of the computer to help.
Some library users commented that some of the library materials were not properly located. They sometimes encountered difficulties in searching for library materials, especially for DVD. To improve the situation, our Library would carry out regular shelf reading and checking exercise to make sure all the books and materials are put back to the right location properly. The Library has also enhanced the signage and floor plan in the Library for users to locate and search the library materials conveniently.
In addition, some library users commented that our counter staff was passive and unenthusiastic. To improve the frontline operations, our Library will provide training to the counter staff and instruct them to take the initiative to offer assistance to the library users as far as possible. Instead of searching library materials personally, our Library will offer an option for the users to make requests on the available books to save their time in searching for library materials physically. The Library staff will assist to fetch the requested book to the counter for the users to pick up. If any help is needed in getting the books, please do not hesitate to find our counter staff for assistance.
Enhance Library Marketing and Communications
Some library users agreed that the library services provided were satisfactory in general. However, they found that the services provided by our Library was not well-publicized or promoted. To allow the users to know more about the Library services and facilities, the Library will promote the services and facilities through more different channels, such as Library website, Facebook, mass mailings, posters etc. The Library is now reviewing the Library website. Users can obtain the latest and useful library information through the revamped Library website and enjoy surfing the website with the improved design. The Library will continue to provide high-quality services and facilities to support the study, teaching and research needs from the Lingnan community.
Records were not properly shown in the 1-Search
Some users reflected that some of the records, especially for those Chinese resources records, were not properly shown in the 1-Search. The Library will work with the service provider and requested them to keep updated on the Chinese journal information in 1-Search platform.
Extend the Borrowing Privilege
Some users requested to have a longer loan period for some special reference materials. Different types of library collection have different borrowing terms. To cater to the different needs of the users, the Library will review the borrowing privilege and may consider extending the borrowing period of some library materials.
Request for Additional Study Space
- Please add more space (desks and seats) for studying
- I need more space for self-study
Some users requested more study space for group discussion and private study in the Library. To provide additional study space, the Library has re-arranged the furniture and provided additional study facilities on the 1/F and 2/F of the Library starting from the first Semester of 2019. In addition, the Library will provide more individual study area after the renovation.
Request for Additional Study Rooms
- It's better if the library provides a separate area for each group discussion as now on 1/F those collaborative rooms are not separated. Our group may sometimes be disturbed by another room.
- 希望collaboration workroom 的隔音可以做得更好，以減少對房外圖書館使用者的影響
Some users suggested providing a separate area for each group discussion on 1/F as those existing collaborate rooms were not isolated which may cause disturbance to others when using those rooms. To improve the current problems when using the collaborative rooms, the Library will improve the study environment by providing new furniture in the study rooms after the Library renovation. After the renovation, the current noise problem in the collaborative workrooms will also be solved. Also, to balance the needs of different users, the duration of using the collaborative workrooms which are limited to 2 hours in each session and other room booking terms will be reviewed in due course.
Enhancing the Collection
- The electronic sources of English academic publications are limited.
Some users commented that the electronic resources were very limited, some of them were outdated. They requested to have more electronic resources to be provided in the Library to suit their teaching and learning. The Library has been working hard on expanding and enhancing the current subscriptions and collections. A total of 5 new journal archive collections and 10 new electronic resources have been added in 2019. Also, 4 new ebook collections were added with more than 130,000 titles available to the users. Despite the Library could only subscribe part of the collections for some databases due to budget constraints, the Library will try to acquire more collections and new resources to support the study and research needs of the users. If users have any suggested or recommended resources, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. The Library will review and consider purchasing the request as far as possible.
Facilities Improvement and Maintenance
- Water refilling plant should be added
Some users opined that the Library should improve the environment by providing more plants and other facilities, such as drinking fountains and sofa etc. To provide a comfortable environment for the library users, the Library will work closely with the FMD and follow-up on the facilities which require maintenance. New facilities will be installed in the Library to the users, such as drinking fountain.
Closure of the Entrance on the 2nd Floor
- Can we enter and leave on the 2nd floor?
Some users commented that it was inconvenient for them to access the Library due to the closure of the 2nd Floor entrance. To allow the users to access different floors in the Library conveniently, the Library will install a lift after the renovation.
Low Temperature in the Library
Some users commented that the temperature in the Library was too low. The room temperature in the Library is controlled by a central air-conditioning system. Users can report to the Library staff if they find the temperature is too low. The Library staff will inform the FMD for follow-up and request them to adjust accordingly. The Library will also deploy staff to patrol in the Library public area to ensure the room temperature in the Library is appropriate.
Concerns on the Cleanliness and Tidiness of the Library
- I think if there would be more control on the last floor of the library for postgraduate students, Students should not be able to leave their things behind to occupy the spaces as this takes the opportunity for other students to use it
It was found that some users may place their personal belongings to occupy spaces in the Library. To provide a better environment for the users, the Library staff will conduct a regular patrol of the Library public area to ensure all facilities and equipment are in good condition. If any broken or unclean equipment and facilities are found, the Library staff will inform the FMD to take immediate follow-up. The Library staff will also remind the users to follow the Library Regulations. Service counters will be available during opening hours of the Library for enquiries from the users. The Library staff will assist and respond to each case received from the users.
Request for Additional Workshops and Seminars
Some users requested to have more diverse training and workshops for their teaching and learning. The Library will continue to organize workshops and seminars for supporting the study and research needs of the users. The Library will design different topics and arrange a wide variety of workshops and seminars to suit the users’ interests and practical needs of the users. The workshops and seminars will be conducted in both English and Chinese for easy understanding. To promote the events arranged by the Library, the Library will publicize the details in the Library’s website and via different channels, such as posting of posters around the campus and
Respondents by User Types
|Library Staff and Other Staff||40||12.23%|
Respondents by Faculties
|Faculty of Arts||117||40.77%|
|Faculty of Business Administration||74||25.78%|
|Faculty of Social Sciences||84||29.27%|
Respondents by Gender
Respondents by Age Group
|Other Age Groups||22||6.74%