- How long will the survey take?
- Are responses confidential?
- Can I skip questions that don't apply to me?
- Why does the survey seem to repeat the same question(s)?
- If I deleted the email can I still take the survey?
- What if I can’t open the URL from my email?
- What web browsers are supported for the survey?
- Is the survey exclusively web-based, or can I complete a paper version?
- Is the survey compatible with text-to-speech web browsers?
- Why isn't the survey at a University of North Texas Library web address?
- Why are reminders sent to respondents who have already completed the survey?
- How do I enter the drawing?
LibQUAL+TM Survey Overview
Completing The Survey
The survey usually takes from 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Yes. The LibQUAL+TM approach to confidentiality is guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. (See http://www.apa.org/ethics/code2002.html#5_06.)
Potential respondents are provided with an informed consent notice explaining the guarantees of confidentiality and privacy to read prior to taking the survey: http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual. At this point, they may elect not to proceed with the survey.
Although some identifying information is captured from respondents, such as network and email address, privacy is protected in two ways:
- Only very indirect information is captured which would be difficult to trace back to an individual.
- When the survey data is saved, personal information such as an email address is separated from survey responses. Once saved there is no way to link an individual's responses to the email address.
Do not skip any questions! Incomplete surveys are discarded. If you do not wish to answer a question or feel a question does not apply to you, select NA (not applicable) on the far right of the answer options.
The survey examines a variety of categories of library services, each represented by a number of questions. Repetition or redundancy in questions allows the survey designers to analyze the validity of each service quality dimension through statistical methods.
Yes. You can go to http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual/ and click on the survey link.
If you have trouble opening the URL in your email message, you can copy the URL and paste it into your Web browser. You can also take the survey by going to http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual/ and clicking on the survey link. Print copies are available at all service desks in the Libraries. If you still cannot access the survey, please contact Jesse Hamner.
Any browser should work as long as it is not too old. Netscape 4.7 and Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher are recommended. The survey does not rely on erratically supported browser features such as Java or cookies.
The survey is exclusively web-based.
Yes, the survey is compatible with the JAWS screen reader software.
The survey is administered through the Association of Research Libraries and Texas A & M University. The survey and data are housed on secure servers at Texas A & M.
Due to security and confidentiality features, everyone invited to take the survey 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 are 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.)
When you complete the survey, the last question asks you to enter your preferred email address. This address will be stored separately from the rest of the survey responses. The winners will be drawn from the pool of respondents who included their email address on the survey form. These addresses will be used to notify the owners that they have won.
LibQUAL+TM Survey Overview
The LibQUAL+™ survey was developed by the Association of Research Libraries in partnership with Texas A & M University. The survey collects data that libraries can use to understand and respond to user opinions of service quality. Libraries that use the survey have access not only to survey results from their own institutions but also to data from other participating libraries, allowing comparisons that can be used to develop benchmarks and identify sources of best practices.
Institutions participating in LibQUAL+TM, include colleges and universities, community colleges, health sciences libraries, law libraries, and public libraries—some through various consortia, others as independent participants. LibQUAL+TM has also expanded internationally, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, and the UK. The survey is available in twelve languages, including Afrikaans, American English, British English, Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (Canada), French (Europe), German, Norwegian, and Swedish.
In 2007, the survey hit two significant milestones: participation by over 1000 libraries (1040 as of November, 2007) and receipt of over one million survey responses. The growing community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services.
The survey examines three service quality dimensions: Affect of Service (library personnel), Library as Place (physical environment of the library), Information Control (collections and access to them). Each question has three parts that ask respondents to indicate (1) the desired level of service, (2) the perception of the level of service currently provided, and (3) the minimum acceptable level of service. This design permits analysis of gaps between desired, perceived, and minimum acceptable levels of service.
The survey also provides the opportunity for respondents to make comments. Analysis of these comments gives the library specific information and examples that enhance understanding of the statistical data. The comments also can provide concrete suggestions for resolving issues.
The LibQUAL+TM survey was adapted from the SERVQUAL instrument, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector which is grounded in the "Gap Theory of Service Quality." It was developed by Leonard L. Berry (Distinguished Professor of Marketing, M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership, Mays Business School, Texas A & M University), A. Parasuraman (James W. McLamore Chair in Marketing, School of Business, University of Miami, and Editor, Journal of Service Research), and Valarie A. Zeithaml (David S. Van Pelt Family Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina).
The Texas A&M University Libraries and other libraries used modified SERVQUAL instruments for several years. Those applications revealed the need for a newly adapted tool that would serve the particular requirements of libraries.
Beginning in 1999, the Association of Research Libraries, representing the largest research libraries in North America, partnered with Texas A&M University Libraries to develop, test, and refine LibQUAL+TM. This effort was supported in part by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE).
By using the LibQUAL+TM survey and initiating action based on the results of this survey, UNT Libraries can be more responsive to users’ needs and provide services that are better aligned to their expectations.
UNT Libraries first participated in this survey in 2005. When the Libraries developed its new strategic plan in 2006, the LibQUAL+TM survey results provided valuable information on UNT student, faculty, and staff opinions about current service quality that was used to identify goals and strategies for meeting them. The results of the 2007 and subsequent surveys are being used to measure progress towards meeting strategic plan goals and to identify additional strategies for meeting them.
For some examples of actions UNT Libraries has taken to handle user concerns identified by the LibQUAL+TM survey, go to http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual/library-response
UNT Libraries conducts the LibQUAL+TM survey in the spring of odd numbered years (i.e. 2005, 2007, etc.) The next survey will be administered in spring, 2009.
7. What other libraries are participating in LibQUAL+TM?
At least thirty-eight Texas libraries have taken part in LibQUAL+TM including Baylor University, Rice University, Texas A&M College Station, Texas Tech, University of North Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Houston.
In addition, the following libraries designated by President Bataille as peer institutions have administered the survey: Bowling Green State University Main Campus, Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida International University, George Mason University, Georgia State University, Kent State University Main Campus, New Mexico State University Main Campus, Northern Illinois University, University of Alabama, University of Central Florida, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University.
As of November, 2007, 1040 libraries in seventeen countries have participated in LibQUAL+™. For a complete list, see http://www.LibQUAL.org/Information/Participants/index.cfm
For more information, see the LibQUAL+TM homepage at http://www.libqual.org. To email the national headquarters for LibQUAL+TM, contact the Association of Research Libraries at LibQUAL@arl.org.
Survey data are transmitted directly from the LibQUAL+TM server to a database. The data are then analyzed and reports are generated for individual libraries that provide information on how users perceive the quality of their service.
Participating institutions have access to results for each institution, allowing comparisons to be made. This aids in developing benchmarks and understanding best practices across institutions.
Only summary statistics are shared with other institutions. The survey summary results are made available to participants on a password-protected area of the Association of Research Libraries’ LibQUAL+™ web site, http://www.libqual.org. User comments collected by the survey are not shared with other institutions.
Survey results include statistical data presented using various types of charts that analyze the data base on user group, dimension (categories such as library personnel, the physical environment, and collections and access to the collections), and by specific questions.
Comments are not made available to the UNT community or to other libraries except when used as examples in presentations, publications, or on the web site to provide a rationale for actions taken to respond to issues identified by the survey.
To view UNT Libraries’ previous survey results, go to http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual/results
University of North Texas Libraries receive initial results in May or June of the survey year, and share final results with the campus community in the fall semester of the same year. Results are posted at http://www.library.unt.edu/libqual/results. Availability of results is announced under News and Events on the UNT Libraries home page at http://www.library.unt.edu/.