LibQUAL+® is a survey developed by the Association of Research Libraries to understand users' opinions of service quality. It assesses satisfaction with collections, services, and space. After we analyze survey data, we take concrete action.
If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact assessment.library [at] mcgill.ca
Blog post (March 6, 2020): ~11,300 LibQUAL+ survey responses have helped McGill Library continuously improve since 2003
The 2020 LibQUAL+ survey is being offered to a subset of the McGill community in March. Those selected to participate will receive an email invitation with a link to the online survey on Tuesday, March 10th.
Students and library staff members are randomly selected to participate. This means that not everyone will be invited to complete the survey. Random selection ensures that everyone in the target population has an equal chance of being invited, and avoids biasing the results towards one particular group, or excluding another. The results are therefore considered representative of the McGill population, and can be generalized to everyone at a given time.
STEMM faculty, research assistants, and research associates
All professors, instructors, research assistants, and research associates in the Faculties of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, and Science (including associated schools in these faculties).
As a token of our appreciation, those who receive the survey invitation are automatically entered for the chance to win one of ten $50.00 Le James McGill Bookstore gift certificates. If a winner of the gift certificate has not completed the survey, this person will not be eligible to receive the $50.00 bookstore gift certificate.
What LibQUAL+ attempts to measure
The survey attempts to measure how well libraries are serving their users.
LibQUAL+ is based on research which links a person's rating of the service they have received to their personal expectations concerning the level of service they desire and the level which they consider to be the bare minimum or just acceptable. The survey, therefore, asks for not just one but three ratings for each question asked:
· the minimum service level considered acceptable
· the level of service desired
· the level of service being received
This mode of rating service has the following advantages:
· the rating a person gives for service received is placed in a range of that person's expectations and is not just a single number without a context for interpretation;
· the range for each item from the "minimally acceptable" to the "desired" is established empirically by the respondents, not post facto by those running the survey; and
· the differing scores for "desired" and "minimum" levels of service help to indicate what types of services and what aspects of service are most important to library users.
Past LibQUAL+ surveys
In the winter 2013 semester, McGill Library conducted the LibQUAL+ survey with students and faculty. This was the ninth time the survey had been conducted since 2001. Approximately 1200 survey responses were received, and 500 of these respondents also provided written comments. Results demonstrated that, overall, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty were satisfied with the quality of service provided by the Library. Notably, undergraduate students placed increasing importance on quiet space for individual study, and perceived that the Library was barely meeting the minimum requirement for their study needs. Graduate students and faculty placed great importance on the breadth of online resources, and would have liked these to be easier to access.
The Library Assessment Advisory Committee reviewed the results of the the LibQUAL+ survey and made several recommendations based on these to the Library administration. These were:
- Enhance community engagement and transparency
- Enforce rules regarding library environment (i.e., noise, food)
- Improve cleanliness of user spaces, including washrooms
- Address facility needs of students (including service hours, food services, and water fountains)
- Ensure expertise to support emerging areas (includes conducting a review of the liaison librarian model)
- Broaden opportunities for teaching and outreach (includes the creation of online tutorials)
- Conduct usability testing of catalogues
- Correct mis-shelved items
Since then, the McGill Library has undertaken several steps to address the many recommendations, including:
- A commitment to grow the McGill Library and Archives as a user-centred organization, including engaging with user groups more regularly
- A proposal to review the liaison librarianship model at McGill Library
- Improve public washrooms in Humanities and Social Sciences Library, and Schulich Library, and if possible, expand and renovate the Redpath main floor washrooms
- Develop and implement noise level study zones (very quiet to very noisy) in all branches, and develop and implement policy for food in the Library based on user feedback
- Assess service and study hours offered in Library branches and develop a methodology to set opening and service hours that meets both user needs and available resources. Analyze security needs in all branches in order to offer a safe and welcoming environment to the McGill community
In the winter 2012 semester, McGill Library conducted the LibQUAL+ survey with students and faculty. This was the eighth time the survey had been conducted since 2001. Approximately 1200 survey responses were received, and 500 of these respondents also provided written comments. Results demonstrated that, overall, service expectations from undergraduate, graduate and faculty user groups were very positive. Users felt that the Library improved in making electronic resources available off-campus but there was room for enhancement. E-journal access improved substantially for faculty. The Library was meeting expectations regarding developing a website that enables users to locate information independently; however, offering more and different kinds of space remained an area for improvement for undergraduates.
The 2010 LibQual+ (Lite Version) survey was performed in March/April 2010 along with all Canadian Academic Research Libraries (CARL) members. The survey was sent to a total of 8,500 members of the McGill community, a sampling of undergraduates and graduates and all faculty members. The 2010 response rate of 1,404 completed surveys was 23% higher than the 1,085 responses in 2008. The survey uses 22 core questions which are split into three dimensions of Library Service quality: Affect of Service (questions concerning the effectiveness of library staff); Library as Place (questions on the physical environment); and Information Control (questions concerning the ease with which information can be found, e.g. effectiveness of access tools, Web sites etc. and the availability of books and electronic information etc.).
The survey had last been conducted at McGill in 2005 and was conducted again in early 2008. The Library was grateful to all who responded. Over 1,200 responses were received from undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty. The results were still being analyzed by year’s end. Similar concerns to those which had been raised in previous surveys also emerged as issues in this survey. Faculty and undergraduate students seemed reasonably happy with the services but graduate students expressed more concerns. Improvements were sought by all in the physical facilities, the search interfaces on the Library’s website and the catalogue, service approaches, and collection gaps. Almost 600 comments were received and these were being analyzed further to determine improvement strategies.
view feedback from survey respondents, and the library's response from the 2005 LibQUAL+ survey
view feedback from survey respondents, and the library's response from the 2004 LibQUAL+ survey
In response to student feedback, plans for comprehensive physical refurbishment of the Library’s diverse spaces were begun. Student comments from the 2004 LibQUAL survey revealed a desire for group study areas, more welcoming study spaces, and improved access to electronic resources.
Detailed concept briefs were prepared during the year for the refurbishment of an e-zone in the Redpath Library Building, the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, the Education Library and Curriculum Resources Centre, the Howard Ross Library of Management, the Islamic Studies Library and the Life Sciences Library. The briefs described the current physical facilities, outlined the changing needs of today’s library users, and proposed re-design of existing facilities to provide improved and effective support for users. Infozones providing enhanced access to the latest technologies and information resources, a diverse range of study and work spaces and comfortable, attractive furnishings were some of the proposed changes.
view feedback from survey respondents, and the library's response from the 2003 LibQUAL+ survey
view feedback from survey respondents, and the library's response from the 2002 LibQUAL+ survey
LibQUAL 2001: McGill Library participated in one of the earliest implementations of the LibQUAL+ survey, which informed later revisions