On a biennial basis since 2001, the Library has administered a standardized survey of student and faculty attitudes regarding multiple dimensions of library service quality. Known as LibQUAL+, this instrument was developed collaboratively by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and librarians at Texas A&M University. It is based on SERVQUALTM, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector, and uses gap theory to explore the gaps between users' minimal, perceived, and desired levels of library service. LibQUAL+ is a multi-faceted assessment tool, allowing the Library to solicit, record, track, analyze, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality.
As a standardized survey, LibQUAL+ provides the ISU Library with comparative data from a number of peers, including selected ARL libraries, selected libraries in the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), and selected libraries from the university's "Land-Grant 11" group of peer institutions. Because it is conducted biennially, the survey also provides valuable longitudinal data, allowing the Library to identify trends and to track progress toward continuous improvement of public services. The survey provides both quantitative data (for 25 core questions regarding specific library services, plus several questions pertaining to general satisfaction and information literacy), and also qualitative data via a free-text "Comments" box.
The following PowerPoint presentations provide summaries of the surveys conducted since 2001. Each presentation includes:
LibQUAL+ Survey Findings and Recommendations: 2001 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007
The Library's Associate Dean for Research & Access, in consultation with the Administrative Cabinet, maintains a cumulative Checklist of Survey-Based Recommendations and Actions, which includes data-driven recommendations and actions from the biennial LibQUAL+ surveys. This checklist helps to ensure that the findings and recommendations from formal library surveys are used to effect continuous improvement in library programs, collections, and services at Iowa State.
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