BGSU Libraries Joins LibQual+ Project to Measure Library Users’ Satisfaction

Bonna Boettcher, Head of Special Collections

The LibQual+ project is a joint effort of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Texas A & M University (TAMU). Individuals directing the LibQual+ efforts are working to develop an instrument that will measure user satisfaction with library services and collections. They are basing their instrument on the SERVQUAL instrument, a well established and repected total market survey tool developed and tested by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry. The first iteration of the web-based survey was administered to a small group of institutional volunteers in 2000; later that year, ARL and TAMU were awarded a three-year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to further refine and expand the project.

One of the features of SERVQUAL that has been retained for LibQual+ is the use of the “gap” method for assessing satisfaction. Those completing the survey are asked to supply three responses to each statement: their minimum acceptable level for the specific aspect; their maximum, or ideal, level; and the level they ascribe to BGSU Libraries. The three responses provide a context for interpreting the results.

Along with a number of other OhioLINK libraries and more than 100 libraries nationwide, BGSU Libraries has joined the project in the second year of the three-year grant. With the assistance of the Office of Institutional Research and Information Technology Services, we have distributed the URL for the survey to preselected lists of BGSU community members (undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff). Following brief demographic questions, all participants will respond to twenty-five statements. OhioLINK has been allowed five additional statements to assess satisfaction with OhioLINK services.

Data from the survey, which will be administered locally from 19 March – 10 May, 2002 will be available by the end of the summer, with additional data for OhioLINK libraries available in August. We look forward to receiving this data and responding to our users’ thoughts on the services and collections available at BGSU.

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