Part One: Introduction
1.1 What is LibQUAL
LibQUAL is an assessment tool that measures patrons’ perceptions of library service. It was derived from SERVQUAL, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector. Over 1,000 libraries had participated in LibQUAL as of spring 2007.
LibQUAL consists of twenty-two core questions, five local questions, and a section for additional comments. The core questions include: nine questions measuring Affect of Service satisfaction, eight questions measuring Information Control satisfaction, and five questions measuring Library as Place satisfaction. Local institutions can meet individual assessment needs by selecting local questions from a pool of pre-tested questions. In addition respondents are asked to rate frequency of library use, literacy information outcomes, and overall library satisfaction. The Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine, together with the rest of the University of Maine system, participated in LibQUAL in the spring of 2007. The University of Maine’s LibQUAL core scores can be compared to the University of Maine System, peer EPSCOR universities who took LibQUAL between the years 2004-2007, and national norms from the year 2003.
From mid-March to mid-April 2007, the University of Maine made the LibQUAL survey available online from the library web page. Email letters were sent twice to library users asking them participate in the survey. The survey was advertised using the library web site, the library newsletter, table tents, bookmarks, posters, and banners. In addition, LibQUAL Day was held in the library classroom on April 9th.
A total of 1,650 undergraduates, graduate, students, faculty, staff and library staff participated in the survey. Academic disciplines offered at the University of Maine were grouped and mapped to the categories available in LibQUAL.