Spring 2003

LibQUAL logo

As we plan for the future of the Georgia Tech Library & Information Center, it is essential that we understand our users’ needs and expectations so that we can provide dynamic services and comprehensive materials. Thus, this past Spring, the Libraries participated in a national research and development project to define and measure service quality across libraries. 308 libraries participated in the study. The project, LibQUAL+, used a survey tool to gauge library users' perceptions of services and to measure their satisfaction with services and resources so that libraries can identify areas for improvement. Nationwide, there were approximately 125,000 respondents.

arrow View Comments & Responses
arrow LibQUAL+ Report (complete results)

The survey consisted of 25 items which were rated on a scale of 1 to 9. At the end of the survey users could make suggestions or comments. Surveys were web-based with an option for a print version. Following are some survey data:

Survey Participants:
Surveys were emailed to 2100 total Georgia Tech faculty (600), graduate students (600), and undergraduate students (900).

Overall respondents by user group:

arrow Undergraduates: 186 (21% response rate)
arrow Graduates: 156 (26% response rate)
arrow Faculty: 117 (19% response rate)
arrow Staff: 4 (not one of the sampling groups)

Respondents by Discipline:

arrow Agriculture / Environmental Studies: 3 (.65%)
arrow Architecture: 23 (5%)
arrow Business: 22 (4.8%)
arrow Communications / Journalism: 1 (.22%)
arrow Education: 3 (.65%)
arrow Engineering / Computer Science: 282 (62.4%)
arrow General Studies: 2 (.44%)
arrow Health Sciences: 3 (.65%)
arrow Humanities: 16 (3.5%)
arrow Law: 2 (.44%)
arrow Military / Naval Science: 1 (.22%)
arrow Performing & Fine Arts: 1 (.22%)
arrow Science / Math: 70 (15.2%)
arrow Social Sciences / Psychology: 22 (4.8%)
arrow Other: 8 (1.7%)

What was measured:
LibQUAL measured four dimensions of service: Affect of Service, Personal Control, Access to Information, and Library as Place.

The base set of survey results provided mean scores for each of the three measures of service quality for each question. It’s possible to analyze these mean scores by demographic characteristics of the respondents, such as discipline (though the standard disciplines on the questionnaire do not directly match Georgia Tech disciplines); user group (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate); and role (for example, freshman, sophomore, associate professor, professor, etc.).

Survey Response:
463 completed the survey, roughly 22% out of 2,100 people who were sent the survey invitation.

The survey was completely anonymous and, as an incentive, respondents could enter their email addresses into a drawing for one of several prizes. The nation-wide prize was not won by a Georgia Tech respondent, but five local prizes were awarded. The 5 local prize winners are: Joseph Frankel, Russell Marzette, Christopher Palmer, Linda Whitenton, and Eric Yang [view photo].

231 people chose to make approximately 400 distinct comments at the completion of their survey.


Comment Highlights:

arrow Most users are pleased with staff and think the Library does a good job with limited resources.
arrow All users want more books, journals, and online (electronic) materials.
arrow Students want more leisure/fiction books.
arrow Students want more space for individual and group study and agree that the Library buildings,
spacerfurnishings, etc. need to be refurbished.
arrow Students want more computer workstations.

Key Findings:

Library & Information Center’s Response:

The Library has taken a number of immediate actions in response to survey results and comments. Some of the highlights are:

The Library Leadership Council and other Library working groups will continue to analyze the LibQUAL+ Survey results and consider additional service improvements.

We appreciate the thoughtful feedback and insight provided by LibQUAL+ Survey participants. Thanks for taking the time to assess the Library and improve the quality of our resources and services.

For more information about the survey, please email us.