Olin LibQual+ Survey 2010

What have we learned so far from LibQual 2010?

  1. Introduction
  2. The Report
  3. User Comments and Responses

This is the second time the Olin Library at Rollins College has participated in the LibQual survey. We participated in the survey in 2006 and used the results of that survey to help us understand what you needed and wanted from your library. Many of the changes you have seen in the last few years – more fulltext journals, more specialized databases, better off campus access, better customer service, and a more welcoming atmosphere – all came about, at least in part, as a result of LibQual 2006.

Here are some of the things we have learned so far from LibQual 2010:

  1. Overall, we are doing better at meeting your needs. We are exceeding your minimum required level of service more than we did in 2006, and we are getting closer to the level of service you desire than we did in 2006.
  2. As in 2006, we generally do best in those areas associated with personal service: giving you individual attention, willingness to help, dependability, etc. — particularly when it comes to undergraduates and faculty. But it looks as though we need to do better in serving our graduate student clients.
  3. You have the highest expectations when it comes to our collections and the systems that enable you to access those materials, and unfortunately this is the area where we still have the most work to do – particularly when it comes to satisfying graduate student and faculty needs for electronic information resources and journal collections.
  4. It is also clear that our website is not yet meeting your needs. This may be because it was newly revised just before the survey was distributed, but I think we still have work to do on the website and we will be holding focus groups and usability testing this fall to investigate these issues more deeply.
  5. In general, the library as a place is becoming slightly less important to you as the digital library grows and we improve off campus access. However, you still have some strong opinions about the Olin Library. You like the community space for group learning and the comfortable and inviting location, but express a need for quiet space that inspires study and learning. Balancing these two somewhat contradictory expectations is never easy, but expect to see us work on providing that quiet inspiring space in the months ahead.
  6. Finally, the investments we have made in improving interlibrary loan service and off-campus access seem to be paying off.

Just like 2006, we are publishing our results – warts and all – on our website so that you can see how your expectations of our library compare with your colleagues and you can hold us accountable for responding to your expectations.

If you completed the survey, you will know that it is not a simple satisfaction survey. The survey asked you to define (on a nine point scale) your minimum expectation of 27 different questions of service, your desired level of service, and where you see the Olin library performs in relationship to that measure. Five of these questions are questions that we got to choose (we chose to ask you about hours, interlibrary loan, archives, information literacy, and our contribution to the intellectual atmosphere of the campus.) The other 22 “core” questions can be grouped into three “dimensions:” “affect of service” that measures the service provided by people in the library, “information control” that measures how our collections and systems serve you, and “library as place” that measures, well, the library as a place. You can learn a lot more about how the survey works by reading the introductory pages of the report. It is important to note that meeting users' desired expectations of service in all areas is very difficult. Most libraries that have conducted the LibQual+ survey are happy if they have exceeded users’ minimum expectations by reasonable margins.

Just as in 2006, you should expect to see us try and find ways to respond to what you have told us. Some things will be quick and relatively easy to do, but others will take much longer and involve more time and money. You can find out more about how we are responding to your comments by looking at the User Comments and Responses page. In the meantime, if you have comments about this short summary of our results, I would love to hear from you. E-mail me at jxmiller@rollins.edu.