Library Survey
Library Survey

February 1, 2008

People are accustomed to borrowing from the University Library, but a brief role reversal is in the works. Between March 3 and 21, the Library is asking its users to lend it about 15 minutes of their time to complete the LibQUAL+ survey.

Librarian Leona Jacobs says this survey is an essential follow-up to the baseline measure provided by the first LibQUAL+ survey of service quality in 2005.

“It’s important for us to check in with our users regularly so that we are able to assess their perceptions of the Library over time,” says Jacobs.

Faculty, graduate students and a sampling of undergraduates from Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge will receive e-mail invitations to participate in the online survey. Responses are anonymous, but participants can enter their names into a draw for one of five $100 University Bookstore gift certificates.

Ultimately everyone who uses the Library wins from the LibQUAL+ survey. Jacobs and Librarian Lorelei Harris recently completed a report card on the Library’s considerable progress responding to the 12 recommendations that came out of the first survey.

“I hope people see the value in completing the survey again because the Library is listening. We have tried to make changes that fit the feedback, and now we need people to let us know if we are on target,” says Harris.

Noise was one concern that came across loud and clear, particularly among undergraduate students, in the first survey. Since then, the Library has added two additional group study rooms, designated L1168 as a silent study area on evenings and weekends, and zoned the quiet study and group work areas more clearly.

The new Library Code of Conduct is another step towards silencing noise issues.

The recent renovations that moved the Information & Research Assistance Desk directly in front of the entrance is one of the most visible changes to come out of the 2005 survey. “It was apparent from the first survey that people felt a void when they came into the Library and didn’t see any staff,” says Jacobs.

The empirical assessment of the collection planned for 2008 is also a response to the survey, which revealed some negative perceptions about the collection, particularly among faculty.

“We want to know if there are some weaknesses we’re not aware of and learn more about what strengths we can capitalize on. The overarching goal is to develop a statement of philosophy about the collection in collaboration with faculty,” says Jacobs.

The first survey also provided insight into the desire among users for more self-service options. For example, the need to update Library privileges manually was a concern among graduate students.

This feedback led to the purchase of a new campus integration suite to integrate the Library’s computer system with Banner (the student information system).

“Eventually students’ Library privileges will be turned on automatically when their registration is accepted. We expect it will take a year to launch this service, which will also allow all Library fines to be paid at the Cash Office,” says Jacobs.

Plans are also underway to integrate the Library and human resources systems to automate Library privileges for new staff and faculty.

“The Library is here to support student and faculty scholarship. To do that, we need to know more about their needs and perceptions of the Library – and that’s where this survey comes in,” says Jacobs.

For more information on the LibQUAL+ survey, please visit

U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173

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