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LibQUAL+®: Charting Library Service Quality at the UofL: About

Assessing library service quality using LibQual+(TM) at the University of Lethbridge


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention:

  • Check out the Frequently Asked Questions

  • Email: The Library Assessment Team.

  • Or contact Leona Jacobs, LibQUAL+® Lead Project Librarian, (403) 329-2008.

For more information about the LibQual+®service visit the ARL LibQUAL+® Project Website

What is LibQUAL+®?

LibQUAL+® is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. These services are offered to the library community by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The program's centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based survey bundled with training that helps libraries assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library.

The goals of LibQUAL+® are to:

  • Foster a culture of excellence in providing library service
  • Help libraries better understand user perceptions of library service quality
  • Collect and interpret library user feedback systematically over time
  • Provide libraries with comparable assessment information from peer institutions
  • Identify best practices in library service
  • Enhance library staff members' analytical skills for interpreting and acting on data

More than 1200 libraries have participated in LibQUAL+®, including colleges and universities, community colleges, health sciences libraries, law libraries, and public libraries -- some through various consortia, others as independent participants. LibQUAL+® has expanded internationally, with participating institutions in the United Stations, Canada, the U.K., and Europe. The growing LibQUAL+® community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services.

The web-based survey is composed of 22 core questions focussing on three "dimensions" of library service:

  • affect of service
  • library as place
  • information control

In addition, the University of Lethbridge will be asking five "local" questions about some specific services we are especially interested in getting feedback on. As well, the survey asks some questions about overall satisfaction, usage patterns, the usual demographic information and offers an opportunity for respondents to provide comments in their own words.

For every question, respondents are asked to indicate three things:

  • minimum expectations of service
  • desired level of service
  • perceived level of service offered by the University of Lethbridge Library

The difference between the minimum expectation and the desired level of service is called "the zone of tolerance" while the difference between the perceived level of service provided and the minimum expecation is called the "adequacy gap".  The relationship between the two is referred to as the "gap analysis".

For more detailed information, check out the Association of Research Libraries' LibQUAL+® Project Website.

Find out more About LibQUAL+® at the UofL.


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