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LibQUAL 2008 Survey Results

Thanks for participating in the LibQual+ survey conducted by Randall Library in the Spring of 2008. We appreciate your feedback!

Here is what we learned:

  • On the Affect of Service (The human dimensions of library service, e.g., responsiveness, reliability, empathy) dimension, faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students all gave Randall library high marks. Our efforts to provide friendly, knowledgeable , and effective service are appreciated by all users. We continue to look for ways to provide excellent service that makes a difference to our users.
  • Faculty and Grad students expressed that Information Control (Scope and quality of collections, ease of access, self-reliance in using information resources) is the most important dimension of library service, but also say this is Randall Library's weakest area.
  • This tells us that there is an insatiable appetite for information which could be addressed by purchasing additional resources, and by improving our website to help users navigate the resources independently.
  • Randall Library’s survey results compared favorably when compared to other academic libraries conducting the survey during the Spring 2008 season, so we certainly are not the only university facing these challenges.
  • Undergraduates tell us that Library as Place (Usefulness and appearance of facility, quality of the environment for work or study and symbolic value of the library) is of greatest importance to them, but also scored this dimension below their minimum expectations.
  • The key factors of dissatisfaction were quiet space and a space that inspires study and learning. Also of concern were the shortage of group study spaces and the general worn appearance of the carpet and furniture. Hours of operation were also mentioned, especially in the comments, as being insufficient.

Here is what we’ve done:

  • We were able to upgrade our Science Direct subscription to the “Freedom Collection,” doubling the number of electronic journals we receive from this vendor (from 900 to 1800 journals.) Randall Library provides access to over 31,000 journals
  • Several changes were made to the NC LIVE databases. New databases added in January 2009 include four new EBSCOdatabases: Auto Repair Reference Center, Coin Career Library, Literary Reference Center, and Newspaper Source Plus. Another new addition is Geographic Researches, Inc. SimplyMap, a web-based mapping application that lets users quickly create professional-quality thematic maps and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data for the United States.
  • We were able to expand library hours to “24/5+.” We now open at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and remain open 24 hours a day until 7:00 p.m. Friday. Saturday hours were extended to 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • We improved signage to make it easier to find locations within the building and books on the shelves. Two large maps of the library, one on each floor, and signs in the General Collection on the 2nd floor were installed to improve navigation of library space and resources.
  • We have designated the second floor to be quiet study space. Also, we changed the arrangement of furniture to give implicit cues about expectations of quiet or group study. Tables for group study are located in higher-traffic areas where maintaining quiet is difficult and individual carrels are away from traffic and on the second floor where quiet study is the norm.
  • The ITSD Technology Assistance Center moved into the library during the summer of 2009, providing a convenient location for in-dept technology assistance.
  • We are grateful to the Senior Class of 2008 for choosing to make their gift to UNCW a marine aquarium located in the library.
  • We conducted focus groups to continue to find what is most important and brainstorm ideas for improvements.

What we are working on:

  • We are working on significant improvements to the library website, starting with the database lists and research guides to make the website more intuitive.
  • We are working on tutorials to assist users learn effective research methods.
  • Although expanding our database offerings depends upon new funding, we maintain a “wish list” of resources that would enhance the research and teaching experience for UNCW students and faculty. You can send suggestions for databases to Arlene Hanerfeld, Associate University Librarian for Technical and Collection Services, at hanerfelda [at] uncw [dot] edu. The challenge is that inflation in prices means we need additional money each year just to keep what we have. Following a serials review project in Fall 2009, the library cancelled some subscriptions, but was able to add a few new titles to our offerings.
  • We are working on further improvements to the library building. We hope for a major renovation in the coming years, but until that funding becomes available, we will make the smaller changes we can to provide an inspiring place for learning. In the meantime, we are planning a renovation in the northeast corner to provide a learning commons to bring together research and technology assistance in a combined service point. Work will begin during the winter 2009 intersession.

Keep your suggestions coming! The survey is completed, but we are always interested in your comments and ideas.

More information about the LibQual+ Survey

The LibQual+ survey is a rigorously tested Web-based instrument offered by the Association of Research Libraries that helps assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library. The goals of LibQUAL+(TM) 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

During the Spring 2008 season, 202 institutions participated, 120 of these were colleges & universities. Over 1,000 libraries in 17 countries have participated since 2000. The full report of Randall Library’s survey results is available in pdf form.

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