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Thanks for participating in the LibQUAL+ survey conducted by Randall Library in the Fall of 2011.  We appreciate your feedback!  The survey focused on three dimensions of service:
  • Affect of Service:  The human dimensions of library service, e.g., responsiveness, reliability, empathy. 
  • Information Control:  Scope and quality of collections, ease of access, self-reliance in using information resources
  • Library as Place:  Usefulness and appearance of facility, quality of the environment for work or study and symbolic value of the library.

Randall Library also participated in the LibQUAL+ survey in spring 2008, so we can also compare results between the two surveys.

Here is what we learned:

  • Overall, in both 2008 and 2011, survey respondents were most satisfied with the Affect of Service dimension and least satisfied with the Library as Place dimension.
  • Among faculty and graduate students, Information Control was the most important dimension in both 2008 and 2011.  However, faculty scored Randall Library’s performance on Information Control the lowest of the three dimensions.  We have many databases on our wish list awaiting funding, but continuous inflation in prices means we need additional money each year just to keep what we have.  Having “a library website that enables users to locate information on my own” was also ranked as highly important by users. 
  • Undergraduates identified the Library as Place dimension as most important and rated Randall Library’s performance as barely meeting their minimum expectations.  The importance of the Library as Place increased for undergraduates in 2011, compared to the 2008 survey results.
  • Graduate students scored Randall Library’s performance on the Library as Place dimension as the lowest, below their minimum expectation in both 2008 and 2011.  The key items of dissatisfaction were quiet space and a space that inspires study and learning.  In the comments received as part of the survey, hours of operation were frequently noted as being insufficient. 
  • The Library as Place dimension was the only dimension in which UNCW scored below the average of the 138 colleges and universities participating in the survey in 2011. 
  • On the Affect of Service 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. 
  • Compared to other institutions which conducted the survey in 2011, UNCW scored slightly higher than the average on the Affect of Service dimension, equal to the average on the Information Control dimension, and below average on the Library as Place dimension. 

Here is what we’ve done:

  • Restored library hours to 24/5+
  • Designated the 2nd floor as Quiet Space.  The Quiet Campaign, a collaborative project with Dr. Ned Irvine’s ART 365 Typography class, designed new signage to convey the message.  
  • Renovated a room on the 1st floor as a Technology Enhanced Collaboration Space.
  • Remodeled the Graduate Computer Lab and established a graduate quiet study room.
  • Established a reservation system for group study rooms.
  • Revised the library website.

The key outstanding concerns and recommendations for action are:

Areas of Concern:



  • Giving users individual attention.


  • Improved marketing of the Library Liaison service.
  • Consult with students, faculty and staff for other methods to provide individual attention. 
  • Increase the library faculty to improve the student-librarian ratio.


  • Making information easily accessible for independent use.
  • Ability to navigate library Web pages easily


  • Hire a Coordinator of Discovery Services Librarian to focus on improved access.
  • Conduct regular usability studies to identify needed improvements to the library web pages.
  • Implement a new discovery system for more comprehensive and intuitive searching. 
  • Consult with students, faculty and staff for other methods to make information more accessible.


  • Library space that inspires study and learning.
  • Quiet space for individual activities.
  • A getaway for study, learning, or research.
  • A library environment that is hospitable and conducive to finding and using information.


  • Provide more space for users.
  • Provide more electrical outlets.
  • Improve the furniture and aesthetics of the library facility.
  • Reconfigure space and improve furniture to provide seating for individuals to study quietly.
  • Consult with students, faculty and staff for other suggestions for improvement.
  • Continue replacing carpet to improve the appearance of the library.
  • Improve and expand restrooms and other facilities.

A summary of findings of the survey is available in the Result Summary (pdf).  The full report of the LibQUAL+ survey is also available in the Results Notebook (pdf).

Keep your suggestions coming!  The survey is completed, but we are always interested in your comments and ideas.  Send them in to http://library.uncw.edu/contact

More information about the LibQUAL+ Survey

LibQual+ is by the Association of Research Libraries.  During the 2011 season, 160 institutions participated, 138 of these were colleges & universities.  Over 1,000 libraries in 17 countries have participated since 2000.   The goals of the survey 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.
  • Enhance library staff members’ analytical skills for interpreting and acting on data.

Previous Survey Results