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ClimateQUAL®: Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment—Call for Participation 2015–2016

rainbow-over-peckham-library
image CC-BY by Julian Burgess

ARL invites participation in the ClimateQUAL survey in 2015–2016. The online survey collects information about: (a) library staff perceptions of the organization’s commitment to the principles of diversity, (b) staff perceptions of organizational policies and procedures, and (c) staff attitudes. The survey addresses such issues as diversity, teamwork, learning, fairness, current managerial practices, and staff attitudes and beliefs.

ARL, in partnership with the University of Maryland (UMD) Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/OP) Program, offers the ClimateQUAL protocol to the library community. The team is currently seeking eight to ten additional US, Canadian, and UK institutions to participate in 2015–2016. Please note that participants need to survey at least 50 part-time or full-time employees, possibly including student workers.

ClimateQUAL Lite

Participating libraries have the option of administering ClimateQUAL Lite, a shorter form of the ClimateQUAL survey that preserves data integrity while allowing institutions to assess library staff perceptions of many of the same issues covered by the long form of the survey.

Benefits of Participation in ClimateQUAL

ClimateQUAL is an effective management tool that uses deep assessment of a library’s staff to plumb the dimensions of organizational culture important for a healthy library. The survey is grounded in the participation of 55 libraries to date. Active participation since 2007 has enabled the ClimateQUAL research in developing a model of the healthy organization. Using normative scales and institutional survey results effectively, significant improvements can be achieved. Effective techniques for remediation engage the entire staff. The tool is a must-do during the first 100 days for an organization with new leadership, as it provides useful baseline information.

Participant Responsibilities

Each library participating as a partner is asked for the following support:

  • Submit the enrollment fee ($5,000 per participant).
  • Assign a contact person to work with the ClimateQUAL team throughout the project in 2015 and 2016.
  • Commit for the contact person to attend ClimateQUAL meetings and webinars as forums of exchange and learning from one another.
  • Commit to repeat the survey periodically to measure the impact of improvement strategies over time.
  • Commit to work with ClimateQUAL community members to share strategies for using evidence-based methods as a tool for organizational and service improvement.

More Information

Detailed information about the ClimateQUAL protocol and its background is provided on the ClimateQUAL website, including recent articles, FAQs, a 20-minute video describing the theory behind ClimateQUAL, a sample report, and a bibliography of relevant research publications.

Potential ClimateQUAL participants may meet with ARL’s Martha Kyrillidou later this week during the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Send e-mail to martha@arl.org to schedule a meeting.

For more information or to express interest in participating in 2015 or spring 2016, send e-mail to climatequal@arl.org.


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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