The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has opened 2020 registration for LibQUAL+®, a leading library customer satisfaction assessment tool. For the past 20 years, libraries have depended on LibQUAL+ survey data to evaluate the needs and satisfaction levels of their users. With LibQUAL+, libraries are able to access raw data and comments to identify priorities, successes, and concerns. First-time users of the tool can use it to measure progress against peer institutions. Repeat users are able to track progress over time and assess changes made to their library since the previous survey.
Since 2000, LibQUAL+ has been utilized by 1,390 libraries in 35 countries. It has helped libraries gather over 2.8 million responses, with 37% of respondents providing additional comments.
LibQUAL+ provides libraries with the necessary tools and data for effectively allocating resources, analyzing deficits, and identifying best practices. Additionally, with LibQUAL+, libraries are able to assess users’ perceptions of customer treatment and overall library staff performance, and evaluate information resources available for users and accessibility of those resources. Libraries are also able to review their implementation of “library as place,” including their library’s environment, individual and group study spaces, and equipment. This institutional data enables libraries to determine whether their services are meeting user expectations—and develop services that better meet those expectations.
“LibQUAL+ has provided the source data for telling the story of the library’s progress over the last 7 years,” said Stephen Town, formerly of University of York (“LibQUAL+: A Quality Survey Case Study,” in Quality and the Academic Library, ed. Jeremy Atkinson [Cambridge: Chandos Publishing, 2016], 215).
“I can’t tell you how many projects we’ve had funded by the university just because we can refer back to the LibQUAL+ survey findings and say, ‘Look, this is what our users say is important and this is how we want to address that particular issue,’ ” said Michael Maciel of Texas A&M University (“LibQUAL+ Survey Results and Practical Applications,” ARL webinar, February 13, 2019, 55:50).
“In-depth analysis of survey data and comments could be used to assess relevance and achievement of goals in the current plan and as a tool for developing future strategic plans.…We found that many of the comments (both positive and negative) linked directly to goals, strategies, objectives, and actions in the strategic plan,” said Patricia Andersen and Christine Baker of Colorado School of Mines (“Using the LibQUAL+ Survey to Inform Strategic Planning,” in Proceedings of the 2018 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, December 4–6, 2018, ed. Sue Baughman, Steve Hiller, Katie Monroe, and Angela Pappalardo [Washington, DC: ARL, 2019], 287).
The LibQUAL+ 2020 survey opened on January 15, 2020. Registration is ongoing and enables participants to implement a survey at any time during the two LibQUAL+ survey sessions in 2020:
- Session I: January 15–May 31, 2020
- Session II: July 1–December 9, 2020
New participants may register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past participants may register on the LibQUAL+ website and may be eligible for reduced fees. Institutions that participated in LibQUAL+ in 2019 will receive a discount of $1,000 on their 2020 survey registration, and institutions that last participated in 2018 will receive a discount of $500.
Registration for the 2020 survey year will close on November 1, 2020.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.