The Open UniversitySkip to content

Using LibQUAL+® to Identify Commonalities in Customer Satisfaction: The Secret to Success?

Killick, Selena; van Weerden, Anne and van Weerden, Fransje (2014). Using LibQUAL+® to Identify Commonalities in Customer Satisfaction: The Secret to Success? Performance Measurement and Metrics, 15(1/2) pp. 23–31.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (323kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


– What is the key to library user satisfaction? Can LibQUAL+® help in the quest for delivering a quality library service? The purpose of this paper is to present international research into library customer satisfaction as measured by the LibQUAL+® survey methodology. Commonalities of satisfaction and dissatisfaction have been identified which influence the customers overall view of the library. This knowledge can be used to further increase customer satisfaction through targeting these areas for service improvement.

– The LibQUAL+® results from SCONUL Libraries, Utrecht and Leiden Universities were analysed to explore the differences between customers who were very satisfied, and those who were very dissatisfied, with the service. Results from each of the three dimensions of service quality were reviewed separately. The survey results from respondents who had given a high satisfaction mean score to one of the three dimensions were analysed to assess if they had also given high satisfaction mean scores overall. This process was then repeated for those who had given low satisfaction mean scores.

– Respondents with high satisfaction mean scores in the Information Control dimension were discovered to have the largest positive scores for the overall average perceived scores, indicating they are the most satisfied customers. When reviewing the surveys with low satisfaction mean scores in the Affect of Service dimension it was discovered that these respondents also had the largest negative scores for the overall average perceived scores, indicating they are the most dissatisfied customers. The findings show that both information resources and customer service affects the overall opinion of the library service for all customer groups.

Research limitations/implications
– Good information resources has a positive effect on customers’ opinions of the library just as much as poor service from library staff has a detrimental effect. Any conclusions drawn from these findings should recognise that the research is limited to measuring service quality within the confines of the LibQUAL+® survey methodology. The research has not investigated the reasons for the commonality, nor do these averages say anything about the motivation for each individual respondent to give these scores in the survey.

Practical implications
– Statistical analyses confirm that these findings hold for every user group. Therefore, for the library manager seeking to deliver a quality library service it will be important to take both of these factors into account and deliver information not only in a professional, but also in a helpful manner.

– Although based on previous research, the extension of the analysis from an institutional level to an international consortia level strengthens the initial research conclusions. The findings, implications, and conclusions are valuable to library managers seeking to improve the customer perceptions of their library service, providing evidence of factors that influence customers’ opinions.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN: 1467-8047
Keywords: LibQUAL+®; Academic Library Performance; Customer Satisfaction
Academic Unit/School: Learner and Discovery Services (LDS) > Library Services
Learner and Discovery Services (LDS)
Item ID: 45854
Depositing User: Selena Killick
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 15:46
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2020 14:24
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU