LibQUAL+®: the UK and Irish experience

Killick, Selena and Town, J. Stephen (2012). LibQUAL+®: the UK and Irish experience. In: 9th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services (Hall, Ian; Thornton, Stephen and Town, Stephen eds.), 22-26 Aug 2011, University of York, University of York, pp. 201–204.



Purpose: This paper reports the progress and development of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) LibQUAL+® consortium in the UK and Ireland since 2003, together with analyses of the results of the survey instrument from international and national perspective.

Approach: A consortium of SCONUL member libraries has been using LibQUAL+® in the UK and Ireland since 2003. Over 70 UK and Irish Higher Education Libraries have implemented the survey providing a wealth of data on the quality of academic library provision. This paper examines the composition of the consortium and its implementation patterns. The results of the surveys at a national and international level are discussed with statistical analyses on users’ expectations of libraries, how these are changing over time, and how successful libraries are at meeting these expectations. Demonstrable outcomes from LibQUAL+® at a local and national level are also presented.

Findings: Customer perceptions of library services within the UK have increased since 2003 indicating the results of action taken has had a positive impact. The opportunity for improvement does however remain, encouraging us to strive to further in our quest for the perfect library service.

Value: This paper will be of interest to those involved in library surveys or other methods of listening to users. In particular it may assist the development of deeper understanding of library users’ expectations in a changing environment, and will also therefore be of value to all those concerned with library strategy and development.

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