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LibQUAL+® Library Survey Results 2011


LibQUAL+® Library Survey Results 2011

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    LibQUAL+® Survey Results 2011

    Summary of 2011 Lingnan LibQUAL+® Survey Results and Preliminary Report

    Demographic Summary of Respondents

    User's Highest Desired Quality of LibraryLibQUAL (library image)

    Core Questions Summary

    Written Comments

    Library's Immediate Response

    More Actions Planned

    The Library Annual Survey

    Links to full reports for the Survey Results:


 LibQual+® Survey Results 2011

In November 2011, the Library invited Lingnan students, faculty and staff to share their opinions on library services via LibQUAL+® Survey. This web-based survey was designed based on the famous SERVQUAL instrument. Since 2000, more than 1,000 libraries of all varieties worldwide have registered and used the survey to assess their service quality. 

In 2007, 6 UGC libraries conducted the first LibQUAL+® Survey as a group. This time, we and 5 other UGC libraries took part in the 2011 LibQUAL+® Survey. Administering the same survey after 4 years gives us an opportunity to make comparisons against ourselves over time and benchmark our services with our peer institutions.

This time, 1,060 users took the survey and shared their thoughts with us, more than 3 times increase in response rate from the 2007 survey. 

This survey consisted of 22 core survey items, measuring user opinions of library services quality and identifying gaps in their expectations versus their perception in 3 dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control and Library as Place. It also contains additional items that address information literacy, library use and general satisfaction. (Click here to see a complete list of survey questions.)

Besides the 22 core questions, an open-ended comments box in the survey yielded over 850 written comments. A brief qualitative analysis reveals plenty of complimentary of library staff and many suggestions for improvements. Common suggestions included more rooms and study space, computer workstations, books, AVs, etc.

We are presenting the summary of 2011 LibQUAL+® Survey below with some immediate actions we have undertaken to deal with issues we could correct now. As we further focus on analyzing and processing the survey result and your written comments in depth to help us develop a long-term strategy to improve library services, more measures for improvement and detailed analysis will come once we have time to work through matters that require planning or additional resources. We appreciate your comments and suggestions and will post more result on this website as we begin to modify library’s policies and procedures based on the feedback received.


 Summary of 2011 Lingnan LibQUAL+® Survey Results and Preliminary Report

Participants were asked to rate the statements on a scale of 1-9 (with 1 being the lowest and 9 the highest), indicating for each:

  • Minimum—the number that represents the minimum level of service that you would find acceptable
  • Desired—the number that represents the level of service that you personally want
  • Perceived—the number that represents the level of service that you believe our library currently provides


 Demographic Summary of Respondents


  Number Percentage
Undergraduate 886 83.58%
Postgraduate 67 6.32%
Academic Staff 45 4.25%
Library Staff and Other Staff 62 5.85%


  Number Percentage
Age 18-22 800 75.47%
Age 23-30 175 16.51%
Age 31-45 57 5.38%
Other Age Groups 28 2.64%

Respondents’ minimum, desired and perceived levels of service quality were measured. The means are the arithmetic average of the numbers, computed by adding the scores and dividing by the total number. The service adequacy gap score is calculated by subtracting the minimum score from the perceived score. In general, service adequacy is an indicator of the extent to which a library is meeting the minimum expectation of users. A negative service adequacy gap score indicates that users’ perceived level of service quality is below their minimum expectation. On the other hand, service superiority gap score is calculated by subtracting the desired score from the perceived score. It is an indicator of the extent to which a library is exceeding the desired expectation. A positive service superiority gap score indicates that users’ perceived service quality is above their desired level.


  UGC Libraries 2011 Lingnan 2011 Lingnan 2007
Minimum Mean 5.82 5.79 5.91
Desired Mean 7.52 7.39 7.57
Perceived Mean 6.81 6.57 6.89
Adequacy Mean 0.99 0.78 0.99
Superiority Mean -0.71 -0.81 -0.68

Based on the result above, the Lingnan Library:

1. Obtained lower scores in minimum mean, desired mean and perceived mean when compared with the first survey in 2007. In other words, users had lower expectation of library services than before and that the service quality received was also lower than before.

2. Compared less favourably with other UGC libraries taking the same survey.


 Users' Highest Desired Quality of Library

Respondents were also asked to indicate their highest desired for the library. After 4 years, many values remain the same and they are highlighted in yellow below. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students assigned the highest value for the library as a haven for study. From all user respondents, they reached a consensus on the least expected aspect (in terms of the lowest minimum mean) from library was giving users individual attention; whereas the most satisfied aspect (in terms of the highest perceived mean) from library was library staff are consistently courteous.


  Undergraduates Postgraduates Academic Staff
Highest Desired Haven for study Haven for study Journals
Highest Minimum Haven for study Willingness to help Haven for study
Lowest Minimum  Giving users individual attention Giving users individual attention Giving users individual attention
Most Satisfaction Courteous library staff Courteous library staff Courteous library staff

We can arrive at the following conclusions:

1. Students assigned the highest value to the library as a place where facilitated their study. Staff preferred to have the most access to journals which facilitated their research.

2. Even though users found library staff courteous most of the time and felt satisfied with library services, they had the least expectation for library staff to give them individual attention. 


 Core Questions Summary

These radar charts show the aggregate results for the core survey questions. Each axis represents one question. A code to identify each question is displayed at the outer point of each axis. While questions for each dimension of library service quality are scattered randomly throughout the survey, on this chart they are grouped into sections: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place.

On each axis, respondents' minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service quality are plotted, and the resulting "gaps" between the three levels (representing service adequacy or service superiority) are shaded in blue, yellow, green, and red.


Core Questions Summary for Undergraduate


Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2011 (Respondent = 886)
Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2007 (Respondent = 252)
Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2011 (Respondent = 886) Radar Chart for Undergraduate 2007 (Respondent = 252)


Core Questions Summary for Postgraduate


Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2011 (Respondent = 67)
Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2007 (Respondent = 32)
Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2011 (Respondent = 67) Radar Chart for Postgraduate 2007 (Respondent = 32)


Core Questions Summary for Academic Staff


Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2011 (Respondent = 45)
Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2007 (Respondent = 27)
Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2011 (Respondent = 45) Radar Chart for Academic Staff 2007 (Respondent = 27)


 Written Comments

In addition to mean scores, respondents’ written comments had drawn our attention to some particular aspects that required immediate action. In the 2011 survey, there were more than 566 respondents giving us more than 850 specific comments on library facilities, resources and services. Not all written comments were negative in nature. After taking out those positive comments and “no comments”, there were about 680 complaints or suggestions for improvement. Breakdowns for major issues (10 or more written comments received) are grouped as follows:


  Number Percentage
Rooms and Study Places 131 19.21%
Computers and Notebooks 106 15.54%
Books / AV Materials 72 10.56%
Printers 58 8.50%
Noise 57 8.36%
Staff 34 4.99%
Electronic Resources / Journals 34 4.99%
Photocopiers 16 2.35%
Shelving 16 2.35%
Air-Conditioning 13 1.91%
Loan Policy 10 1.47%
Network 10 1.47%

In the Academic Year 2007-08 when the first LibQUAL+® Survey was conducted, the annual entrance figure was 431,558. In 2010-11, the figure had already risen to 576,269 (33.53% increase). Naturally, such an increase in attendance created a tremendous pressure on library space, facilities and equipment, as well as information resources. We will certainly face more user demands as 600 more students are added with the 3+3+4 new academic structure to be implemented in September 2012.


 Library's Immediate Response

Since the survey, the Library had submitted proposals to the University to create more public space and add more computers in the library and to request one more librarian that will allow us to modify library services to better satisfy specific user group’s demands and to pay more attention to our users as individual. As a long-term solution, the Lingnan Library has also been working with the other UGC libraries for a proposal to construct a joint storage facility, which can store 6 million items. By transferring less used items to the joint storage, the Library can release some space to set up urgently needed seating places and study rooms. The Legislative Council is reviewing this proposal before approving the necessary funding.

We have already taken some immediate actions to address those issues which many users find problems.

  1. Added 16 new workstations and replaced 6 obsoleted pcs;
  2. Working with ITSC, we continued to monitor the network performance for improvements;
  3. Enabled and continue to improve smart card access to individual and group study rooms;
  4. Via the newly installed EZproxy, we have improved remote access to library resources;
  5. Redesigned and improved the book selection system for academic staff;
  6. Expanded journal articles inter-library loans service for year 1 and 2 students;
  7. Based on the recommendation of academic departments, we have subscribed to Archives Unbound, First World War: Personal Experiences, Periodicals Archive Online (Historical Studies) new databases;
  8. Joined Inter-Regional E-Book Consortium to add 4,563 e-book titles to the collection.


More Actions Planned

The Library has just adopted a new library liaison programme to strengthen the communication with academic departments. Through this new programme, we would like to develop better communication and work closer with academic department to improve information literacy training to our students. At the same time, academic staff will be able to channel their requests for teaching and research materials more efficiently to the Library. Even though a few thousand English e-books had been added to the collection, in the coming few months, the Library will continue to expand its e-book collection through subscription to a large Chinese e-book database. During the coming examination period, we shall organize more manpower to minimize the noise problem and deter unauthorized reservation of seating in order to provide a better environment for study. Concerning the complaint on poor service attitude, we have already reminded staff and student assistants to pay particular attention when they work with library users.

We are already working on a plan to better coordinate library’s internal communication and cross-functional training. We also plan to work through the summer to create opportunities for library team members to work together to address comments in their areas. We will implement new software to make it easier for users to access library resources and modify existing policies and procedures to further improve library services and address users’ comments and suggestions.


The Library Annual Survey

The Library has been conducting an annual survey since 1997. More than 30 service items are measured. Comments and feedback are invited at the end of the questionnaire. More information on the annual survey is available on the Library Website. Since the LibQUAL+® Survey is conducted every 4 years, we shall continue to rely on the annual library survey to monitor long-term user satisfaction.

The Library will continue to listen and act upon user suggestions and try our best to make necessary changes to improve library services, space and equipment. If you have further comments and suggestions, please feel free to let the Library know.

The Library also welcomes any opportunity to work with academic departments or other university libraries to study user expectations and improve library services. Please contact Tommy Yeung, Associate Librarian, for proposal of collaboration or new service initiatives for improvement.