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Reading LibQUAL+ Results The University of Chicago Library LibQUAL+™ Survey Supervisors’ Meeting June 16, 2004

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What is LibQUAL+? Survey Measures perceptions of service quality Outcomes-based Gap analysis

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What is gap analysis? Gap analysis in LibQUAL+ is based on each respondent ranking the library on each of 22+ items* (using a scale of 1 to 9) according to three questions: What is my minimum acceptable level of service? What is my desired level of service? What is the library’s current level of service? * In LibQUAL+, items are statements. In other surveys, they may take the form of questions

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What is gap analysis? Means scores are calculated using these individual responses. The differences between mean scores for the three levels (minimum, perceived, desired) are called “gaps”. Gaps are reported both for the individual item mean scores and for mean scores for groups of related items (called “dimensions”). The dimensions are: library as place affect of service information control

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What are the gaps? Service adequacy gap Difference obtained by subtracting the minimum acceptable level from the perceived level of service Positive gap score indicates service is perceived as better than minimum level Negative gap score indicates service is perceived as less than minimum level

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What are the gaps? Service superiority gap Difference obtained by subtracting the desired level of service from the perceived level of service Positive gap score indicates perceived service exceeds the desired level Negative gap score indicates perceived service is less than desired level

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What does a gap look like? The LibQUAL+ results notebook * presents information about gaps in various ways. Tables Radar charts Gap bar charts * Results notebook may be found at: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/staffweb/groups/libqual/results.html

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Table Excerpted; similar to p.63 results notebook

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Radar Chart IC-3 IC-8 negative adequacy gap (red) Sample Faculty Results Similar to p.62 results notebook

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Radar Chart IC-6 negative superiority gap (yellow) Sample Faculty Results Similar to p.62 results notebook

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Radar Chart LP-5 positive superiority gap (green) Sample Faculty Results Similar to p.62 results notebook

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Radar Chart LP-3 positive adequacy gap (blue) Sample Faculty Results Similar to p.62 results notebook

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p.65 results notebook Gap bar chart p.66 results notebook

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p.65 results notebook Gap bar chart

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Representativeness

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Other Statistical Concepts Standard deviation: Measures the spread of a set of values or scores. A rule of thumb is that two standard deviations above and below the mean captures about 95% of the total spread of scores (assuming a normal distribution). Normal distribution: This is also referred to as a gaussian distribution or a bell curve. For surveys that measure attitudes or perceptions, a perfect normal distribution is uncommon.

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Standard deviation Standard deviation of scores are reported in the results notebook. Different sets of scores can have the same mean, but a very different standard deviation. Larger standard deviations in LibQUAL+ means a diversity of perceptions – we expect this because our population has different needs, expectations, and perceptions. Here’s an example: The second set of scores is much more spread out than the first (higher standard deviation). This doesn’t mean the data is worse, just that there is a larger diversity of opinion.

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In Summary LibQUAL+ results may be represented in different, but equally valid ways (radar, bar, table). Negative gaps show areas that need further study (or even action), but don’t tell you WHY the gaps are there. Further analysis is needed to see what other patterns may emerge and to help focus further assessment efforts and/or guide decision making.

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