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4 th International JISC/CNI Conference Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "4 th International JISC/CNI Conference Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment."— Presentation transcript:


2 4 th International JISC/CNI Conference Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment Service Quality Assessment in a Digital Library Environment Edinburgh, Scotland June 27, 2002 Joseph Boykin, Fred Heath, Duane Webster

3 Overview of Discussions 1.New Models for Understanding and Describing Library Success 2.ARLs New Measures Initiative 3.LibQUAL+ Project Development 4.Experience with LibQUAL+ 5.Conclusions and Next Steps

4 The Association of Research Libraries A SSOCIATION OF R ESEARCH L IBRARIES Mission:Shaping and influencing forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. Members:123 major research libraries in North America. Ratios:4% of the higher education institutions providing 40% of the information resources. Users:3 million students and faculty served. Expenditures:$2.35 billion annually, $727 million for acquisitions of which 9% is invested in access to electronic resources.

5 The Problem of Assessment in Research Libraries ARL Membership Criteria Index variables emphasize inputs, primarily expenditures To rise in the ARL Index it is only necessary to spend more No demonstrable relationship between expenditures and service quality The lack of metrics describing performance


7 ARL New Measures Initiative Collaboration among member leaders with strong interest in this area Specific projects developed with different models for exploration Intent to make resulting tools and methodologies available to full membership and wider community

8 ARL New Measures Projects Demonstration project for service effectiveness measures (LibQUAL+ ) Project to define usage measures for electronic information resources (includes institutional outcomes) Investigation of role libraries play in support of the research process Investigation of role libraries can play in campus learning outcomes activities Identification of cost-drivers and development of cost-benefit studies

9 Assessment The difficulty lies in trying to find a single model or set of simple indicators that can be used by different institutions, and that will compare something across large groups that is by definition only locally applicable –i.e., how well a library meets the needs of its institution. Librarians have either made do with oversimplified national data or have undertaken customized local evaluations of effectiveness, but there has not been devised an effective way to link the two Sarah Pritchard, Library Trends, 1996

10 LibQUAL+ Description LibQUAL+ TM is a research and development project undertaken to define and measure library service quality across institutions and to create useful quality-assessment tools for local planning.

11 The Purpose of Our Research To fill a knowledge void in modeling the dimensions of library service quality from a user perspective Based upon the model, to develop a web- delivered, effective total market survey instrument equivalent for service quality assessment in academic libraries Using the derived instrument to recommend a process for an ongoing program of comparative outcome measurement for academic libraries

12 LibQUAL+ Project Goals 1.Development of web-based tools for assessing library service quality 2.Development of mechanisms and protocols for evaluating libraries 3.Identification of best practices in providing library service 4.Establishment of a library service quality assessment program at ARL

13 Project Resources LibQUAL+ TM is an ARL/Texas A&M University joint effort. The project is supported in part by a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Educations Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE).

14 LibQUAL+ TM Team ARL Duane Webster Martha Kyrillidou Kaylyn Hipps Julia Blixrud Jonathan Sousa Consuella Waller TAMU Fred Heath Colleen Cook Bruce Thompson Yvonna Lincoln Trey Thompson Julie Guidry

15 LibQUAL+ TM Project History Sept. 1999 Jan2000 July 2000 Sept. 2000 Oct. 2000 Jan. 2001 June 2001 9/99 - ARL launches New Measures Initiative which includes the study of service effectiveness known as SERVQUAL spearheaded by Texas A&M University. 1/00 - Initial 12 institutions begin the SERVQUAL study led by the Texas A&M team. 7/00 - LibQUAL+ as a distinct library-based assessment tool is presented. 9/00 - ARL and Texas A&M awarded a FIPSE grant to fund further development of the LibQUAL+ project. 10/00 - The ARL symposium, New Culture of Assessment in Academic Libraries Measuring Service Quality attracts a group of 170 people. 1/01 - Representatives from 43 research and university libraries participating in the Spring 2001 Implementation meet in Washington, DC during ALA midwinter. 6/01 - National Science Foundation awards grant to ARL and Texas A&M to adapt LibQUAL+ for NSDL

16 LibQUAL+ Contribution Grounded questions yield data of sufficient granularity to be of local use Normative data across cohort group at first and higher order levels Surfaces Best Practices Web approach makes little demand of local resources while compiling robust dataset

17 Relationships: perceptions, service quality and satisfaction ….only customers judge quality; all other judgments are essentially irrelevant Zeithaml, Parasuraman, Berry. (1999). Delivering quality service. NY: The Free Press.

18 LibQUAL+ TM Participants Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Spring 2001Spring 2000Spring 2002 12 Participants 43 Participants 170 Participants For More Information about Participants: Visit the LibQUAL+ web site.


20 Dimensions of Library Service Quality

21 _____________________________________________________________________________ Factor_______ _ No. I II III IVItem Core _____________________________________________________________________________ 32.84947.12848.24465.13335 1 Willingness to help users 33.80847.13662.25348.14147 1 Giving users individual attention 7.80757.17881.12781.21125 1 Employees deal with users caring fashion 50.79273.19288.18847.12497 1 Employees who are consistently courteous 31.77262.16358.26461.20061 1 Employees have knowledge answer questions 5.74072.14754.18453.29624 1 Employees understand needs of users 3.74052.15102.17296.20793 1 Readiness to respond to users' questions 18.71718.19757.18289.26766 1 Employees who instill confidence in users 43.62487.22402.29970.28256 0 Dependability handling service problems 20.16556.87679.11430.16236 2 A haven for quiet and solitude 2.17739.83172.08498.13901 2 A meditative place 19.22362.83147.14705.22566 2 A contemplative environment 25.16013.80492.18894.16628 2 Space that facilitates quiet study 41.20398.80204.17599.20255 2 A place for reflection and creativity 37.22528.12353.78405.15466 * website enabling me locate info on my own 28.19602.09611.75780.13173 * elec resources accessible home or office 14.33339.16156.60389.31109 * access tools allow me find on my own 45.30467.23784.59090.28919 3 Modern equip me easily access info I need 17.35390.18467.55690.41864 * info easily accessible for independent use 29.30136.21018.55341.38474 4 Convenient access to library collections 11.13494.23183.18868.73636 3 Comprehensive print collections 39.14894.23743.29367.60350 3 Complete runs of journal titles 16.29445.19831.22384.60107 3 Interdisciplinary library needs addressed 9.27782.05333.16331.57866 4 Timely document delivery/interlibrary loan 8.22850.18484.13137.56343 0 Convenient business hours ________________________________________________________________ LibQUAL+ Core Questions Y1

22 Affect of Service Emerged as the dominant factor early in our work Absorbed several of the original SERVQUAL questions measuring Responsiveness, Assurance and Empathy In the current analysis also includes Reliability All in all: the Human Dimension of Service Quality

23 Library as Place Transcends the SERVQUAL dimension of Tangibles to include the idea of the library as the campus center of intellectual activity As long as physical facilities are adequate, library as place may not be an issue

24 Personal Control How users want to interact with the modern library Personal control of the information universe in general and web navigation in particular

25 Access to Information Ubiquity of access: information delivered in the format, location and time of choice Comprehensive collections

26 Project Deliverables Print and web-based results include: –Aggregate Summaries –Demographics by Library –Item Summaries –Dimension Summaries –A copy of the survey instrument –Dimensions measured for survey implementation









35 Two Interpretation Frameworks Score Norms Zone of Tolerance

36 Score Norms Norm Conversion Tables facilitate the interpretation of observed scores using norms created for a large and representative sample. LibQUAL+ TM norms have been created at both the individual and institutional level

37 C

38 C Zone of Tolerance The area between minimally acceptable and desired service quality ratings Perception ratings ideally fall within the Zone of Tolerance



41 LibQUAL+ Fundamental Contributions to the Measurement of Effective Delivery of Library Services Shift the focus of assessment from mechanical expenditure- driven metrics to user-centered measures of quality Re-ground gap theory for the library sector, especially academic libraries Determine the degree to which information derived from local data can be generalized, providing much needed best practices information Demonstrate the efficacy of large-scale administration of user-centered assessment transparently across the web

42 LibQual+ 2000 and 2001 Results





47 NSF Grant Assess service quality in digital libraries 3 year period Adopt LibQUAL+ instrument for use in the Science, Math, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library community (NSDL)

48 NDSL LibQUAL+ Goals Define dimensions of digital library service quality from the users perspectives Develop tool for measuring user perceptions and expectations of digital library service quality across NSDL digital library contexts Identify digital library best practices that permit generalizations across operations and development platforms

49 NDSL LibQUAL+ Activities 120-200 qualitative interviews to contribute to identifying dimensions of digital library service quality Test and refine dimensions of digital library service quality and self-sufficiency through development of total market survey Implement survey across variety of organizational and digital library implementations

50 LibQUAL+ TM Related Documents LibQUAL+ TM Web Site LibQUAL+ TM Bibliography Survey Participants Procedures Manual f

51 LibQUAL+ Related Documents LibQUAL+ Web Site LibQUAL+ Bibliography woof

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