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The 2007 LibQUAL Canada Experience Sam Kalb, Library Assessment & IT Projects Coordinator Queens University Library, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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Presentation on theme: "The 2007 LibQUAL Canada Experience Sam Kalb, Library Assessment & IT Projects Coordinator Queens University Library, Kingston, Ontario, Canada"— Presentation transcript:

1 the 2007 LibQUAL Canada Experience Sam Kalb, Library Assessment & IT Projects Coordinator Queens University Library, Kingston, Ontario, Canada Email: 2008 Library Assessment Conference

2 LibQUAL+ established survey instrument for academic libraries Challenges & costs to build a better Canadian survey instrument & national support infrastructure

3 20 Canadian LibQUAL+ participants to 2006 but never more than 10 in any given year Need to develop relevant comparators reflecting the realities of Canadian education All Canadian universities publicly funded Education a provincial (state) jurisdiction By 2006, LibQUAL+ was the primary instrument used by Canadian academic libraries to assess library service quality

4 Est. & funded Est. & funded by Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) in Jan. 2006 Goal: Goal: create a larger database of Canadian content that would offer more meaningful benchmarking of services for Canadian academic research libraries Unique Opportunity: Unique Opportunity: to engage the broader Canadian academic and research library community in developing a national service quality assessment survey

5 Largest LibQUAL+ consortium: Largest LibQUAL+ consortium: 46 universities, 7 community colleges and 3 federal government libraries from across Canada 66% of the libraries had never done the survey 66% of the libraries had never done the survey including some smaller institutions who would not have considered participating on their own Bilingual Environment: Bilingual Environment: English-language, French- language and bilingual institutions.

6 What factors went into establishing and conducting this large and successful consortial project? Governance and Support Project Organization & Management Communication & Engagement Active recruitment of participants

7 Governing body: Governing body: CARL Committee on Effectiveness Measures and Statistics Funding: Funding: annual budgets for 2006 &2007 Admin. Support: Admin. Support: CARL staff

8 Coordination: Coordination: Dedicated Project Leader working in consultation with participants (official contacts) Underlying assumption: Underlying assumption: most members did not have dedicated assessment staff to manage the process successfully on their own Project management objective: Project management objective: guide consortium members through the planning process, via discrete, manageable sets of actions; each stage with its own timelines and deliverables.

9 Moderated discussion/announcement list Members encouraged to contribute in shaping each phase of the project Timelines and action items were revised at each stage based on member input. Highest priority: Highest priority: Every query answered in a timely fashion &, in most cases, exchange shared with the membership

10 Building critical mass (invitations to join via national & regional library councils) Individual invitations to encourage maximum participation by leading Canadian institutions Rapid response to queries from potential participants, incl. support documentation to help persuade reluctant or wary administrators

11 Major recruitment & project management tool Goal: Goal: to provide an easy to use, one-stop resource for member libraries – with material, relevant to Canadian libraries, that could be readily adapted by individual libraries for their use. Updated look Updated look throughout the project (from early focus on attracting participants to final focus on the survey results & their analysis

12 Helped consortium participants to analyze their LibQUAL+ results effectively 1st Canadian library assessment conference Provided 1 st forum for Canadian librarians engaged/interested in assessment to meet & network Attempted to encourage libraries to start building a culture of assessment

13 Standard LibQUAL consortial notebook, aggregated by user category, library type, and survey language The Consortial, on behalf of CARL and regional councils in Ontario (OCUL) and Quebec (CREPUQ), contracted with ARL for custom consortial notebooks representing their member libraries The councils all approved the posting of the aggregate notebooks on the consortial web site.

14 The Consortium received the complete data set representing the results for all 48,000 consortium respondents Data set and subsets made available to all consortium participants in spreadsheet or SPSS format (with individual identifiable data, such as the institution name, names of campus libraries, local discipline groups, etc. replaced with masking codes)

15 93.6% of wanted to take the LibQUAL+ survey again as members of the consortium 80% preferred LibQUAL+ over developing a home- grown alternative; slight preference among respondents for a more abbreviated LibQUAL+ Lite over the full survey Members split evenly between 2 & 3 year options for preferred frequency of future consortial surveys Ratings for consortial support and responsiveness were very high

16 Demands on staff time to plan the survey & to review, analyze & act on the results – greatest for libraries with fewer staff. Limited data analysis expertise. Few community college participants in the 2007 survey & widely differing mandates among the Canadian provinces as to clientele served and types of academic and non-academic programs. Need for more web resources aimed at community colleges Limited benchmarking value for federal government libraries who each have such widely different clientele and mandates

17 Alternative, briefer LibQUAL+ surveys Alternative delivery mechanisms Customizable set of user types linkable to a set of standard user categories (similar to discipline group mapping) Customizable labels mapped to the same survey concepts for different cultures (e.g. gender instead of sex) More effective mapping & management of survey questions in different languages

18 Despite the challenges, the 48,000 consortial responses to the 2007 survey have provided a rich, unique resource of assessment data for Canadian academic and research libraries that can only grow more valuable each time the consortium runs the survey.

19 Thank You!

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