LibQUAL+® is the result of 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. LibQUAL+® provides a
means to measure the quality of service to users. It measures library users'
perceptions of service quality and identifies gaps between desired, perceived,
and minimum expectations of service. The project is undertaken by the
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in
collaboration with Texas A & M University.
The goals of the survey are to:
Libraries are moving towards outcome-based assessment, instead of relying
merely on input, output, or resource metrics. Outcome measures may show how well
an organization serves its users; they demonstrate an institution's efficiency
and effectiveness. LibQUAL+® is one of several outcome-based assessment
efforts begun under the ARL New Measures Initiative.
Individual libraries participating in LibQUAL+® can identify where their
services need improvement, in the view of their users. They also can compare
their service quality with that of peer institutions in an effort to develop
benchmarks and understanding of best practices across institutions. By
initiating action based on the information they receive from their library users
and from other LibQUAL+® participants, libraries can provide services that
are more closely aligned with user expectations. As library services are
improved, the ultimate goal is to surpass user expectations in search of
excellent library services that better help users to reach their learning and
There are about 150 participating institutions around the world.
The LibQUAL+® survey instrument is adapted from an instrument called
SERVQUAL, which is grounded in the "Gap Theory of Service Quality" and
was developed by the marketing research team of A. Parasuraman, V.A. Zeithaml,
and L.L. Berry. The Texas A & M University Libraries and other libraries had
been using modified SERVQUAL instruments for several years. These applications
showed the need for a newly adapted SERVQUAL protocol that serves the needs of
libraries; thus LibQUAL+® was born. The original SERVQUAL instrument was
regrounded based on a series of interviews with library users. The regrounded
instrument, called LibQUAL+®, was refined with each iteration of the survey
through the pilot phase (1999-2003).
LibQUAL+® is a Web-based survey. Each participating library gathers a
random sample of email addresses representative of their user population and
sends a message to the sample encouraging recipients to complete the survey on
the Web. Survey data are transmitted directly from the central LibQUAL+®
server to a database. The combined data are then analyzed, and reports that
provide information on how users perceive the quality of their library services
are generated for the individual libraries. All responses to the survey are
entirely anonymous and cannot be linked to individual email addresses.
You will need to match the UH Manoa department, program, or school you are in
to the Discipline headings used by the LibQUAL+® Survey. View the
Discipline Choices if you are unsure which discipline heading to
choose on the survey. If you encounter any difficulties in completing the
survey, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org - libqual at hawaii dot
Yes, results of combined data from the survey will be posted on this Web
site in mid-2010.
For more information, visit the LibQUAL+® homepage at
If you have questions or comments about the University of Hawai'i's
participation in the LibQUAL+® survey, you may send them to email@example.com - libqual at hawaii dot