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MU libraries assessment: 2001 standards exceeded in 2003

Two years ago Miami’s library system was recognized as the institution that benchmarked the best library service among 44 institutions participating in the LibQUAL+ assessment survey.

This year, more than 10 times as many libraries, along with Miami, used the assessment tool: Miami ranks among the leaders in all benchmarked areas of the survey and has exceeded the standards it set in 2001 in nearly every area of service.

LibQUAL+, a standardized 33-question Web-based survey, helps assess client expectations regarding the services, environment and central outcomes of academic and research libraries. It allows comparisons with and facilitates benchmarking between institutions and over time. Respondents rate their perception of library service at their specific institution and how it compares to their minimum and ideal expectations for that same service.

Miami University libraries distributed the survey in 2001 and again in March 2003. More than 300 institutions have used the survey in the past four years; Miami’s 2003 survey results were compared with aggregate scores from Ohio’s four-year institutions in 2003 (33 public and private) and with 2002 data from Miami’s “peer” and “aspirational” institutions.

Results from more than 900 respondents at Miami indicate:

• Clients registered greater satisfaction with their current ability to access information than they did two years ago; Miami had greater success in surpassing client’s minimum expectations – and were closer to attaining their ideal expectations – than all of the benchmarked groups;

• Clients registered overwhelmingly positive satisfaction with convenient hours (late-night service was begun two years ago at the request of students);

• Miami approached the client’s ideal expectations more closely than any other benchmarked institution group in interactions with library staff;

• Clients registered significantly higher satisfaction with the quality of library facilities than in 2001, and Miami came closer to meeting ideal expectations than any other benchmarked group;

• Miami outperformed bench-marked groups and its 2001 results in the area of personal control, or how successful a library is in facilitating efficient, independent research; and

• Miami scored significantly higher than benchmarked groups, and improved on its 2001 score, on how library services positively impact learning, teaching and research outcomes.

Date Published: 11/20/2003
Volume: 23   Number: 16


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