Libraries aim to measure quality of customer service and collections

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State University Libraries want to hear from all library patrons about perceptions of the quality of library services and resources to inform future planning. Beginning in October, Penn State faculty, staff and students will receive an email invitation to participate in the Web-based survey.

Called LibQUAL+ it is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand and act upon users’ opinions of service quality. Created by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), LibQUAL+ aims to:

-- Foster a culture of excellence in providing library service
-- Help libraries better understand user perceptions of library service quality
-- Collect and interpret library user feedback systematically over time
-- Provide libraries with comparable assessment information from peer institutions
-- Identify best practices in library service
-- Enhance library staff members’ analytical skills for interpreting and acting on data

Since 2000, more than 1,200 North American libraries have participated in LibQUAL+, including college and university libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries and public libraries. More recently LibQUAL+ has expanded internationally, with participating institutions in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. This growing community of participants and its extensive dataset are rich resources for improving library services.

Penn State University Libraries have participated in previous iterations of this survey. Rich in information, past surveys have guided the libraries to implement changes and will be combined with the current survey to become a body of user perceptions that will inform the development of the libraries’ Strategic Plan.

More information about LibQUAL+ is available at For more information on Penn State’s participation, contact Alan Shay, data analyst, at or 814-863-5448.

Last Updated September 29, 2013