Library to survey users

By Herb Mathisen

Students may get an interesting e-mail next week. The MacKimmie Library will e-mail faculty, 800 graduate students and 1,200 undergraduates, linking them to a library service quality questionnaire.

The LibQUAL survey will let the library personnel know what library user expectations are, what they accept as their minimum level of service and what their perceptions of the actual services provided by the library are.

“The survey really tells us what is important to users,” said Darlene Warren, Assistant Director of Client Services at the MacKimmie Library. “It’s proven to be very useful in showing us areas where we need to focus.”

Warren points to how the results obtained in the 2002 library survey have been vital to their planning over the past two years. For example, in the 2002 survey undergraduate students showed they were satisfied with library services, however, graduate students had issues with the depth of research provided by the library, as well as a problem accessing information from their homes or offices.

Concerns raised in a previous LibQUAL survey have allowed the university to make significant improvements to future plans. Warren stated they addressed graduate students’ concerns, highlighting the development of electronic resources now available on the library’s website.

The LibQUAL survey also allows the U of C to compare the library services of other universities and colleges across North America.

“We can benchmark ourselves against the services of libraries of other institutions,” said Warren, adding it lets them see how user satisfaction at the U of C library stacks up against other schools.