Lib4RI Update #15 – Results of our User Survey

Rainer Rees-Mertins, Lothar Nunnenmacher

In autumn 2017 Lib4RI conducted a survey among the library‘s users for the first time since it was established. The aim was to determine how users perceive the quality of our services. In order to compare the results with those of other libraries, we chose the LibQUAL+® questionnaire of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

304 people took part in the survey. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to do so! The participation rate in the survey was 7.3 % of potential users. It was highest at the WSL and lowest at the PSI. The most important user groups of Lib4RI, researchers and PhD students, were well represented. Particularly pleasing was the high number of 105 comments received.

According to the survey results, users are very satisfied with the library. Questions on overall quality of service and support for research and education each received 7.7 points on a scale of 1 to 9, resulting in a better score for Lib4RI than for the counterpart libraries of American, British and French consortia that participated in the LibQUAL+® survey in 2017. Approval was even greater on the question of how users are generally treated in the library, with a score of 8.1 out of 9 points.

The three categories of service quality are judged differently by users. In the categories «Library as place» and «Affect of Service», the perceived quality of service exceeds the level desired. In the category «Information Control», the perceived quality of service does not quite reach the level desired, but is well above the minimum acceptable level. An exception within this category is the print media offering, which obviously exceeds – relatively low – expectations.

In principle we can be satisfied with the values achieved. Nevertheless, the survey also shows which library services could be improved. The greatest potential for improvement lies in the category «Information Control». The media offering is rated more positively than discoverability and access to information. The planned web relaunch will certainly improve this. The analysis of individual user groups also reveals the need for action with regard to optimizing the rooms for the doctoral students.

Most of the comments received express praise and thanks to the library. A pleasing number of comments also made concrete suggestions, which we have included in the report together with our answers. We have already been able to implement some of the suggestions; for others we are still evaluating opportunities for improvement.

The very good rating compared to other libraries is a confirmation of our motto «excellent services for excellent research». At the same time, it is an incentive for us to further improve our services in the future.

You can find the complete report here. The report is only available in German. Nevertheless, we answered all comments in their own language to ease the respective authors’ understanding. Please do not hesitate to contact us at @email if you have questions or comments on the report.