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General User Surveys in Quality Development – Discovering Best Practices in Library Services

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Susanne Dalsgaard Krag
Håkan Carlsson
Tore Torngren
Publicerad i LIBER Annual Conference 2018
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Göteborgs universitetsbibliotek, Bibliotekskansliet
Språk en
Ämnesord General user surveys; Methods for library development
Ämneskategorier Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

In 2015, LIBER commissioned the “Working group on Research and Education”. The goal was to collect best practices in library support to both education and research, in part by examining user survey data. As a first step the group started a European LibQUAL consortium, which was evaluated in 2016. As a second step, a survey sent to all 301 European LIBER university libraries asking questions pertaining to the use of general user surveys (GUS) and other methods aimed at improving library quality. The collated result from the 127 answering libraries (42%) gave a good indication of current best practises in library development. A majority of the libraries (77%) have performed a GUS during the period 2013-2016. A key focus of our study was on the library service improvements made as a result of GUS feedback. Responses related to different activity areas were broken down into more than 400 fragments which were coded, categorized and analyzed. The fragments depict numerous small steps that lead to substantial improvements, with the largest activities in the areas of physical library standard, communication/marketing and quality of the information literacy tuition. The GUS appears to be used most to justify minor development steps, rather than large strategic shifts. Our survey results also indicate how GUS are best performed. While small libraries have limited resources for these types of analyses, our results indicate they more successfully employ other in-the-physical-library methods of information gathering regarding user needs. Nearly half of the libraries develop their own survey instruments. Appropriate follow-up after the survey is important for showing a usable result. The key step is producing a written report, which increased the success in attaining changes to services by nearly 50%. Other quality development methods and general library strengths were also analysed. The most common method is placing a digital “user suggestion box” on the library website, followed by systematic processes to ensure continuous quality improvements. The library strengths most valued by users were in the areas of the physical library, researcher support- especially in the area of scholarly communication- and information literacy tuition. User feedback helps build institutional profile and image. In the presentation, we will give further examples of how the libraries define their strengths in different activity areas, in response to user input.

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