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JMU Library users last spring expressed generally high satisfaction with library services and with the library as a place for study and research, according to data released this summer.
In the spring of 2004, JMU Libraries participated in the
national LibQUAL survey of library service quality. Almost 600 randomly
selected participants, faculty and students, answered a detailed set of
questions indicating how the libraries met their expectations. LibQUAL was developed and is
administered by the Association of Research Libraries. Over 200 other
institutions participated, including 121 colleges and universities. This is the
second time in two years that JMU Libraries has conducted the survey. The survey
instrument included 27 questions covering information, service, and the library
as place. The survey also included space to write comments,
which 227 respondents did.
The comments section covered collections, facilities, staff, copiers, hours, the web, and miscellaneous concerns. Many comments expanded on answers given in the survey. Other remarks covered new ground. Each category elicited both positive and negative responses, proving that you can't please everyone. In many ways the comments were the most useful part of the survey because they allowed us to pinpoint where improvements could be made. In some cases these improvements were set into motion before the survey closed! Training and customer service are two areas we are focusing on in the coming year. The 2002 survey provided us with the evidence to help obtain increased funding for access to more online resources. We expect to further improve services based on the results of this year's survey.
The LibQUAL survey does make a difference in library services and resources. In 2006 we will conduct another LibQUAL survey as part of an ongoing effort of continuous improvement. Our users' opinions are very important to providing excellent collections and services as we move forward into the future.
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