The LibQUAL+® survey evolved from a conceptual model based on the SERVQUAL instrument, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector. The Texas A&M University (TAMU) Libraries and other libraries used modified SERVQUAL instruments for several years. ARL, representing the largest research libraries in North America, partnered with TAMU to develop, test, and refine a newly adapted tool to serve the particular requirements of libraries: LibQUAL+®. After years of revision based on data collected from thousands of library users, the LibQUAL+® survey has evolved into a protocol consisting of “22 items and a box.”
The 22 core survey items measure user perceptions of service quality in three dimensions: Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place. For each item, users indicate their minimum service level, desired service level, and perceived service performance. The survey contains additional items that address information literacy outcomes, library use, and general satisfaction. An open-ended comments box provides a wealth of information for qualitative analysis. Participants also have the option to select five additional local questions to add to their survey.