Survey FAQ

Every three years UBC’s Okanagan Library has surveyed students and faculty to learn about their experience and expectations of the library. Learn more about the survey tool, completing the survey, and the results below. Complete the web-based survey, which will take about 5 minutes to complete at 

Survey Overview

1. What is the LibQUAL+® survey?
Service quality has always been the focus of libraries; LibQUAL+® is intended to provide a measure of the value of library service quality across multiple academic and research libraries. The current LibQUAL+® instrument measures library users’ perceptions of their libraries’ service quality and identifies gaps between minimal, desired and perceived levels of service.

UBC Okanagan Library will use LibQUAL+® to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users’ opinions of service quality. LibQUAL+® is offered to the library community by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The growing community of participants, and its extensive data set, are rich resources for improving library services. You can learn more about LibQUAL+® on their website.

2. What does the survey measure?
The instrument addresses three service quality dimensions that have been found to be valid in previous assessments of library services: Affect of Service, Library as Place, Information Control. Each question has three parts that ask respondents to indicate (1) the minimum service level they will accept, (2) the desired service level they expect, and (3) the perceived level of service currently provided.

3. How will this survey benefit the University of British Columbia Okanagan community?
As UBC Okanagan Library receives information about areas needing improvement, this project will allow it to be more responsive to users’ needs and provide services that are better aligned to their expectations.

4. How and when is the survey being conducted?
The survey will be conducted beginning January 18th 2016. Participants will receive an email asking them to participate and providing a link to the online survey. It will also be advertised online using the Library’s website and social media accounts. The data for all participating institutions will be collected on secure servers located in the Texas A&M University Library. Each response will be stored separately as it reaches the server, and survey results will ultimately be reported back to UBC Okanagan Library as aggregate mean score data.

5. Are responses confidential?
Yes. The LibQUAL+® approach to confidentiality is guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. Although some information is captured from respondents, such as network and email addresses, privacy is protected in two ways.
1) Only very indirect information is captured which would be difficult to trace back to an individual.
2) Everything possible is done to separate personal information from survey responses. Email addresses are not saved with the responses.

6. What survey instrument is being used?
The LibQUAL+® survey evolved from a conceptual model based on the SERVQUAL instrument, a popular tool for assessing service quality in the private sector grounded in the “Gap Theory of Service Quality.” From 1999, ARL, representing the largest research libraries in North America, partnered with Texas A&M University Libraries to develop, test, and refine LibQUAL+®.

The questionnaire is straightforward and involves no deception or coercion. Potential respondents may elect not to proceed with the survey after reading the guarantees of confidentiality and privacy.

7. How can I get more information about LibQUAL+?
Please contact the LibQUAL+® Project Coordinator at To see results from previous LibQUAL+® surveys at UBC Okanagan, visit Library Statistics and Data. For more information regarding the survey, see ARL’s LibQUAL+® website.

Completing Survey

1. How long will the survey take?
The survey should now take about 5 minutes to complete.

2. Will there be any incentives for participating?
Incentive prizes of an iPad mini and 4 $25 gift cards for the UBC Bookstore will be offered as thanks to participants. At the end of the web-based survey, respondents may elect to include an email address, which will enter them in a draw.

3. Can I skip questions that don’t apply to me?
Do not skip any questions in the LibQUAL+® survey! If you do not wish to answer a question or feel a question does not apply to you, select NA (not applicable). Surveys whose core questions are not completely filled out are not counted in the aggregate scores.

4. What Internet browsers are supported for the survey?
Any browser should work so long as it is not too old. The survey does not rely on browser features such as Java or cookies.

5. Is the survey available with text-to-speech web browsers?
Yes, the survey is compatible with the JAWS screen reader software.

6. Why isn’t the survey at a UBC web address?
The survey is administered through the Association of Research Libraries and Texas A&M University, and the survey and data are housed on secure Texas A&M servers.

7. What if I cannot open the link (URL) from my email?
If you have trouble opening the URL from within your email message, you can copy the URL and paste it into your Web browser. If you still cannot access the survey, you can contact the UBC Okanagan LibQUAL+® Project Coordinator at

8. Why does the survey seem to repeat the same question(s)?
Repetition or redundancy in questions allows the survey designers to analyze the validity of each service quality dimension through statistical methods.

9. Why are reminders sent to those who have already completed the survey?
We have no way of knowing who has already completed the survey. Reminders, therefore, are distributed to everyone in the survey group.

Survey Results

1. What will be done with the survey results?
Survey data are transmitted directly from the LibQUAL+® server to a database. The data are then analyzed and reports are generated for individual libraries that provide information on how users perceive the quality of their service. Participating institutions will have access to summary results for each institution, allowing for comparisons among peer institutions and all participating academic institutions. This will aid in developing benchmarks and understanding best practices across institutions, and will help UBC Library to align services with user expectations.

2. What information is shared with other institutions?
Summary statistics only are shared with other institutions. The survey summary results will be made available to participants via the World Wide Web on a password-protected website. Users’ comments (from the comments section) will be made available to the users’ institution.

3. What do the survey results look like?
Survey results will include aggregate summaries demographics by library, item summaries, dimension summaries, and dimensions measured for survey implementation.

4. Where and when will results be posted?
Results will be compiled in a report that will be posted on this website. You can find past year’s survey results on our Library Statistics and Data page.

For more information please contact:
Robert Janke, Associate Chief Librarian
LibQUAL+® Project Coordinator