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From The CriticsReviewer: Bruce A. Johnston, MLS (Duquesne University)
Description: This book presents a compilation of 15 articles which describe and analyze the post-survey experiences of several different types of libraries resulting from their participation in the 2002 iteration of the LibQUAL+ assessment survey developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in partnership with Texas A & M University libraries. LibQUAL+ data analysis by health sciences libraries, consortia members, and academic libraries is presented in several contexts including models of service quality, outcome assessment strategies, and implications for strategic planning initiatives.
Purpose: The three editors, each actively involved in the development and implementation of LibQUAL+, have culled from the diverse and growing LibQUAL+ literature a set of articles representative of the wide range of analysis, interpretation, and applications accompanying the LibQUAL+ assessment process.
Audience: This book appeals to a wide audience within the library community. Increased emphasis on outcomes assessment, accreditation and accountability issues, and quality of service measurements coupled with the growing popularity of the LibQUAL+ survey among different types of libraries has led to increased interest among library personnel at all levels to acquire meaningful data on user perceptions and expectations as a means to supplement traditional qualitative measurements. The book editors are credible experts in library evaluation and measurement who specialize in the LibQUAL+ survey, and nearly all individual article authors are directors, deans, or senior administrators of their respective libraries.
Features: Each article provides a unique perspective and analysis of LibQUAL+ results. Several libraries integrated their findings into strategic planning activities; a medical school library analyzed its LibQUAL+ data in the context of its Problem-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum; an academic medical center library performed comparative analysis by conducting surveys in two consecutive years. The book is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of numerous tables, charts, graphs, radar graphs, and appendixes. Many are in full color which enables more meaningful interpretation. An introductory chapter authored by two of the editors provides a useful overview of the LibQUAL+ evolution, concepts, survey instrument, and extensive notes linked to Web sites and additional print resources.
Assessment: Although this book was written by many library professionals from numerous perspectives, the quality remains consistently high. One of the book's strengths is the diversity of information and experiences it contains. The editors have done a superb job in presenting well written descriptions and analysis of LibQUAL+ post-survey activities within a variety of library environments. It is very useful to have all of this information on a topic of great interest to many libraries gathered into one relevant book.