Skip to main content

Illustration of the E. H. Butler LibraryE. H. Butler Library

LibQUAL+® at Butler Library

Fall 2012

In Fall 2012, E. H. Butler Library engaged in its fourth administration of the nationally normed LibQUAL+® survey. LibQUAL+® is a 22-core-item “total market” survey instrument designed to assess academic library service quality from the point of view of the library user. The survey is comprised of three subdimensions: Affect of Service, Information Organization, and Library as Place. More information about LibQUAL+® can be obtained by going to their site.

Overall, undergraduate students continue to be pleased with the library and its services. Undergraduate students see the Information Commons and/or library as a necessity for their learning, study, and research. With a multitude of information, technological, cultural, and recreational services and activities, they may view the Information Commons as a place to “get away” and relax and/or a place to be nurtured when they need assistance. Some comments indicate noise is a continued issue. With dramatically increased gate counts and building usage, the library is taking steps to better market its designated quiet spaces and group study rooms. Another common comment was the need for more electrical outlets for recharging mobile and computing devices. With the addition of Argo Tea came the addition of new tables with built-in electrical and USB ports, which have been a huge hit with everyone.

For faculty, scores indicate perceived satisfaction which is greater than desired and, in some measures, was rated superior. Faculty appreciate assistance with technology issues and with their own personal research. Some scores and comments suggest decreased satisfaction with the library’s webpage, so the library engaged in a usability study to help revise the library webpage and evaluate its usability.

Graduate student satisfaction declined slightly on all three subdimensions, possibly signaling an emerging trend. As a result, the library is engaging in a multi-phase endeavor. With the huge success of the development of the Information Commons, a similar approach is being brainstormed and implemented. A Graduate Commons is being planned, with emphasis on giving graduate students a place and identity within the library.

Eugene J. Harvey, M.L.S., M.S.W. 
Assessment & Reference Librarian

Patron-Centered, Data-Driven Decision Making

Since its first LibQUAL+® survey in 2003, E. H. Butler Library has used these survey results to make numerous changes to service, collections, building space, and virtual space. Here are some brief examples:

Information Commons:

Brings together important services, such as assistance with research, computing, and writing, to help students successfully complete academic projects.

Website Redesign:

Design of homepage more aligned with user expectations, including discoverability; reduction in static pages; dynamically generated and database-driven; RWD (Responsive Web Design) more friendly for multitudes of mobile devices.


Transitioned to discoverability service to match more closely with standard users' search skills ("single search box").

Study Spaces:

Acknowledged need/appreciation for flexible individual and group study spaces; addition of four group study spaces (users able to reserve independently via homepage); addition of flexible furniture in places formerly holding print collections.

Electronic Collections - ebooks:

Major shift toward ebooks, including ebrary database and others; helps support distance learning efforts and web-based access to research.

BUTL 314 Redesign:

Collaboration with Instructional Resources to redesign library's primary teaching space -- first of its kind on campus!!; its success sparked faculty interest in alternative pedagogies and instructional strategies; also facilitated the redesign of BUTL 316 into a generally scheduled classroom.

Digital Commons:

Institutional repository for research and scholarly output; substantial increase in usage of digital Masters theses & projects.


Subject guides for students within specific academic disciplines.


Web-based citation management system.

Argo Tea:

Offers signature loose teas and blends from around the world, teaware, and other specialty foods and beverages; transformed the accompanying space, including elements such as an appealing color scheme, stylish, comfortable seating, and tables with electrical outlets and USB charging ports.

Equipment Loan:
Students able to check out various technologies, including edTPA kits.

Mobile Printing:
Send print jobs to the library anytime from any mobile device.