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Insync, formerly Ambit Insights and Rodski Survey Research, has launched the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) members’ 2006 Library Client Survey results that feature a five year all time high in client satisfaction and library quality scores.
Felicity McGregor, University Librarian, University of Wollongong said: “The Insync Library Client Survey has gained recognition as one of the few benchmarked surveys in the higher education sector and has been used extensively by the Australian Universities Quality Agency in its audits to comment on library performance. Internally, the survey is a vital tool for reporting library performance and measuring improvements over time.
Also, more libraries are beginning to use the Library Staff Survey, measuring staff perceptions, which will provide further benchmarking opportunities.”
The average satisfaction score rose to 5.45 out of a possible 7, demonstrating a positive trend. The 2006 quality score is 5.49 out of a possible score of 7, reflecting library clients’ increasing appreciation of their library’s performance.
These five year trends have been reported by Insync for the first time to help library staff see that their improvement initiatives are paying off.
Twenty-three CAUL libraries surveyed in 2006 and more than 48,000 new library client responses were received. Now in our 10th year working with CAUL, the Insync Surveys database has over 200,000 library client responses.
Michael Samarchi, Insync new Client Relationship Manager responsible for the continued success of Insync’s CAUL relationship, said: “For the first time ever in 2006, Library Staff became the most important factor of all for library clients. Pleasingly, Library Staff performance matches this high expectation; it’s achieved the best result each year.
“We’ve also featured the Virtual Library Category for the first time. By pulling in similar data for previous years, we now see that it’s been the most important factor for clients from 2001 to 2005. In retrospect, earlier formalisation of this category would have been beneficial.”
“When looking at the issues libraries faced last year and in 2005, the Virtual Library category is a sore point for some clients (see graph below). This takes into account a set of nine variables, with’Databases and electronic resources are adequate’recording the highest average gap score of 1.38 in 2006. Some of the libraries we’re working with are trying to reduce this gap by developing subject specific virtual libraries, and by providing access to electronic resources by region and type of site,” said Mr Samarchi.
“Facilities and Equipment is another area where the gap between expectation and reality remains a concern, however the average gap has been reduced from 1.48 in 2001 to 0.86 in 2006. Some institutions report to us that an annual investment of over $1m in facilities and equipment is required just to keep the gap between expectations and reality steady.
“However, the focus on improvement initiatives and resources mean that in 2006 no universities recorded a gap of greater than 2.00,” he said.
Credit goes to the libraries at University of Newcastle, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, University of Wollongong, Charles Darwin University, Bond University and University of Southern Queensland for setting new benchmark highs in various categories, as featured in the graph below compared to the previous benchmarks.
Anne Wilson, Associate Director Client Services, Library and Information Access, Charles Darwin University, said: “Our results from Insync place Charles Darwin University Library among the top performing academic institutions in the country. Improvements were observed in all six survey categories with Library Staff once again our top performer. Over time our findings have fueled the opening of our new Learning Precinct with increased availability of PCs, wireless networking and tablet PC loans, along with streamlining reshelving and materials processing times. All these improvements have been welcomed by our clients.”
Michael Samarchi said: “The results for 2006 are very insightful and 2007 is set to be another strong year for our CAUL partnership and library survey work. We look forward to growing international comparisons and also understanding the needs of international students studying here and overseas.”
- Benchmarking charts for libraries that surveyed in 2006 have now been updated on Insync member exclusive online CAUL portal. With an industry-wide commitment to continuous improvement, all CAUL members share their results in the ‘Other universities’ results section.
- Since 2006, Insync new Virtual Library category impacted some of the other variables to better reflect the needs of library users.