Information is useless if no one consumes it. This idea puts value not only to the resources and services that libraries provide but to the people who libraries serve. To express how it values its “consumers,” RPAMDLS conducted a survey to find out how satisfied its users are with the library.
Previous user satisfaction surveys were simple and straightforward and did not identify the specific aspects that satisfied or dissatisfied the user. In February 2015, the library decided to conduct a user satisfaction survey that is more in-depth than the past surveys. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to:
1. find out why users visit the library
2. ascertain how satisfied the users are in terms of the library’s resources, services, staff, and facilities
3. identify the aspects that the library has to enhance or improve based on the satisfaction of its users
The study was conducted in one (1) day and questionnaires were distributed to all users who visited the library on that day. User satisfaction on four (4) library aspects was measured, where each aspect was composed of sub-aspects. Frequency distribution and weighted mean were computed to analyze the data.
Table 1. lists the library aspects measured in the survey
A total of 192 respondents participated in the study, most of whom are undergraduate students. BSPT students compose majority of the undergraduate respondents. Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of respondents by course.
Figure 1. Overall respondents by course
Reasons for visiting the library
It was observed that in general, most of the respondents came to the library to study/research individually. On the other hand, the least common reason for the visits to the library was to request for a referral letter. Among the nine (9) responses that picked “Others,” four (4) were to do schoolwork, three (3) were to have a meeting, while two (2) were to hang around. Figure 2 shows the overall distribution of reasons for coming to the library.
Figure 2. Overall distribution of reasons for coming to the library
It could be observed that although “to study/research individually” was the top reason for coming to the library for both graduate and undergraduate respondents, the latter tended to have more varied reasons for visiting the library, as shown by Figure 3.
Figure 3. Distribution of reasons for coming to the library by patron type
Satisfaction by library aspect
It was observed that among the library resources, respondents were most satisfied with books while least satisfied with CDs, DVDs, and other multimedia. In terms of library services, circulation service garnered the highest satisfaction score while printing and photocopying service obtained the lowest satisfaction score. Respondents were most satisfied with staff competency while least satisfied with staff friendliness. In terms of library facilities, respondents were most satisfied with the lighting but least satisfied with computers and internet access. Table 6 summarizes the sub-aspects for each library aspect measured that garnered the highest and lowest satisfaction scores.
Table 2. Summary of sub-aspects with highest and lowest satisfaction scores
Graduate and undergraduate respondents shared the same sentiments with several library aspects. Both respondents were most satisfied with books and circulation service while least satisfied with CDs, DVDs, and other multimedia, printing and photocopying service, as well as computers, internet access.
On the other hand, they exhibited different attitudes towards some library aspects. Graduate respondents were equally satisfied with staff competency, friendliness, and promptness. On the other hand, undergraduate students were satisfied the most with staff competency but satisfied the least with staff friendliness. Among the library facilities measured, graduate students were satisfied the most with security. Conversely, lighting garnered the highest satisfaction score among undergraduate respondents.
Aspects that need improvement
At the end of the survey, respondents were asked for their recommendations to further improve library services. Extension of library hours ranked first, followed by faster internet connection, while acquisition of more books came in at third place.
Graduate and undergraduate respondents differed on the aspects that should be improved. The former were more concerned with extension of library hours, free coffee, and more electrical outlets/sockets, among others. On the other hand, undergraduate students preferred to have faster internet connection, more books, improved printing service, more computers, and friendly staff, to name a few.
Implications for the library
Based on the responses gathered, RPAMDLS is motivated to deliver the quality of books, circulation service, staff competency, and lighting that it presently renders because these are that aspects that satisfy the users. On the other hand, it is seriously considering ways on how to develop the sub-aspects that garnered lowest satisfaction scores as well as the respondents’ suggestions on matters that need improvement. The changes and improvements may come in different packages – some may be apparent and extensive, others may be discrete and modest. But it is certain that RPAMDLS’s efforts shall always consider the interests of its consumers, the library users.