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Evaluation of the university library service quality: analysis through focus group interviews

Yoshinori Satoh (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mie University, Japan)
Haruki Nagata (Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Päivi Kytömäki (Library, University of Oulu, Finland)
Sarah Gerrard (Information Services, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 December 2005




The purpose of this study is to clarify the indicators and measures that correspond to the dimensions of users' evaluation of university library service.


In a previous study, the authors had clarified the four dimensions that construct the evaluation of service quality through factor analyses of the survey data. In this study, nine focus group interviews were undertaken, at the libraries of four universities in Japan, England and Finland. With the aim to recapture the four dimensions in the concrete contexts of library use, the transcripts were analyzed and mapped according to the dimensions: “Effect of Service – Personal,” “Library as ‘Ba’,” “Collection and Access” and “Effect of Service – Organizational.” Another goal of the FGIs was to find out what measures should be added to the questionnaire, if any.


Usage scenarios were clarified for each user group – undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members, and the contents of interview statements were mapped to the tree based on the dimensions. As a result, the features and the background of four dimensions were revealed, and some clues for changes in the service quality assessment instrument were extracted.

Research limitations/implications

Though the interviews were conducted in international/diverse contexts, it is necessary to be discreet about generalization and further examinations are required.


This article addresses considerations important to the service quality assessment in university libraries.



Satoh, Y., Nagata, H., Kytömäki, P. and Gerrard, S. (2005), "Evaluation of the university library service quality: analysis through focus group interviews", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 183-193.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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