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LibQual+TM in Lilliput: assessment benefits for small academic libraries

John B. Harer (East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 September 2006




The purpose of this paper is to describe how small, academic libraries may realize significant benefits from employing LibQual+TM as an assessment of customer needs and expectations, stressing that these benefits may vary by the actual size of the institution.


Catawba College compared its experience utilizing LibQual+TM with that of Washburn University, reported by Dole as a small, academic library application of the survey. Catawba College is a private, liberal arts college that is much smaller than Washburn, with one‐quarter the student body and faculty. This paper examines the assessment experience of the two small institutions and compares the different advantages and disadvantages of using LibQual+TM within these two different types of small, academic institutions.


The study found that a larger response rate was realized than that of the larger of the two institutions, especially by faculty, and suggests that this is due to the nature of the small colleges where faculty and student body are more familial. The paper also describes LibQual+TM as a type of “turn‐key” survey process that is advantageous for small libraries with limited resources.


This paper provides new information on the value of LibQual+TM for assessment in small, academic institutions and describes the benefits of this assessment tool for libraries in much smaller settings.



Harer, J.B. (2006), "LibQual+TM in Lilliput: assessment benefits for small academic libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 193-204.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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