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Benchmarking on a national scale: the 2007 LibQUAL+® Canada experience

Sam Kalb (Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 6 July 2010




In 2006/2007, the Canadian academic library community came together in the largest national LibQUAL+® consortium to conduct ARL library service quality survey. This paper aims to address how and why the national consortial project came about, the challenges for recruiting and managing participants, and what was learnt, together with possible future directions.


This paper uses a case study approach.


The research touches on the challenges planning and implementing LibQUAL+® with such a large, diverse consortium, with its bilingual mandate and multiple library types, and what made the project successful and its limitations.

Practical implications

The most apparent accomplishment of this project was successful collection of a large, diverse data set for comparative analysis of services and facilities – a meaningful data set both for individual libraries seeking appropriate Canadian comparators and for analyses by region, institutional categories, etc.


A valuable result of the project was to engage more Canadian academic libraries in the process of service assessment. CARL's bi‐lingual consortium approach will provide a valuable example for other national organisations attempting to carry out similar projects.



Kalb, S. (2010), "Benchmarking on a national scale: the 2007 LibQUAL+® Canada experience", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 161-171.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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