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With the goal of systematically collecting data to assess the quality of library services to inform improvements, the Library conducted the LibOUAL+ survey from 4 November to 8 December 2019. LibOUAL+ is an international survey instrument developed and administered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in the United States.

This was the second time our Library took part in LibQUAL+ survey. HKBU Library was one of five JULAC (UGC-funded) libraries running the survey as part of a consortium. The other participating JULAC libraries included EdUHK, HKUST, Lingnan, and PolyU.

Highlights of the 2019 Survey Results


A good number of responses was received. 1,403 valid surveys from HKBU students, faculty, and staff were completed:


Measurement of Library Service Quality and user satisfaction

Three key service dimensions of service quality were rated in the survey:

Affect of Service: User service
Information Control: Library resources
Library as Place: Library environment

The 22 core survey questions are designed to measure 3 service levels (Minimum, Perceived, and Desired) for each service dimension on a scale of 1 (Low) to 9 (High).

Minimum: Minimum Acceptable Level
Perceived: Actual Level
Desired: Expected / Desired Level

Overall Performance

DimensionMinimum MeanPerceived MeanDesired Mean
Affect of Service6.067.017.29
Information Control6.227.017.53
Library as Place6.337.147.67

Performance of 3 Service Dimensions: 2015 vs 2019


Most Satisfactory Service Areas

Library Services Perceived Mean
Library staff who are consistently courteous 7.39
A haven for study, learning, or research 7.31
Readiness to respond to users’ enquires 7.23
Willingness to help users 7.21
A comfortable and inviting location 7.20

Areas for Improvement

Library ServicesPerceived Mean
Giving users individual attention 6.26
The Library always adopting new technologies which facilitate my learning, teaching and research 6.78
Library staff who understand the needs of their users 6.86
Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office 6.92
The printed library materials I need for my work 6.92
Print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work 6.92

Top Users’ Expectations

Library Services Desired Mean
Quiet space for individual work 7.83
A haven for study, learning, or research 7.80
A comfortable and inviting location 7.68
A library Web site enabling me to locate information on my own 7.63
Library staff who are consistently courteous 7.60

HKBU & JULAC comparison


Survey Comments

Of 1,403 respondents, 520 provided written comments about different aspects of library services, representing a response rate of 37%. We were grateful for the many positive comments received from our users, most of which praised the Library’s services and environment. The following are some examples:

  • The staff are really friendly, quick-response and helpful
  • Library workshops for classes are especially well-thought out, well delivered, and useful for the students.
  • HKBU library is very reliable. Many thanks to all the library staffs
  • 十分滿意有提供24小時開放2樓和3樓的服務。
  • 喜歡圖書館有書籍殺菌機。
  • 謝謝你們的用心服務!總的來說我真的很喜歡我們的圖書館。(雖然有時看到其他學校的圖書館又大又嚴肅我覺得好羨慕哈哈哈)但我們的麻雀雖小五臟俱全呀。

Our Response to Comments Received

Apart from the positive feedback, we also received comments and suggestions for service enhancements. Your voice was heard! Below are the Library’s responses to the most frequently-received comments. The Library will continue moving forward in improving and providing quality service to our users.

Temperature in the Library

The Library works closely with the Estates Office to maintain a comfortable library environment for our users. In general, the temperature range in the Library is from 23°C to 25°C, which is believed to be the optimal setting for the Library as a whole. Lower temperature for some areas may be set (i.e. 23°C), so as to ensure that some dead-end corners do not become too hot and humid, as such conditions will make Library collections susceptible to mold growth and infestation by pests. The Library’s responsibility is to strike a balance between the comfort of our users and preservation of library materials and we will keep monitoring the library environment constantly.

Computers, Printers, and Scanners

The Library consistently monitors public equipment in the Library and makes replacements and upgrades as needed. As one example, the printers in the Main Library have been replaced since the survey. The Library maintains 131 public workstations, which are spread across all levels of the Main Library, plus an additional 35 workstations in the Chinese Medicine Library, and 58 workstations and laptops in the Shek Mun Campus Library. Laptops, including 21 in the Main Library, may be checked out from the various service desks. Printing, scanning, and other services are also distributed throughout the libraries. For further information about capacity in the Main Library, please see the following websites:

Real-time PC availability:

Summary of printing service and charges:


3-D Printing Service:

For information specific to the Chinese Medicine Library and the Shek Mun Campus Library, please check their websites:


Water dispensers

We have two water dispensers on L2 providing hot and cold water, one water dispenser on L5 provides room temperature water. In September 2020, and we added a new one on L4 that provides lukewarm, hot and cold water. However, due to the pandemic situation, all water dispensers on campus are temporarily not in use until further notice from the Estates Office.

Location of library items

To enhance user convenience, a dynamic location map was integrated into OneSearch in mid-2020. Instead of a text-only location table, users can now access a floor plan showing precisely which section of the Library a particular item is kept. This is particularly useful for items held in the Main Library, where there are many collections spread across several floors.

E-resources and online guides

The Library is actively monitoring the use of subscribed e-resources and is also attentive to new products that are relevant to the research and teaching needs of the University. Users are encouraged to send recommendations to the Library via your respective liaison librarian or via our online form. Subject to funding availability, the Library may arrange trials of recommended products and users can provide their feedback by filling the online trial evaluation form.

Online subject guides are maintained for every discipline relevant to the University’s teaching and research. In addition to identifying key Library-provided resources, links to high-quality Internet sources are maintained. Each guide is the responsibility of a designated librarian with experience in the subject area. The Library will continue to invest in the development of these guides.

Events and Workshops

Events and workshops are a vital component of Library programming. Traditionally the Library has focused on providing course-integrated instruction in response to faculty requests. However, we also recognize the value of open workshops. During the pandemic, we have organized a large number of online sessions under our Learning Events series. These are open to the entire HKBU community.

Going forward, the Library will continuously review its offerings of events/workshops and make adjustments according to the needs of the University community.

Your Participation

To thank users for their support in responding to the survey, a lucky draw was offered. Congratulations to the prize winners!

Last updated: 04 May 2021