With the goal of systematically collecting data to assess the quality of library services and to improve them, the HKBU Library conducted the LibQUAL+ survey from 2 November to 7 December 2015. LibQUAL+ is an international survey instrument developed and administered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in the United States.

This was the first time our Library took part in such large scale and in-depth online survey. HKBU Library was one of the six JULAC libraries running the survey as part of a consortium. The other participating JULAC libraries included CityU, EdUHK, HKUST, LU and PolyU.

Your Participation

To thank users' support in the survey, a lucky draw was offered. Congratulations to the 39 prize winners!

Survey Poster Prize Winners & Library Staff
Highlights of the Results


The Library got a good response with 1,903 valid surveys. Below are details of the respondent distribution by User Group.

User Group Respondent %
Undergraduate 1350 70.9%
Postgraduate 463 24.3%
Academic Staff 43 2.3%
Staff 47 2.5%
Total 1903 100%
Respondents by User Group

Measurement of Library Service

3 key dimensions of service quality are rated in this survey.

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

The 22 core questions are designed to measure 3 levels (Desired, Perceived, and Minimum) of each service dimension on a scale of 1 (Low) to 9 (High). The levels reflect the service quality and the gaps (Superiority & Adequacy) among these levels measure the degree of user satisfaction.

Levels of Performance

Service Adequacy = Perceived - Minimum
Service Superiority = Perceived - Desired

Positive numbers indicate areas in which we are doing well while negative numbers reveal areas where improvement may be needed.

Overall Performance

Dimension Minimum Mean
1(Low) - 9(High)
Desired Mean
1(Low) - 9(High)
Perceived Mean
1(Low) - 9(High)
Adequacy Mean
Superiority Mean
Affect of Service 5.91 7.35 6.92 1.01 -0.43
Information Control 6.14 7.63 6.91 0.77 -0.72
Library as Place 6.11 7.71 6.75 0.64 -0.96
Overall 6.05 7.54 6.88 0.83 -0.66

Affect of Service got the highest scores in terms of Perceived Mean, Adequacy Mean and Superority Mean.

Most Satisfactory Service Areas

Perceived Level
1(Low) - 9(High)
Library staff who are consistently courteous 7.34 Library staff who instill confidence in users 1.29
Readiness to respond to users’ enquires 7.19 Library staff who are consistently courteous 1.14
Library staff who have the knowledge to answer user question 7.19 Library staff who have the knowledge to answer user question 1.07
Willingness to help users 7.18 Readiness to respond to users’ enquires 1.03
Dependability in handling users” service problems 7.10 Willingness to help users 1.00

Service Areas for Improvement

Perceived Level
1(Low) - 9(High)
Giving users individual attention 6.01 Space for group learning & group study -1.22
Space for group learning & group study 6.25 Quiet space for individual work -1.05
Library space that inspired study & learning 6.66 Library space that inspired study & learning -0.92
Library staff who understand the needs of their users 6.74 Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office -0.84
Library staff who deal with users in a caring fashion 6.76 A haven for study, learning, or research -0.83

Users’ Expectations

Desired Level
1(Low) - 9(High)
Quiet space for individual work 7.95
A haven for study, learning or research 7.87
A library Web site enabling me to locate information on my own 7.73
A comfortable and inviting location 7.69
Making E-resources accessible from my home or office 7.66


The graph compares the key dimensions of library service of HKBU Library and JULAC participating libraries in terms of Perceived level.

Survey Results

For details of the survey results, see the complete reports:

HKBU Library (PDF)
JULAC Libraries (PDF)

Survey Comments

Of 1,903 respondents, 778 gave free text comments about different aspects of library services, representing a response rate of 41%.
We received a number of positive comments from our users, most of which referred to user services. The following are some examples:

  • The library does a fantastic job. The staff are helpful and efficient in responding to enquiries, whether in person or through the website.
  • I must praise BU library staff members for their excellent services.
  • Overall, I think the service is good and the library is a comfortable place for me to stay.
  • 對圖書館的服務一直很滿意,9分在我心中是完美,但是打了8分是希望還有進步的空間哈哈,我覺得圖書館已經很棒了!… 謝謝工作人員的付出,我很喜歡我們的圖書館!
  • 職員普遍認真及耐心回答問題
  • 圖書館裝修後的環境十分舒適,尤其是獨立個人自修的位置,每個座位有獨立的插頭供學生使用,更加方便學生的需要。

  • Our Response

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

    Journal subscriptions

    Some respondents noted that the Library’s journal subscriptions do not always meet their needs. The Library understands this concern, and recently we have enhanced our access to journal content by purchasing the backfiles of journals from major publishers, including Elsevier and Taylor & Francis. In 2015-2016, the total number of unique e-journal titles to which the Library has access increased by 4.2% to 53,148.

    The Library would also like to remind eligible users that for titles not held in our subscriptions they can make use of our Interlibrary Loan service, through which users can often obtain the full text of an article within three working days.

    Low temperature in the Library

    The temperature in the Library is set at a level that assures the safe preservation of Library material. Conditions of warmth and humidity encourage the growth of mold and the proliferation of pests such as insects and worms, which can have potentially disastrous consequences for the Library. There have been cases in local libraries where tens of thousands of books have been destroyed in mold outbreaks.

    The Library cares greatly about our users' well-being and the environment, but we must try to strike a balance between the comfort of our users and the protection of our collections.

    Lack of study space

    The Library is doing its utmost in the context of its limited available space to provide as many study places as possible. Renovations completed after the end of the survey period have greatly increased the amount of study places in the Academic Commons (Levels 2 & 3 of the Main Library).

    The Library will continue to explore all possible strategies to ensure that there is sufficient study space in the Library to meet the needs of the University community.

    Printing and computer arrangements

    The need to provide both quota and Octopus printing in the Library unavoidably requires users to follow the necessary procedures. The Library has done its best to make these clear in our online guide to printing:

    Users that require any assistance with printing in the Library are most welcome to seek help at the Information Desk.

    Some users gave feedback on the long startup time for Library PCs. We are pleased to report that most public PCs have been upgraded with solid-state hard drives, and now boot up in less than one minute.

    Thank you for all your participation in the survey to help improve our library services!