Coleman conducts e-mail survey of quality of library resources

Coleman Library conducted a campus-wide survey to obtain a better idea of expectations of the students and faculty for library and information services last month.

The survey was administered as a result of university libraries across the nation becoming more concerned about the quality of student and faculty.

Feb. 28 was the last day of the survey.

The surveys were developed by LibQUAL, a research and development project sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries in collaboration with Texas A&M University libraries.

Faculty and students chosen to participate in the survey were people who regularly used the Florida A&M University e-mail system. A follow-up e-mail containing the survey’s Web site was sent to those who accepted the invitation to participate.

“It’s so easy, as a college student, to say that you’re too busy to participate in campus related surveys, especially those that are e-mailed to you, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this survey,” said Kemoi Savariau, 23, a senior psychology student from West Palm Beach.

“It only took a little while and I was able to voice my opinion on the library,” he said.

The survey was comprised of 43 questions and took about 10 to 15 minutes to complete depending on the participant.

The survey was designed to measure the library’s service effects, the library as a whole and the accessibility of information.

All survey participants were placed into a drawing to be a candidate to win at least one of 50 prizes.

Prize distribution took place March 1 in the grand ballroom during the Student Government Association health fair.

Some prizes included breakfast for two at Olean’s Café and a Dimension 3100 Dell desktop computer.

“To tell you the truth, when I read that prize list, it made up my mind about taking the survey,” said Derrick Thornton, 20, a junior business administration student from Gainesville. “Of course I want to help out the library, but the opportunity to get some free stuff can’t hurt either.”

With the library’s user’s opinions, the survey was meant to help the libraries identify where their services need improvement.

It also gives FAMU libraries the opportunity to compare their service quality with other institutions in order to do as well as their libraries.

A total of 209 institutions, including some of the largest research libraries in the world, participated in the LibQUAL survey.

The LibQUAL survey evolved from an instrument called SERVQUAL.

Ruth Swan, director of libraries for FAMU, modified SERVQUAL for use in libraries in 1998.

After some required changes were made to applications of this instrument, LibQUAL was formed.

The surveys are conducted over the Internet, the participant remains anonymous to the public and the survey results are kept confidential.

According to, e-mail addresses will be separated from responses to protect the confidentiality and identity of the respondent.

“I feel pretty assured that my answers to the questions will not be revealed with my name attached,” said Jordan Hall, 21, a general studies student from Fort Lauderdale.

“The only way that they could find out it was me is if my e-mail address was connected to the survey.”

The statistics of the survey are only shared with other institutions. For more information about the survey, visit

Contact Kimberly S. Craft at