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The University of Hong Kong Libraries' 2009/10 Biennial User Survey



Our biennial user survey was conducted over a two-week period between November 9 to November 22, 2009 with a view to providing users with an opportunity to evaluate the performance of the Main Library and the six branch libraries, to enable us to identify performance gaps, to study user preferences for print and electronic materials and ascertain the importance of the Libraries to users’ success at the University of Hong Kong.

A total of 5,245 completed online questionnaires were received, of which 82.10% (69.2% in 2008) of the respondents selected the Main Library as the library they frequented most. The top number of respondents again came from alumni, accounting for 30.87% (30.85% in 2008) of the total.

The overall response rate was greater than any previous year that we have undertaken this biennial survey with more than double that of the preceding survey of 2008. We take this opportunity to thank all of our users who took the time to complete the survey in order to help us better understand your needs.



Ranked Overall Gap Scores

As in previous years, we have attempted to identify areas where you consider that our performance does not match the importance you place on the range of services provided by the Libraries. To do this we asked you to first rate on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most important) the importance of particular services. We then asked you to rate the Libraries performance in the same area once again on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being best possible performance). We then scored the overall mean importance and performance of each service and determined the gap between these two scores.

The five areas with the largest gaps between user importance and our performance (ie where the Libraries fall below expected levels of service) and with responses of N>500 are:

  2009/10 2008
1. Cleanliness: In toilets (0.89) Electronic resources are accessible from my home/office (0.79)
2. Electronic resources are accessible from my home/office (0.69) Books in your discipline (0.63)
3. Noise level caused by phones (0.56) Ease of use (of electronic resources) (0.56)
4. Ease of use (of electronic resources) (0.55) Noise caused by phones (0.56)
5. Ease of locating electronic resources (0.55) Ease of locating electronic resources (0.55)

The five areas with the smallest gaps between user importance and our performance (ie where the Libraries exceed expected levels of service) and with responses of N>500 are:

  2009/10 2008
1. Library orientation/ courses/ workshops meet my needs (-0.19) Library orientation/course/workshops meet my need (-0.21)
2. Laptop loaning service meets my needs (-0.15) Library user education (courses/workshops/orientation) (-0.19)
3. Library user education (courses/workshops/orientation) (-0.14) Audio-visual equipment (-0.12)
4. Audio-visual equipment (-0.07) Leisure reading materials (-0.1)
5. Leisure reading materials (-0.07) Audio-visual materials (-0.04)



Overall Preference for Print vs Electronic

Results demonstrated that 66.41% of respondents prefer reading journals online while 23.07% prefer print. As for books for leisure, 57.39% prefer reading them in print format while 29.63% prefer them online. As for books for study/research, 45.66% prefer reading them in print format while 45.09% prefer them online.

Material Format No Preference % No Preference Online % Online Print % Print Total No. of Respondents
Journals 552 10.52% 3483 66.41% 1210 23.07% 5245
Books - for
leisure
681 12.98% 1554 29.63% 3010 57.39% 5245
Books - for
study/research
485 9.25% 2365 45.09% 2395 45.66% 5245


statistic

Overall Preference for Print vs Electronic Resources by Number of Respondents

With the growth in electronic resource provision, we have witnessed a growth in preference for online materials. For journals, this year’s 66.41% preference for electronic represents only a small increase on last year’s 65.85%. For books, this year we decided to distinguish between books for leisure and books for study/research. Online preference for study/research (45.09%) provides a marked difference for online leisure books (29.03%).



Importance of the Libraries

Questions N Mean Std. Deviation

1. Library services are important to my success at the university

5244

4.06

0.801

2. Library resources are important to my success at the university

5244

4.44

0.721

3. Library electronic resources are important to my success at the university

5244

4.30

0.796

4. Library facilities, equipment & physical environment are important to my success at the university

5244

4.03

0.787



Respondents were also asked to provide a ranking, out of 5, for the importance they place on library resources and services. The table above reflects that the Libraries continue to be viewed as important in their contributions to our users’ success.



Comparison of Results of Surveys, 2003 to 2009/10

The attached spreadsheet provides a comparison of survey results from our past four surveys, dating back to 2003. Items in bold italics represent categories where the gap between importance and performance for 2009/10 narrowed on the original 2003 (or the date when the particular item was introduced) survey results. In other words in these categories the Libraries are better meeting the identified importance of its users. In all, 27 of the 40 recurring categories achieved a narrower gap, ie an improved performance.



Response to the Survey’s Freeform Comments

The survey also provided us with an enormous amount of feedback on how well we are doing as well as on areas that you would like us to improve or change. While we received much praise, for which we are grateful, we take this opportunity to respond to the most common areas for improvement that you identified. A summary of the freeform comments can be found in section 6 of the Full User Survey Report.

Full User Survey Report

The full User Survey Report (minus appendices) can be viewed here.



For further information contact Peter Sidorko (Deputy Librarian)



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