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The University of Hong Kong Libraries’ 2013 Biennial User Survey



Our biennial user survey was conducted on March 13-28, 2013 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 and to study user preferences for print and electronic materials. 1,691 completed online questionnaires were received.  66% of the respondents selected the Main Library as the library they frequented most.  Medical faculty accounted for 15% of the total returns by faculty whereas by patron type, HKU current staff or student accounted for 74% while Centennial College staff or student accounted for 10% of the total returns.

Overall speaking, survey results indicate that our performance has improved since 2011, with the weighted performance index increased from 76% in 2011 to 78.4% in 2013.  The satisfaction index for 2013 is 5.62, on a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being the most satisfied), compared with 5.47 in 2011. 



Biggest Gaps/Smallest Gaps

The survey has enabled us to identify a number of issues that need improvement by measuring importance, on a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being most important), of 28 survey statements on library resources, services and facilities to our users and their perception of our performance, once again on a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being the best possible performance).  Then we compared the overall mean importance and performance of each service and determined the gap between these two scores.

The five areas with the biggest gaps between user importance and our performance are:

  2013 2011
1 The items I’m looking for on the Library shelves are usually there (1.38) I can find a quiet place in the Library to study when I need to (1.67)
2 A computer is available when I need one (1.28) The items I’m looking for on the Library shelves are usually there (1.53)
3 I can find a quiet place in the Library to study when I need to (1.09) I can find a place in the Library to work in a group when I need to (1.31)
4 Printing, scanning and photocopying facilities in the Library meet my needs (0.94) A computer is available when I need one (1.3)
5 Laptop facilities (e.g. desks, power) in the Library met my needs (0.9) Laptop facilities (e.g. desks, power) in the Library met my needs (1.22)
 

On the other hand, the five areas with the smallest gaps between user importance and our performance are:

  2013 2011
1 Library workshops, classes and tutorials help me with my learning and research needs (-0.01) Library workshops, classes and tutorials help me with my learning and research needs (0.03)
2 Electronic enquiry services (e.g. email, Text a Librarian) meet my needs (0.2) Library staff treat me fairly and without discrimination (0.23)
3 Library staff treat me fairly and without discrimination (0.21) Face to face enquiry services meet my needs (0.29)
4 Face to face enquiry services meet my needs (0.23) Electronic enquiry services (e.g. email, Text a Librarian) meet my needs (0.32)
5 Self Service (e.g. self check loans, requests, renewals, holds) meet my needs (0.23) I am informed about Library services (0.37)



User Preferences for Print vs Electronic

Results show that 62% of respondents prefer reading journals online while 27% prefer print.  As for books for leisure, 69% prefer reading them in print format while 20% prefer them online.  As for books for study/research, 56% prefer reading them in print format while 33% prefer them online.

Material Format No Preference Online Print No. of Respondents
Journals 10% 62% 27% 1,632
Books – for leisure 11% 20% 69% 1,632
Books – for study/ research 11% 33% 56% 1,633




Comparing with the results of the 2011 biennial user survey, it seems that there has been a slight shift in user preferences from print to electronic:

Materials Format No Preference Online Print
  2013 2011 2013 2011 2013 2011
Journals 10% 11% 62% 62% 27% 28%
Books – for leisure 11% 11% 20% 18% 69% 72%
Books – for study/ research 11% 10% 33% 32% 56% 58%



Response to the Survey’s Freeform Comments

The survey also provided us with 83 pages of freeform comments on how well we are doing as well as areas that library users 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.

User Survey Data Report

Click here to view the data report of the 2013 biennial user survey





For further information please contact Dr Y.C. Wan (Deputy Librarian)

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