Reader surveys

The Bodleian Libraries undertake regular surveys of our readers to enable us to assess user satisfaction and expectations.

We undertake readership-wide surveys every 3 years as a way of understanding the breadth of readers views and to feed into our Strategic Planning. We undertake localised reader-specific surveys of particular groups of readers to assess specific services or feed into local decision-making. You can see details of the changes we made as a result of the reader surveys on the 'You said, we did' pages.

Reader Survey 2022

A little survey, a big result!

The Bodleian Libraries is inviting all members of the University of Oxford and all Bodleian cardholders to share their feedback about the Libraries by completing a short online Reader Survey.

The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete but it provides vital information that feeds into decision making and helps improve our library services.

The survey is open from 17 January – 19 February, and is for all readers who have used the online collections, services, or the physical libraries across Oxford. Readers are asked to share their views on areas such as the provision of information resources, the libraries as a space for study, how staff interact with readers, information skills and support, and their overall satisfaction with library support for research, teaching and learning.

Responses are confidential.

As a thank you taking part, participants can choose to enter the prize draw for a chance to win one of ten £50 Amazon or Blackwell’s vouchers. No identifying links between responses and the individual responding will be retained.

The Reader Survey 2022 is now closed.



The Reader Survey is open to all students, academics, researchers and staff of the Collegiate University of Oxford and all Bodleian Libraries card holders.


The survey opens at 9am on Monday 17 January and closes at 5pm on Sunday 19 February.


The survey takes on average 7 minutes to complete.


You are asked for the library you use most often in order to provide the context for the answers to the questions about the library as a study space.


Yes, the survey is relevant to you. You may have interacted with Libraries staff via email or LiveChat, used e-journals, obtained an item via Scan & Deliver, or taken an online information skills tutorial. You will be able to answer the questions based on those experiences.

There is the option to select 'I do not use a physical library' for the question asking which library you use most often. In addition, you can answer 'Not applicable' (NA) for any questions about the library as a study space.


This is an opportunity for you to make suggestions about how the library service can be improved and to help us to better understand your expectations.

Understanding your expectations helps us tailor our services to your needs, and if we know where we are not meeting your expectations we can take action to improve.

As a 'thank you' for participating, you have the option of providing your email address for the chance to receive one of ten £50 Amazon or Blackwell’s vouchers.


LibQUAL+ has 49 questions. However, many libraries have found that the length of the survey is off-putting and reduces response rates. To address this issue LibQUAL+ Lite was launched in 2010. This shorter form uses item sampling methods to gather data in all of the survey's areas, while each individual participant responds to only a subset of the questions. Some of these questions are the same for everyone, the rest are randomly allocated when you click on the survey weblink.

The 2022 Reader Survey uses the LibQUAL+ Lite protocol (as did the 2019 and 2016 Reader Surveys). Therefore, each time you open the survey questionnaire you will see a different subset of the 49 questions.


LibQUAL+ uses a gap analysis methodology to determine where our libraries are meeting, surpassing, or failing to meet our readers’ expectations and requirements, so that we can address what matters most to them and those areas where we are most falling short. To do this it asks for the lowest level of service respondents would find acceptable, the level of service respondents would ideally want, and the actual level of service that the respondent feels we are providing.


The survey examines a variety of dimensions of library services, each represented by a number of questions. Repetition or redundancy in questions allows the survey designers to analyse the validity of each service quality dimension through statistical methods.


When submitted, survey responses and identifying information are immediately separated, so we have no way of knowing who has completed the survey and who has not. Therefore everyone will receive reminders, even those who have already responded to the survey.

Reminders are sent because research indicates that the single highest predictor of response rates in web-based surveys is the number of contacts made, including reminders.


It is more helpful to us if you do not skip any questions. Survey response where the questions are not completely filled out (except for questions about the library as a study space) are not counted in the aggregate scores, although we do receive the free-text feedback.


All modern web browsers should work.


If you are not able to complete the online questionnaire, please contact to request a printed version. We can either email you a PDF for you to print out, or post you a paper copy.

We need all responses by 9am on Monday 20 February 2022, so please allow time for receiving and returning the survey.


The data will be collected on secure servers located in the USA by an external company (Association of Research Libraries). Each response will be disaggregated as it reaches the server, and survey results will be reported back to us as aggregate mean score data. Individual responses of participants will be wholly confidential.

If you submitted your email address to win a £50 Amazon/Blackwell’s voucher, this data will be kept by ARL until the end of the survey, when they will pass it to us. The data will be kept by us only until the winners have been successfully notified.


Yes, we will make the survey results available via these webpages, via Committees on Library Provision and Strategy, and on displays in library spaces.

Initial results will be available around Easter 2022, with more detailed analysis completed before the Long Vacation 2022.