Using National and International Score Norms as a Library Service Quality Benchmarking Tool
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There are three primary mechanisms for interpreting library service quality assessment scores. First, we can compare our scores for one year with the scores we obtained on the same measure in previous years. This is the ultimate form of benchmarking, because no one is more like us than us. Second, we can compare the Perception scores we received against ratings for both Minimally-Acceptable service scores and Desired service scores. The second set of two scores creates a "zone of tolerance" against which we can interpret users' service quality assessment ratings of Perceived service quality. Third, we can interpret the scores we receive against the scores of similar, peer institutions. Some library service quality assessment protocols (e.g., LibQUAL+®) allow libraries to use any combination or all of these three interpretation frameworks. The present paper explains the use of a powerful benchmarking mechanism called norms tables. Norms tables can be created for protocols involving either large numbers of users or large numbers of libraries.