A framework for tracking changes in library user preferences using multicriteria methods and non-parametric statistical analysis
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Libraries constitute a highly developing area as they always enrich their offered services in order to satisfy users' expectations. One of the most important factors in customization strategies and improvement of individual services must be user preferences. However, customization requires an in-depth analysis of user preferences and an evaluation of future behavior. The main objective of this paper is to present a framework for analyzing changes of user preferences in a library. Design/methodology/approach- The paper presents detailed results of two independent user satisfaction surveys conducted in an interval of five years in the Library of the Technical University of Crete and analyzes them using a proposed framework. However, the framework can be applied in every modern library. The analyses are based on non-parametric statistical techniques and a multicriteria satisfaction analysis method, which is a multicriteria preference disaggregation approach. Findings- Overall, user judgments for both surveys show that 50-70 percent of users are "very satisfied" or "satisfied". The percentage of "satisfied" users increased from 2005 to 2010 (almost 18 percent) and "very satisfied" remained almost the same. Practical implications- Results are mainly focused on the evaluation of potential trends of user preferences. Furthermore, results of a benchmarking analysis are also presented, based on the evolution of satisfaction levels for the quality characteristics of the offered services. Originality/value- The goal of the presented study and proposed framework and methodology is to help library decision makers track changes to user preferences and improve the provided services according to those preferences.
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