Using the DEMATEL model to expose core causal items of LibQUAL for improving library service quality: from the perspective of big data

  • Chia-Huei Wu
  • Yu-Hsi YuanEmail author
  • Sang-Bing TsaiEmail author


This study aims to expose the “causal core” items of LibQUAL+™ from professional librarians’ views. The objective is to prioritize limited resources to improve the most influential factors affecting the library service quality. Valid LibQUAL+™ questionnaires from thirty-two university library administrators in Taiwan are collected for analysis. The Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) technique is employed to build causal maps that can clearly locate the twenty-two LibQUAL+™ question items into four quadrants: core causal, inferior causal, inferior effect, and core effect. The DEMATEL causal maps can facilitate the library administrators to prioritize the limited resources for improvement. Five “causal core” items of LibQUAL+™ are identified, including the library staff should be motivated with high willingness to help users and giving users individual attention; the library amenities should provide a quiet space for individual activities; the library Web site should allow users to locate and access information easily and individually. The survey data represent what professional librarians’ think of the service quality in their libraries. The findings may serve as useful guidance to allocate limited budgets for library service improvement. This paper has pinpointed the “core causal” items of LibQUAL+™ for advancing library administration. It is the first of its kind in the literature to use the DEMATEL technique to identify the “core causal” items of LibQUAL+™ for improving library service quality.


Service quality Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) LibQUAL Decision making Big data 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Service Industries and ManagementMinghsin University of Science TechnologyHsinchuTaiwan
  2. 2.College of Economics and ManagementZheJiang Normal UniversityZhejiangChina
  3. 3.Zhongshan InstituteUniversity of Electronic Science and TechnologyZhongshanChina
  4. 4.Research Center for Environment and Sustainable Development of China Civil AviationCivil Aviation University of ChinaTianjinChina

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