Exploring Service Philosophy Statements Using Qualitative Content Analysis
This paper will describe a study in which we examined service philosophy statements at a diverse group of North American academic libraries. We used qualitative content analysis to examine their form and content to identify common themes, trends, and ideas.
Public services librarians spend much of their time wrestling with nebulous topics such as service quality, customer satisfaction, and user experience. Improvements in these areas necessitate strengthening the quality of the service and the culture in which it’s delivered. One approach to establish standards for consistent service delivery is for libraries to implement service philosophy statements. A service philosophy statement also communicates directly with users what they can—and should—expect from the library. Before we could develop and implement a service philosophy statement at our respective libraries, we wanted to understand the specific ways that service philosophy statements communicate service expectations to users. We will describe the series of steps we followed to conduct our research, such as creating the coding frame, segmenting the data, pilot coding, evaluating and modifying the coding frame, analyzing the data, and interpreting the findings. Finally, we will review the challenges we encountered during this process, as well as lessons we learned about qualitative content analysis.