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FOLIOz: Facilitated Online Learning as an Interactive Opportunity in Australia and New Zealand


Managing for Service Quality (MSQ) 


Course Introduction


What is MSQ?

MSQ is an online interactive course on quality management. It is being delivered by e-mail and web pages and has been commissioned by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Anthea Sutton, an Information Specialist at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, is the Facilitator for this course. Course design and materials have been developed by a course team comprising: Andrew Booth (Programme Director), Anthea Sutton (Programme Manager), Anna Cantrell (Learning Resource Co-ordinator) and Lynda Ayiku (Learning Resource Co-ordinator-since left ScHARR).


MSQ is one of a set of four FOLIOz courses running in 2009-2010. See http://www.alia.org.au/education/pd/workshops/ for more details. These courses are being run for library and information professionals in Australia and New Zealand.


Why is it important?

Library and information staff often find it difficult to make time to attend workshops and other continuing professional development events. At the same time developments in professional practice place a tremendous imperative for keeping up-to-date and acquiring additional skills. The FOLIOz Programme aims to provide easy access to learning materials with the convenience of flexible timing and learning styles.


What is the course aim?

The MSQ course aims to introduce participants to the idea of managing for service quality and its related concepts.


What are the course objectives?


By the end of the course, participants should be able to:



  • Define the concept of managing for service quality.
  • Measure and monitor service quality in their own organisation.
  • Apply performance indicators to their library and information services.
  • Understand the concept of Total Quality Management.
  • Benchmark library and information services.
  • Improve quality of their own library and information services.
  • Understand the costs involved in managing service quality.
  • Explore the importance of customers in relation to quality.
  • Market quality services.
  • Maintain the quality of their library and information services, with a view to achieving service excellence.
  • Engage with fellow participants in discussing issues connected with managing for service quality.


What does the course involve?

The course will typically involve:

  1. Receiving approximately thirty email communications over seven working weeks (usually one per day apart from the reading week in the middle of the course) via the FOLIOz Mailtalk discussion list.
  2. Reading briefings & other materials (approximately twice per week).
  3. Working on individual tasks/exercises (approximately once a week for those following the group-supported route and approximately twice per week for those following the self-directed route).
  4. For those following the group-supported route: Interaction with a “buddy group” in connection with tasks/exercises (approximately once a week).
  5. Compiling a portfolio recording the above for submission to the course team.
  6. Completion of a course evaluation form at the end of the course.


Managing for Service Quality Resources:

For more information about managing for service quality and related issues, see the following resources:


  • Berryman,J. (2005) Sustaining communities: Measuring the value of public libraries, A review of research approaches. State Library of New South Wales. Available at: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/services/public_libraries/docs/sustainingcommunities.pdf  [Accessed August 2009] 
  • Brophy,P. & Coulling,K. (1996) Quality Management for Information and Library Managers, Gower Publishing Ltd.
  • Bryson,J. (2006) Managing Information Services: A Transformational Approach (2nd ed.) Ashgate Publishng Group. 
  • Dawes,S. (1997) Managing with Quality Assurance. Library Management; 18 (2): 73.  Available to ALIA members via ProQuest at: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=117541798&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=109526&RQT=309&VName=PQD [Accessed August 2009] 
  • Hernon,P. (2002) Quality: New directions in the research. Journal of Academic Librarianship; 28 (4): 224. Abstract available to ALIA members via ProQuest at: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=149006431&sid=2&Fmt=2&clientId=109526&RQT=309&VName=PQD [Accessed August 2009] 
  • Karten,N. (1994) Managing Expectations: Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, Now! Dorset House Publishing.  
  • Kunst, P. & Lemmink, J. (eds.) (1995) Managing Service Quality. Volume I. Paul Chapman Publishing. 
  • Kunst, P. & Lemmink, J. (eds.) (1996) Managing Service Quality Volume II. Paul Chapman Publishing. 
  • Kunst, P. & Lemmink, J. (eds.) (1997) Managing Service Quality Volume III. Paul Chapman Publishing. 
  • Martensen,A. & Gronholdt,L. (2003) Improving library users' perceived quality, satisfaction and loyalty: An integrated measurement and management system. Journal of Academic Librarianship; 29 (3): 140. Abstract available to ALIA members via ProQuest at: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=379498691&sid=2&Fmt=2&clientId=109526&RQT=309&VName=PQD [Accessed August 2009] 
  • Schneider, B. & White, S.S. (2004) Service Quality: Research Perspectives. Sage. 
  • St Clair, G. (1997) Total Quality Management in Information Services. Bowker Saur. 
  • Zairi, M. (1996) Benchmarking for Best Practice. Butterworth Heinemann. 


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