Ahead of a major redevelopment, State Library Victoria recognised the need to capture audience insight that would underpin and inform long-term strategies in audience engagement and brand development ensuring genuine audience growth, diversification and long-term sustainability.

In order to meet this need, in 2015, State Library Victoria commissioned MHM to conduct a large-scale survey of the Library’s database contacts, including Wi-Fi users, e-news subscribers, patrons and foundation members. Receiving over 4k responses from a diverse range of audiences, MHM produced a comprehensive picture of how different audiences relate to the Library and where there are opportunities to deepen engagement.

Following the online survey, State Library Victoria commissioned MHM to conduct snapshot research once a year until committing to the comprehensive and robust Visitor 360 ̊ program in 2019. The Visitor 360 ̊ explores who is visiting the Library (and who isn’t, a key priority for the Library), how visitors engage – including digital engagement – and the outcomes the Library provides its visitors. The insight gathered through this research has helped the Library develop a deep understanding of their visitors, allowing the Library to tailor the services and activities it provides accordingly. The research has been especially useful to the Library in providing an insight into how the visitor experience has changed since the Library opened its new services and spaces as part of the Vision 2020 redevelopment.

Growing from the onsite research, in 2021/22, State Library Victoria embraced the Visitor 360 ̊ program across their online offer, embedding a pop-up version of the survey on their website to better understand their online audience and identify opportunities for improvement.

MHM delivered the Library’s first online insight report, demonstrating how different areas of the Library’s online offer are especially important for audiences through the lens of User Modes and Culture Segments. These insights will allow the Library to further optimise the appearance and content of sections of the website, to provoke and support deeper engagement. The Library’s commitment to online research will allow them to continue to monitor the website’s performance and online experience for digital users.