QR Codes in the Stacks

I just read this new post from the Proverbial Lone Wolf on QR Codes in the library stacks. This post is report on the post from Curious Claire.

In her post, Curious Claire, Claire explains that QR’s are similar to the barcodes that were created in 1994 with the difference that they have one extra dimension in order to hold extra information.

She explains the technology as:

QR codes are currently used to store addresses and URLs. When someone takes a picture of the code with their camera phone, the phone’s browser launches and redirects to the encoded URL. That is, if their phone can read QR codes. QR codes can be read by most Japanese phones as purchased, but in the United States, nearly none can read them. However, I’ve found this helpful list of software to download to your phone.

Now, Claire goes on to show how this technology can be adapted to libraries:

Imagine a graduate student walking into my library, swiping their ID, and entering the stacks. After heading to the other side of the building, five floors in, they select their books and notice another interesting title on the shelf. They hold it in front of them, QR code displayed, and snap a picture. Immediately, a link with relevant information is launched. Perhaps it’s to the catalog record for that book. Or maybe it’s to an in-house research guide which includes that text. It could even be to an outside page relevant to that particular book.

I would have loved to have such technology available to me in my graduate days. This is a fascinating use of mobile technology for the library. I think Claire is correct in saying that libraries can use this technology and that it would really be a hit with users. It makes finding resources and getting information about those resources easier.

She ends her post with:

In other words, check out Lex Rigby’s post on the subject from last month. Try out some generators. Or, if you’re interested in mobile technology, take a look at David Harper’s post from a whopping three years ago!

Any thoughts on how you might use QR codes in your professional life?

In terms of how QR can be adapted to our professional librarian life, I can think of one. We have several office copies of cataloging material. Because these are office copies, the items are on various shelves around the office. With QR, it would be possible to get all the related and new information related to a title. This could help not only get the most out of our print office copies but also how that has been transferred to the web or what new directions it has taken in terms of web resources.

Definitely, take a look at Clarie’s and the Lone Wolf’s posts on this matter.


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