Tuesday, October 25, 2011

QR Codes


QR Codes... I kind of love them. That one there goes to the book blog I work on, Eve's Fan Garden, and can be found on the back of our business cards. I think they are a great idea for that kind of stuff, especially when I'm at conferences or book events. I've seen publishers and other bloggers give it a zap with their phone and check our site out right on the spot. An obvious use in the library would a similar type of marketing. The QR code on the library business card or informational materials like flyer and brochures would have the same effect of directing people to the libraries website. That's the easy answer for how to use them, but what are some other fun uses?

The Library Scavenger Hunt- I'll admit, I love me some scavenger hunts.Tie it to finding specific resources and you have a really fun activity for students that will help them learn not only where books are in the library but also how to use the Dewey Decimal System. You can stick QR codes inside the cover of the resource and when they find the right book he code will give them the next location. 

Classroom Projects- One thing I would love for my future library site would be to have a place to house students works. What might also be cool is to generate QR Codes for specific projects or areas of the website. Teachers can use the codes to direct their students or even parents to the right area of the website for their projects. 

Find More Info Here!: Sometimes the resources in the library are not quite enough. So one thing that can be done is to generate a QR Code that will lead patrons to a list more resources. You can hang a flyer with the QR code in the reference area near the books for easy access. For instance, do you have a set of biographies on famous Americans? Hang a QR Code that accesses a list of sites like Biography.com.

Of course, as with any project that requires technology, there will be a downside. The downside with QR Codes? Well, the biggie is that you have to have a smart phone and the app in order to use them. A lot of people have them, but not everyone. I don't. I love QR Codes, but I can't use them. In fact when I see a QR Code that is just the code and no other info I get annoyed because I have no way of finding more information- what if it's something super cool and I'm missing out? On marketing materials for the library having a QR Code along with additional information for those of us still rocking the flip phone is sufficient. So long as there is a way for the rest of us to access the information it works. But how about those in-library activities like the QR Code scavenger hunt and the links to more information? Well, either you have to provide the information another way (which defeats the purpose a little bit) or you have to provide access to QR Code readers, which can get pricey. It might not be prohibitive, but it definitely is something that you have to think about when planning out activities. 


  1. I love QR codes as well! Like you however, I also do not have any technology that can read them. I can't afford it, but I want it so much! There is so much you can do with them, as you have mentioned. I especially like the idea on "Find More Here!" In my 605 class we're talking about too much information on the library website. This can be a great way to handle that!

  2. I had seen QR codes everywhere but it was only this summer that I truly understood what they were. I think they're a great idea and would be awesome to use but I also do not have a smart phone so it's really disappointing I can't access them.

  3. I developed a lesson for a QR code scavenger hunt that I was going to use in our class over the summer and learned the hard way (a day before) that the QR code app for my brand new Blackberry (purchased days before residency) didn't work (still doesn't). I was so frustrated. And I'm still bitter. I like the concept but I'm waiting for QR Code 2.0 before I integrate them in a lesson again.

  4. I love the idea of hanging QR codes to provide library visitors to even more resources on a topic. But as you mentioned, it is really important that folks don't feel left out because of them so providing at least some reference to what you are looking at visually is a good idea.

  5. Kate - I really like your scavenger hunt idea especially placing QR codes in the books that students find that will lead them to their next location!