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.