I went to a good presentation by Marriott Library and Eccles Health Sciences Library on QR codes. QR stands for quick reference, btw. The notion is to have a code that someone can take a photo of with their handheld device, and the device will translate that code to the information represented underneath. A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be small or large. It can be huge, as on the side of a building.
Libraries can use QR codes in all kinds of ways:
- Paintings or photos in the building
- Map of the library
- Search the library catalog
- Place holds on books
- Summer Reading signup
- Upcoming events
- New book arrivals
- Contact information
- Any text at all
- If you can print, post, or tweet it you can QR it
In order to access QR codes people need:
- A handheld device with a camera and the internet such as a smartphone, iphone, droid, one of the many products that are widely used today
- A QR app which can be found at the app store or at a variety of places on the internet
It’s really easy to create QR codes. You need a QR code generator and there are so many that are free, it’s easy to get one. Just look online. The one that I used to make the above QR code was Delivr. The one that Eccles is using is BeeTagg.
There are tips for creating QR codes, for example, don’t have a long url, the image will be too finely grained. Shorten it first using a url shortener within your QR code generator, or use another such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com
Also, make sure you are pointing to a version of something that is made for handheld devices. A url to a very large website won’t be readable on the handheld once they get it, so that’s lame.
There’s more, I hope to hold a training on QR codes in the near future. Stay put.
Sincerely, Colleen (p.s. here’s my contact info, try it out on your iphone)