Saturday, June 12, 2010

QR Codes and Libraries

A Great / Great Resource >  Sites / Cites / Links > Thanks Teresa Ashley / Librarian /  Austin Community College District


Summary Of Ideas For Using QR Codes In Libraries:

1. Provide point-of-use instruction at point-of-need locations

2. Have step-by-step instructions on machines like photocopiers and printers

3. Post QR codes by study rooms. Students would be able to check the availability of a study room, and then book it from their cell phone while standing in front of the room

4. QR codes in the stacks could bring up a list of LibGuides on topics related to books in the call number range area

5. QR codes in the stacks could show where the ebooks would be on the shelves

6. QR codes around campus could link to digital libraries or items from special collections related to the different buildings

7. Add QR codes with your contact information to your library website

8. Direct users to a service that’s specifically aimed at mobile devices users, such as a chat or IM reference service, or the mobile version of the library’s catalog or databases

9. QR code to the online Ask a Librarian site could be posted at the physical reference desk and at all public access computer workstations

10. Library tours – barcodes can be placed in different areas of the library so visitors can access information relevant to that particular space. Audio tours can also be provided this way.

11. Library Maps – Instead of just a map that has, Reference, Reserve, Computer Lab on it, put QR codes for every area that has a web page, so that the patron can go directly to that web page for more information.

12. Library reviews – if someone has done a review on a book or item, a QR code can be put on that item, linking to the review.

13. Link to Phone number on a web page so people don’t have to dial the number on their phone.

14. Link to a web page associated with an event by placing a QR code for the web page on the event's poster.

15. QR Codes can be posted at public service desks to advertise services: Laptop checkout, fines, and book renewal information could be posted at the point of service, the Circulation Desk, for instance

16. Help Desk info could be posted on QR codes

17. Tag exhibits (“Mobile Tag Closeup.” ACU Library Photostream.

18. Librarians can tag pre-formatted tailored searches for events and exhibits

19. Add QR codes to poster, flyers, and other library instructional or promotional materials





  1. How do I read these codes?

  2. I love the concept of QR codes in libraries, and these are some great ideas. But I just don't know how realistic it is to think students will use them. Has anyone had seen that happen in any significant way? As with many things, I think it might be best to get them into this new technology by using it with other, non-library things, first. (For example: what the specials are in the dining hall or or the shuttle bus schedule or local movie times.

    Another idea is to have a contest where there are QR codes in the library that win prizes and others that do some of the things on this list. That might get people used to how they work and expose them to the kinds of ways they could use them in the library.

    Ken Liss
    Boston College

  3. For those that generate QR codes using tools on the web please keep in mind that many of the QR generators out there propagate spam and then redirect your users to your site. (collecting information about them first)

    If you use a QR generator, just be sure to use one that is known not to retain information or redirect users.


  4. Another good use would be to have a QR code on a librarian's office door (if they have them), encoded with a calendar showing where the heck they are (some of our librarians tend to disappear for hours on end with no word). This would be helpful for students or faculty who would like to make appointments.


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