Thursday, February 17, 2011

Promote Your Library with QR Codes

QR (Quick Response) Codes have been around a long time in countries like Japan, where the mobile phone has historically been more advanced (not sure that is true today). In Japan, mobile phones have been able to read these bar codes called QR Codes and link the user to electronic coupons, a web page, or other electronic data.

Somewhat recently the QR Codes have washed up on our shores and can be seen being used in conjunction with advertising in the larger metro cities.  

QR Codes are 2-D bar codes basically, that are readable with bar code scanners and smartphones (with a bar code reader application). 

I use an app called ShopSavvy on my HTC Aria that can be found in the Android Marketplace for free.  The app will scan the two dimensional QR Codes and take me to a web page, email address, a video, or even a podcast. The app will also scan the traditional bar codes found on most products and give you comparative data on price, which comes in handy at Costco to make sure you are getting the best deal on that flat-screen TV.

For your library or institution you can deploy QR Codes on most printed matter that goes out to students, parents, faculty, patrons, and the world.  Anyone will be able to scan the code with their smartphone and go directly to your Internet content of choice.

Think of it as a physical Internet link.  The applications are really endless, but it's a fun thing to test out for your institution. 

Below is the back of a bookmark that I created for our academic library.  The bookmarks are little takeaways for prospective students and their families. 

The only downside at this moment is that many do not know what to make of the codes or they do not have the technology to use it (which I am sure will change on both accounts very soon).

*Information contained within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Schreiner University.


  1. Hello,

    we believe that QR codes will make the connection between offline and online worlds easier. That’s why we created our QR code generator with social features – - You can add all your info like Facebook profile or fan page, twitter, youtube, etc. and connect with others.


  2. It's easy to think up uses for QR codes, but the reality is they confuse far more people than they help. Except in situations where they can unobtrusively be placed for those who know what to do with them, they're more of a liability than a help.

  3. @banerjek Appreciate the comment. Though, I addressed your point (about people not knowing how to use them) at the end of the blog post. I am not sure I would go as far as saying they are a liability, but rather a tool to use to give expanded information (for those who have the tech and know-how to use them). I feel that QR Codes will move from an emerging technology to an expected one. I lived in Japan up until recently, and the codes are literally everywhere and on everything and have been for a number of years.