Wednesday, March 09, 2011

QR Codes: Information in an Instant

WHAT ARE THEY?

You might have seen an image such as the one to the left, but were not aware of its purpose. The image is called a quick response (QR) code and it is a two dimensional barcode.

QR codes can hold a variety of information that could include: calendar events, contact information, phone numbers, plain text, text messages, URLs, and more.

The QR code's purpose is to connect you to information quickly. You will find them embedded in print advertising (take a look at a movie poster when you are at a theatre), websites, television commercials, and more.

HOW DO YOU READ THEM?

To read a QR code, you need the following:
  1. A web-enabled phone with a camera. The 4th generation iPod Touch will also be able to read QR codes with a Wi-Fi connection.
     
  2. A QR code reading application. Free or low cost applications are readily available from your device’s app store. The i-nigma Reader is a popular reader that is freely available and compatible with a variety of handsets.

    Phones running Google Android and modern Nokia handsets have the QR code reader built-in.
     
  3. Scan the QR code. With your QR code reading application, scan the QR and retrieve the information encoded in it.
HOW WILL THE LIBRARY BE USING THEM?

To start, Library Services will employ QR codes in the following ways:

Library Catalogue
QR Codes in the Catalogue
[Click to enlarge.]
  • You will start to see QR codes in the library’s online catalogue records.

    You can perform your search on a computer, capture the QR code with your mobile device, and have its record information displayed on the device. The information will include the title, location, call number, etc. You will no longer need to record the information on a piece of paper; it will now be conveniently accessible on your mobile device.
Library Promotions & Signage
QR Codes in Library Ads
[Click to enlarge.]
  • You will also start to see QR codes in some of Library Services’ promotional materials and signs. These QR codes will provide supplemental information and links related to library activities.
Library Services will continue to explore different means of implementing QR codes to facilitate access to information easily and quickly.

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