QR (quick response) codes are two dimensional images that when scanned by a smart phone's camera, prompt the smart phone to open a web-page or display an image, video, or text. QR codes are, therefore, essentially pictographic hyperlinks that can be embedded in the physical environment. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way libraries deliver instruction, connect patrons to information about library materials, and market their services. Although use of QR codes has not yet become prominent in Kansas communities, there are several reasons to believe that it soon will be. These reasons include burgeoning popularity of QR codes on the coasts, rapid increases in smart phone use in our communities, and expected enhancements in cellular data capacity in much of Kansas. By implementing QR codes now, academic libraries in Kansas can help expedite the adoption of this exciting technology and can concomitantly enhance their reputations as user-centered, innovative, sites for discovery and exploration. In this paper I describe how individuals with smart phones can download free QR code reading applications and use their phone’s camera to read the code; show several examples of creative ways libraries and other organizations are using QR codes to provide rich, point-of-need information to patrons, customers, and prospective user; describe in detail the process of creating QR codes and distributing them throughout physical and online environments; and highlight some of the recent literature discussing the relevance of QR codes for libraries and for education in general.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
"QR Codes: What Are They and Why Should You Care?,"
Kansas Library Association College and University Libraries Section Proceedings:
Ashford, R. (2010). QR codes and academic libraries: Reaching mobile users. College and Research Libraries News, 71(10), 526-530.
Booth, C. (2008). Video reference and the library kiosk: Experimentation and evaluation. Journal of Access Services (1/2), 47-53.
Denso Wave Inc. (n.d.a). About 2d code. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/aboutqr-e.html
Denso Wave Inc. (n.d.b). The maximum data capacity for each version: Version 31 to 40. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/vertable4-e.html
Denso Wave Inc. (n.d.c). QR code standardization. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrstandard-e.html#notes01
Denso Wave Inc. (n.d.d). QR code introduction – code area. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrgene4-e.html
Denso Wave Inc. (n.d.e). QRdeCODE. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.denso-wave.com/en/adcd/QRdeCODE/product.html
Educause Learning Initiative. (2009). 7 Things You Should Know about QR Codes. http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7046.pdf
Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Transportation and Air Quality. (2010). Fuel economy: Regulations and standards. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/regulations.htm
ISO/IEC 18004:2006. (2006). Information technology -- Automatic identification and data capture techniques -- QR Code 2005 bar code symbology specification.
Hadro, J. (2010, Aug. 19). Can mobile tech, collaboration, and a focus on user experience rejuvenate reference services? Library Journal. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010 from http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/community/academiclibraries/886418-419/can_mobile_tech_collaboration_and.html.csp
Liao, K. C., & Lee, W. H. (2010). A novel user authentication scheme based on QR-code. Journal of Networks, 5(8), 937-941.
QR code generators online. (n.d.). Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-generators
QR Stuff. (n.d.). What’s a QR code? Retrieved Nov. 14, 2010, from http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_codes.html
Walsh, A. (2009). Quick response codes and libraries. Library Hi Tech News, 26(5/6), 7-9.
Walsh, A. (2010). QR codes – using mobile phones to deliver library instruction and help at the point of need. Journal of Information Literacy, 3(1), 55-65.