Weekly Wrapup – Thing 9: QR Codes

16 Jul

What do ANZ 23 Mobile Things peeps think about QR Codes?

The week was pretty quiet, but then it’s quite possible that other people are in the same boat that I’m in, in that you’re several weeks behind on the 23 Mobile Things.  Or perhaps you’re all using QR Codes so much that it’s not a new technology to you.

(I also want to apologise to Australian peeps learning about 23 Mobile Things.  My Introduction to QR Codes was a little NZ-centric!  I would love to hear what Australian library peeps are doing with QR codes, and how much they are infiltrating society in Australia)

Raewyn-the-librarian briefly commented on how she has used QR Codes on bookmarks to promote events.  Sounds great!

Karentoittoit wrote a really interesting blog post about QR Codes could be used in the Radio Archive world, with some awesome creative ideas.  (I love the idea about QR Codes on archival items, pointing to the metadata in cataloguing systems!  How cool would that be!  Having QR codes link to audio and sounds from a radio archive would also be brilliant!).  The potential for QR Codes providing information about archival items is significant IMHO.  I also think that if this technology is a way to get more people to use their library, then that’s awesome.

Can you imagine it?

* a display in a bus station or train station of new books or e-books that a local public library has.  By scanning the code, people could link straight through to the library catalogue record for that item, or for e-books, link straight through to a page where they could borrow the item out (or request it).

* museums replacing or augmenting written information signs with QR Codes that give people more information about what they are looking at.  Museums and libraries could also create fun activities where kids have to go around and scan all the QR Codes and find out the answer to particular questions.  Loaning a smartphone to a kid to do this while they are in the library is so much more cool and engaging than just giving them a worksheet that they have to complete.

*being able to translate foreign language materials (especially those not written using the alphabet) into English through scanning a QR code that’s been attached to the item?

I know there are tertiary institute libraries that have sent students on a treasure hunt of the library, asking them to scan QR Codes to get words or information that will help them solve a puzzle.  My own institution, Unitec Institute of Technology, in Auckland, has done this very successfully.  This is so much more fun than a tour of a library building, where one person is talking the whole time.  It may also increase retention of information.

I wonder whether anyone has put QR Codes on their business cards.  My organisation hasn’t facilitated that, but some others might have.

I think that replacing a library with QR Codes, as per what’s been done in Klagenfurt, Austria, is taking things too far.  I’m also not convinced by the idea of adding a QR Code to a tombstone or burial plaque to provide more information about the person interred.  Shouldn’t people be allowed to rest in peace?  But then if you were on holiday and you were visiting the burial site of a well-known person, it could be interesting!

No, QR Codes are not perfect.  They can be hard to read at times.  However, I think they definitely have their uses, and galleries, libraries, archives & museums are in a great position to make the most of this technology.

I hope that you’ve learnt something new about QR Codes, and that you now go out and play!

Thanks for learning about QR Codes with me –

QR Code

This excellent wrap-up post was written by Adrian Jenkins – thank you for opening and closing this week for us 🙂 – Abigail.


5 Responses to “Weekly Wrapup – Thing 9: QR Codes”

  1. Raewyn The-Librarian July 17, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    It has been a busy week so I did not get back to Thing 9: QR Codes but I have enjoyed going through the wrap up. I liked the idea of QR codes in the cemetary. My father had the idea when home video first became available, to record a personal life story that could be held in a “library” at the cemetary for future family and visitors to access. It always troubled him how few words could be left behind on a tombstone to describe an entire lifetime of experiences.
    Or further to business cards with QR Codes on them we could return to the visiting card. The QR Code would link to all the information we are willing to share with new acquaintances – all nicely edited and illustrated so as to avoid awkward blunders and poor first impressions.

  2. Cath Sheard July 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Thank you for the informative wrap-up Adrian – it got me thinking about even more possibilities. I’m a fan of QR Codes and think I’ll be incorporating them into work more and more frequently.

  3. Robyn Collins (@robyncollins6) July 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Haven’t done much with QR yet except play, so thanks Adrian thing 9 has motivated me to get out and get some Library stuff happening. Also planning online and print poster happening for social media spaces in my Learning Technology Team role … so will be adding QR codes to those spaces as well.

    Looking for inspiration for another project I came across the Subject Guides at the Uni of Newcastle Library which have a QR code for many guides – see links to QR codes for the medicine guide plus ask a question. There is also an intro to QR codes guide with inbuilt QR code. Lots of possibilities for embedding the code online and around the campus …

  4. Robyn Collins (@robyncollins6) July 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Oops … forgot to put in link to QR code for medicine and ask a question – see

  5. Kim Salamonson July 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    OOoooh the possibilities are endless! So many things you can do with QR codes

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